David Brock, the conservative-journalist-turned-Hillary-lover, is a former colleague and friend. Back in David’s days on the right, we worked side by side for the Washington Times’s Insight magazine. Later on, David helped me locate both an accountant and a literary agent when I published my book, The Human Christ: The Search for the Historical Jesus.
That was back in the mid- and late 1990s, when David was riding high on The Real Anita Hill–and before his second book, on Hillary, flopped (you can buy a used copy of The Seduction of Hillary Rodham for $.01 on Amazon), and David apparently decided that there was more money to be made from apologizing for being a conservative than from just being one. Nowadays, I’m not fancy enough or liberal enough for David. Every once in a while, however, I still run into him at plush D.C. power-lunch troughs like Le Bistro au Coin, where former-conservative breast-beating (and bashing of the current right) pays the tab for David’s moules mariniere, just as Anita Hill paid for David’s townhouse in Georgetown ten years ago.
So, burning with curiosity, I clicked onto Media Matters for America, the brand-new watchdog website that David has started with $2 million-plus in donations from rich liberals. The idea, David told The New York Times, is “to monitor the conservative media and correct erroneous assertions in real time.”
Whoa–that means me and The Other Charlotte right here at InkWell! We’re flattered! David, however, seems to be after bigger conservative fish on the order of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Said David (according to the NYT’s Jim Ruttenberg):
‘”The right wing in this country has dominated the debate over liberal bias,’ Mr. Brock said during an interview Friday. ‘By dominating that debate, my belief is they’ve moved the media itself to the right and therefore they’ve moved American politics to the right.’
“He added, ‘I wanted to create an institution to combat what they’re doing.'”
The only problem–and if you’re reading this, David, I hope you’ll regard this as constructive, not destructive, criticism–is that the $2 million the limo-libs have ponied up for you so far hasn’t bought you much in the way of chewable right-wing dirt. According to the NYT, a team of six headphone-wearing, Brock-hired researchers, some of them former Clinton staffers, sit all day and maybe all night in a darkened room full of television and computer screens at the Media Matters office suite on fancy K Street, so as to monitor every lie and misstep that Rush and the others make. Then–news flash!–the stuff goes right up onto the Media Matters website, presumably to be picked up by Mike Romanesko, Joe Conason, Al Franken, and the rest of them. (Actually, the stuff doesn’t quite go right up. It’s mid-morning on Tuesday, May 4, and the newest items on Media Matters date from yesterday, May 3. Even the Washington Post moves faster than that.)
Here’s David’s stop-the-presses lead item for today (er, yesterday), complete with headline:
“MSNBC testing Hillary-hating shock jock as news anchor
“Bud Hedinger, whose radio talk show airs between The Rush Limbaugh Show and The Dr. Laura Schlessinger Program on 540 AM (WFLF) in Orlando, Florida, debuted today for a test run as an anchor for MSNBC Live, which airs between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays. ‘If they like what I do, they’ll hire me,’ Hedinger told his hometown paper, the Orlando Sentinel on May 2.”
Conason, call your editor!
And I loved this hot revelation about Limbaugh:
“Limbaugh accused liberals of hating the military
“On his April 30 radio show, Rush Limbaugh accused liberals of hating the military …”
And here’s a scoop on the lows to which Matt Drudge will stoop:
“Unsubstantiated Drudge rumor echoed through the media
“An unsubstantiated rumor about Senator John Kerry’s hair, originating with an April 27 Drudge Report Exclusive that cited only anonymous ‘campaign sources,’ made its way onto the April 29 episode of Special Report with Brit Hume on FOX News Channel. In his ‘Political Grapevine’ segment, Hume reported the story without citing any sources …”
David, I suggest you check the ‘phones on those employees of yours to make sure they’re not blasting the Geto Boys on your time. Or, rather, the time of those well-heeled libs with the dough to burn on K Street office digs for you and jobs for out-of-work Clintonistas. And David, the Internet is suposed to move faster, not slower than print journalism.