Media Matters raised some eyebrows when it issued talking points defending the Justice Department’s seizure of AP phone records. After all, it seemed odd that an ostensibly liberal media watchdog would side with the government over the press. So the Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple asked Media Matters for comment, prompting this reply from Media Matters David Brock:
Media Matters for America monitors, analyzes, and corrects conservative misinformation in the media and was not involved with the production of the document focusing on the DOJs investigation. That document was issued by “Message Matters,” a project of the Media Matters Action Network, which posts, through a different editorial process and to a different website, a wide range of potential messaging products for progressive talkers to win public debates with conservatives.
As a media watchdog organization, Media Matters for America recognizes that a free press is necessary for quality journalism and essential to our democracy. A healthy news media is what we fight for every day. Yesterday, 52 news organizations signed a letter to the Department of Justice expressing concerns that the DOJ’s broad subpoena of Associated Press reporters’ phone records runs counter to First Amendment principles and injures the practice of journalism. We stand with those news organizations and share their concerns.
Got that? Media Matters for America, the media watchdog organization, “stand[s] with those news organizations” criticizing the Justice Department’s actions and “share[s] their concerns.” But Media Matters Action Network, which describes itself as a “partner project” of Media Matters for America, is issuing talking points defending the Justice department against criticism from “those news organizations” in order to help “progressive talkers to win public debates with conservatives.” Got it? And, for what it’s worth, David Brock is the Chair of both organizations.