Matthew Sheffield's June 7 NewsBusters post begins, "It’s hard to pity someone as smarmy and self-righteous as Jonathan Alter." So you know you're in for some primo right-wing ranting.
Indeed, Sheffield's post is a massive anti-Alter tirade, featuring Fox News chief Roger Ailes' response to claims made about him and Fox News in Alter's new book, "The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies." He touts how Ailes claimed that what Alter wrote is "patently, provably false," but it somehow escapes him that Ailes doesn't actually prove Alter false -- it's just a he-said, he-said.
Sheffield goes on to repeat an anonymous claim that "there is some personal bitterness at work on Alter's part" because Fox News allegedly wouldn't hire Alter as a contributor. But Sheffield offers no evidence that this is true -- he's simply privileging its purported truth because it comes from Fox News and makes Alter look bad.
After Alter responded to Ailes by noting that “Roger is a bully. And like a lot of bullies, he can dish it out but he can’t take it," Sheffield retorted that "Alter might consider reacting with a little less knee jerking." That's right -- the guy who cranks out no small amount of right-wing knee-jerk attacks has decreed that others should not be acting the same way.
The vitriol of Sheffield's attack of Alter would seem to indicate how much of a threat the Media Research Center considers him to be to the right-wing agenda.