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Media Matters ‘Watchdog’ Guts NewsReal Blog To Weaken It

Posted By Paul Cooper On November 9, 2009 @ 5:00 pm In NewsReal Blog | No Comments

Beware of the Media Matters Watchdog.

Media Matters for America (MMA) thinks of itself as a watchdog of conservative media, but far too often their work shows they are more like an attack dog, and someone should be watching them. Their goal is to expose conservative ‘misinformation’ but to do so they often must slice up their writings to assist their own purposes. Now I’ve been placed on their chopping block.

On November 7th we posted a blog I wrote called,”Obama’s Ft. Hood Reaction is Far Worse than the Left’s Smear of Bush’s “Pet Goat” Moment”.  The blog got the attention of both The Week and Media Matters.  While The Week gave a brief and fair summary of the article’s point, Media Matters gutted the central proof of my blog (here is the link to their gut job.) Ironically, they gutted the part of the blog that The Week used to summarize it.

The case I make in my blog is that President Bush was unfairly attacked for his initial reaction to 9-11, because he did not frighten the kids around him when he heard a plane had struck the Twin Towers.  I went on to show that when he did speak to America he did so with leadership and strength.  I then compared that to President Barack Obama’s initial reaction to the Ft. Hood Massacre.  Obama showed neither strength nor leadership as he first spent two minutes making statements about a small conference and giving shout outs.

At the key point in the blog where I compare Bush to Obama, Media Matters deletes what I wrote. Here is the section I wrote that Media Matters removed (the first and last sentence are added for context, though MMA did not cut them):

You can debate if [Bush] should have immediately ran out on the kids and then made his speech, but there is no debating the strength of his first public words on the incident.

As the world watched he started out his speech: (Bush’s speech video)

“Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended.”

Now compare that to Obama’s first public statement on the Ft. Hood Massacre. (Obama’s speech video)

While the world was watching and waiting for a strong President – what they got were comments about how good some little conference was and shout outs to a buddy of the President.

Media Matters clearly gutted the blog in a key section to try to weaken its point.  They removed the Bush quote and my call to compare it with Obama’s quote.  They simply put:

“You can debate if he should have immediately ran out on the kids and then made his speech, but there is no debating the strength of his first public words on the incident.

[...]

While the world was watching and waiting for a strong President — what they got were comments about how good some little conference was and shout outs to a buddy of the President.”

The [...] is the proof of my argument.  How does a group claim to be correcting misinformation when they turn the proof into [...]?  Someone could even be confused and take it that I’m still writing about Bush and not Obama when right after I mention Bush the next line says, “While the world was watching and waiting for a strong President–what they got…”.

Their summary, at best,  is meant to confuse, but more likely they are simply trying to make NewsReal look like we are fabricating a non-story.  Both reactions can be seen in the comments of those who read Media Matters.

One MMA commenter was clearly confused by their edit job when he wrote,

“I believe that President Obama is generally a class act and acts appropriately for the situation. So, I’m disappointed by these allegations, but mystified by your post. I know what the Right is claiming happened. Please explain what actually took place.”

Others commented with 9-11 Truther nonsense or bit on MMA’s set up to make this event appear to be a fabricated non-story:

“The wingnuts are trying again to rewrite reality to suit their agenda.”

We at NewsReal would appreciate if Media Matters would either do legitimate summaries of our work or print the full text.  MM’s goal to undercut our work is obvious when they post an entire blog but then cut out the central part of it.

Are you really a watchdog or are you just trying to nip at our heels?


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