Some conservative types are ranting over the fact that David Brock's Media Matters for America is the group that brought attention to the now notorious words of Don Imus, which eventually led to his dismissal from his morning radio show. From the indignation being expressed, you would think that Brock invented the idea of the media watchdog organization. What the ranters are mad about is the fact that liberals are becoming as effective at turning spotlights on media figures they consider biased against their views as their counterparts on the political right.
For years, rightwingers have supported several such groups (some have come and gone), led by the two major ones, Brent Bozell's Media Research Center and Reed Irvine's Accuracy In Media. Founded sometime in the 1980s, both claim to offer exposes of distortions or falsehoods issued by a "malicious" mainstream media. I have been on the mailing lists of both these groups, and continue to receive biweekly "compilations" from the Media Research Center, which purports to offer the "latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes from the liberal media."
The cries of "unfair" treatment of profiled personalities emanating from the crowd that invented the Swift Boat ring more than a little hollow. Some are accusing Media Matters of smearing and tarnishing reputations. This, coming from those who engaged in the most vile and unthinkable conduct, that is, defaming and slandering veterans who had put their lives on the line, fighting in that worthless Vietnam conflict that had been instigated by successive American governments.
What could be more despicable than the mean-spirited taunting of the paraplegic Max Cleland, who was mocked by these wretches for the circumstances that led up to his injuries. No liberal, or anyone of any political attachment, could have conceived such grotesque insensitivity, not because they possess superior genes, but because such depraved thinking could not take form in the normal human mind, for fear that some god's wrath might strike one dead.
All that Media Matters is doing is throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks, which is exactly what the rightwing monitors have been doing for decades. If nothing sticks to the wall, that is, no one chooses to pick up the information, so be it. But if someone decides that an item is worthy of exploration (or "investigative reporting"), that's the way the system works. When the Swift Boaters target some poor soul who fails to walk the straight and narrow Republican path, they dig up every piece of smut they can find (and, perhaps, invent), and fling it out for all the world to see.
For years, I fell for the line about the media being "liberal," until I discovered that the media is simply a whore, and will climb into bed with whomever promises to provide the greatest amount of goodies, in this case, not money, but data, gossip and information. In remembering the amiable treatment of the Bush presidential campaigns during both election cycles (2000 and 2004), the benign news coverage during the weeks leading up to the invasion of Iraq, and the downright friendly dissemination of all those White House press releases immediately following the invasion, I found myself asking, "What liberal media?" Rightwingers can cry persecution all they wish, and howl like stuck pigs, but they now have competition in the field of muckraking.