This week the David Horowitz Freedom Center launched TruthRevolt (TR), the right’s counter-offensive to the George Soros-funded media attack dog Media Matters. TR is designed to hold the mainstream media accountable for its leftist bias, so naturally those leftist media outlets, already feeling the heat, are attempting to dismiss and delegitimize it and its founders, David Horowitz and Ben Shapiro.
“This will get personal,” says Shapiro, embracing a tactic that formerly has been the province of the demonizing left, who subscribe to the Alinsky aim of personalizing a target and destroying him or her. “This will get rough. We’re ready for action.” TruthRevolt did in fact take action right out of the gate, its initial target being the patriarch of race-baiting demagoguery himself, MSNBC’s Al Sharpton. Shapiro initiated a petition calling on advertisers, specifically Mondelez International, the owner of Ritz Crackers, to stop supporting Sharpton’s show PoliticsNation. The petition has acquired nearly 5,900 signatures since the launch two days ago, the first thousand of them in under fifteen hours.
How did the news media respond to TR’s arrival on the scene? The major news outlets like ABC and CBS, perhaps either underestimating the popular support for such a right-wing media offensive, or hoping it will go away, simply chose not to bring attention to the launch. Not even MSNBC itself deigned to acknowledge TruthRevolt, at least on its website. Conservative sites like TheBlaze and Breitbart.com, of course, reported it, and a mixture of anticipation and zeal was in strong evidence among the commenters on those sites, who have long been awaiting a weapon like TR to bring the leftist media to their knees. “It’s about time,” was the general attitude.
What other mainstream media reports there were of the launch ranged from the careful neutrality of The Hollywood Reporter (THR) to the subtle editorializing of The Daily Beast to the dismissal of Time to the predictable smears from the Huffington Post and Media Matters itself.
To its credit, The Hollywood Reporter kept things professionally objective in its full-length coverage. Time.com, on the other hand, did a very brief write-up that completely ignored the launch and TruthRevolt’s mission, characterizing TR merely as a series of boycotts. Their headline (“Al Sharpton’s Infamous ‘Cracker’ Speech Spurs Conservative Boycott of Ritz 20 Years Later”) and article imply that the boycott against Sharpton’s advertisers is twenty years too late and that the advertisers themselves are largely indifferent to the threat.
The Huffington Post whistled the same tune in its coverage of the TruthRevolt launch, dismissing the Sharpton boycott as “drudging [sic] up comments from 20 years ago.” The Daily Beast also slipped in a reference to “dredging up 25-year-old incidents to spur a boycott,” as if Sharpton hasn’t filled those intervening years with a career full of racist mendacity, most recently capitalizing on and exploiting Trayvon Martin’s death. (At least the Daily Beast spelled “dredging” correctly.)
A Daily Caller editorial by Patrick Howley oddly slammed Shapiro for using the left’s own tactics against it, and suggested that somehow Shapiro and TruthRevolt are anti-free speech. Apparently Howley has forgotten that the left has been pushing with all its might to shut down conservative talk radio for many years. He also cited a 1984 electoral map as evidence that the right is not a victimized class, as if conservatives don’t have a right to take action against blatant media bias. Sorry Mr. Howley, but boycotts are not censorship, and if you think that the right should continue to fight the Alinsky-trained left according to Marquess of Queensbury rules, then you don’t comprehend the fight we’re in or the enemy we’re up against. Managing editor Jeremy Boreing rebutted Howley on the TR site, pointing out that the old electoral map
was before the twenty-four hour news cycle, before the cell phone and the internet, and before the rise of political correctness and multiculturalism actively defined those who ‘subscribe to the political ideology of Ronald Reagan’ as racist, greedy, warmongering, homophobic, bigots fighting a war on the poor and on women in the American pop-culture.
In “Meet The Right-Wing Leaders Of ‘TruthRevolt,’” Media Matters noted the movement’s debut and then commented that “the history of two main TruthRevolt figures, Ben Shapiro and David Horowitz, suggests the site won't prioritize accuracy or refrain from smears” – which is rather comical projection on their part, considering that the mission of Media Matters itself is to distort and smear. The article then proceeds to try to paint Horowitz and Shapiro as racist right-wing nut jobs with a list of selective quotations, without addressing the substance or context of those statements – the left’s usual tactic of demonizing rather than debating. Horowitz, for example, is quoted as saying “Blacks are the human shields of the Democratic party,” and as claiming that conservative activists Suhail Khan and Grover Norquist represented a Muslim Brotherhood infiltration at the 2011 CPAC – neither statement of which is refuted by Media Matters but is simply presented as supposed evidence of Horowitz’s paranoia.
According to Shapiro, the traffic on the TR website’s first day was massive: over 100,000 visits, over 90,000 unique visitors, and a quarter of a million page views. As for a social media presence, TR has already amassed over 2,600 Twitter followers and 3,800 Facebook “likes” as of this writing.
Whether the left likes it or not or pretends to ignore it, TruthRevolt has kicked off with a bang, not a whimper, and is poised to give progressives a taste of their own medicine and help “right” our country’s long-standing media imbalance.
Mark Tapson, a Hollywood-based writer and screenwriter, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He focuses on the politics of popular culture.
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