Ever since Hillary Clinton boasted at the Yearly Kos convention this summer that Media Matters was indeed her own brainchild, I've been subscribing to the group's daily, vital, emergency, vast-right-wing-conspiracy alerts. So for several months now, a half-dozen Media Matters email screeds have landed in my inbox every day on various topics, all claiming to have unearthed scandalous falsehoods in conservative news outlets, as well as the mainstream media.
Since I've actually listened to some of the radio talk being assailed, and read much of the journalism being analyzed for inaccuracies, I'm in a pretty good position to judge the merits of Media Matters' claims. And after subjecting myself to months of mountainous verbiage, I have concluded that perhaps never in history have so many good minds been so thoroughly wasted. Creating verbose mountains out of molehills has perhaps never paid so well. Yawn. Yawn.
And there I was last summer thinking that Hillary Clinton might have come up with something new and clever, right up there with Al Gore's invention of the internet. Alas, her invention isn't new at all. It is simply the recycling of what every school-age child recognizes right away as the hall-monitor mentality. Y'all know what I mean. It's the snippy little girl or boy put in charge of catching every gum-chewer, every line-breaker and every naughty-word-user within a ten-mile radius of the school yard. Give these types a little authority, it goes straight to their heads, and drives a principal into early-retirement burnout.
Media Matters has two special campaigns on-going against the most listened-to conservatives: Rush Limbaugh and Bill O-Reilly. On the Hall Monitors' website, they even have a search feature to help readers get the phone numbers for local radio stations, and encourage readers to call and complain. This is similar to conservative sites that offer readers the same service for elected representatives in government. Of course, hall monitors always prefer catching naughty-word-users to tackling real problems in government.
To give you an idea of what passes for headline-worthy
at Media Matters, Hillary's hall-monitor brigade caught Bill O'Reilly a couple of weeks ago in this misstep: "Culture Warrior" O'Reilly, who chided Dean over Book of Job misidentification, says Revelation "was written -- what? Five thousand years ago?" A paid writer expended well over 1000 words explaining that the Book of Revelation was written a little less than 2000 years ago. I'm personally shocked that in a 3-hour live radio broadcast, this was the only error the listener-monitor could find to transform into a written tattle.
But the real cake-taker from the Media Matters folks this year has been a whopping 36 separate postings of approximately 1000 words each, dealing with Rush Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" on-air remark. The Media Matters hall monitors used approximately 36,000 words to lamely assert that Limbaugh was "unpatriotic." Perhaps never in history have so many meaningless words been used to propagate such an outright falsehood, one that was so easily debunked, even by this writer
Overall, our prospective Nanny In Chief and founder of the Media Matters hall-monitor brigade, Hillary Clinton, appears to be the primary beneficiary of most of the tattling. Out of three headline posts each day on the website, Hillary is the subject of at least one, often two.
Wolf Blitzer, playing the role of kindergarten teacher for the Democrat debate last week, takes it on the chin Sunday for his heinous disregard for his Nanny
At the Democratic presidential debate, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer misrepresented a question by the mother of a Marine reservist to then ask Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, "[I]f you could address this young man and his mother about their fear that because of your vote [in favor an amendment that urged President Bush to designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization], he might have to go fight in Iran." But neither the woman nor her son specifically referenced the amendment or asserted that it might cause U.S. military forces "to go fight in Iran."
And I have just one word to add: Puh-lease. The tattlers here are objecting to Mr. Blitzer's insertion of Mrs. Clinton's role in the possible antagonizing of Iran. As a student during the Cold War, I can tell you that this tactic - seizing the detail to the exclusion of the substance -- is highly reminiscent of the way Pravda (the official news outlet of the Soviet Communist Party) used to take apart news from the free world for its unwashed masses. And I am truly appalled to see this verbal excrement make its way into the mainstream of American political discourse.
I've never been in on a board meeting at Media Matters, but my storehouse of knowledge about Mrs. Clinton leads me to surmise that interns are exhorted to find anything, the more minute the better, that can be expanded into a thousand-word "correction," or better still, an "indictment." It seems a somewhat clever initiative in the politics of subterfuge. Perhaps Mrs. Clinton actually believes that if she successfully ensnares the public's time and attention trying to unravel reams of meaningless verbal diarrhea, she will be able to run the election gauntlet, without anyone taking so much as a glimpse at her utter lack of substance, credentials, executive experience, integrity or honesty.
For all the hoopla surrounding Media Matters, and their army of paid tattlers, there doesn't really seem to be anything truly meaningful there.
The whole thing amounts to using mounds of nit-picking verbiage, hearsay, rumor and innuendo (a verbal smokescreen) to accuse journalists of misrepresenting their Nanny-Founder. This creates a distraction from substance, and would seem to allow Hillary Clinton's supporters to believe that they are buying a scrupulously well-tested "product." I need an ambulance; my side is splitting.
The verbal blitzkrieg of tattling was, in my opinion, created to camouflage Media Matters' actual mission, which appears to be, at all costs, in the most trite, silliest manner possible: Cover the Nanny's backside. Talk about a big job!