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Tuesday, December 20, 2016
WND Repeats Botched Attacks on Media Matters
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Let's see how much Bob Unruh gets wrong in just the first two paragraphs of his Dec. 6 WorldNetDaily article, shall we?

Media Matters, the far-left organization that monitors media, was caught a few years ago promoting as fact the disputed claim that the White House talking points on the Benghazi attack were edited to preserve a criminal investigation.

Then it was caught fabricating quotes to smear a Hillary Clinton critic, and later founder David Brock admitted his nonprofit organization defended Clinton from political attack, apparently in defiance of federal requirements that nonprofits avoid taking sides.

The first paragraph links as evidence to a 2013 WND article by Aaron Klein, who was attacking a Media Matters e-book debunking myths about Benghazi. Klein did indeed dispute theclaim that the talking points were "edited to preserve a criminal investigation," he does not prove it wrong -- he offered only contradictory speculation. Media Matters pointed that out again in an article critiquing Klein's own Benghazi book published in 2014.

Unruh's claim that Media Matters was "caught fabricating quotes to smear a Hillary Clinton critic" is itself a falsehood. He linked to a 2014 WND article noting a separate Media Matters critique of Klein's Benghazi book,  taking issue with a statement that Klein "suggested that [former CIA deputy director Michael] Morell was ‘given’ his new job at the consulting firm Beacon Global Strategies (co-founded by Philippe Reines, a Clinton adviser), ‘in exchange for his silence in the talking points scandal.'” WND huffed in response: "Klein’s book never states Morell was 'given' his job, nor does the quote 'in exchange for his silence in the talking points scandal' appear anywhere in the book."

In fact, as we documented at the time, the following line appears on page 177 of Klein's "The Real Benghazi Story": "Morell later reemerged as a counselor to Beacon Global Strategies, a consult group particularly close to Hillary Clinton. Was Morell given this job in exchange for his silence in the talking points scandal?" Apparently WND didn't read the book it published.

The claim that Brock said Media Matters "admitted his nonprofit organization defended Clinton from political attack" is simply bad reporting. Unruh links to a June 2015 article by Cheryl Chumley making the claim.

But Chumley quotes Brock discussing how "our organizations ... have led the way in exposing the fraudulence of the Benghazi investigation itself." As he hinted at -- and which Chumley apparently didn't understand because she didn't look into the statement -- Brock runs a number of organizations, one of which is Correct the Record, whose pro-Hillary bent has been pronounced. It's also run separately from Media Matters and has a different tax status that permits increased political advocacy.

(We'd also add that Media Matters is "far-left" only in the eyes of far-righters like Unruh.)

After these two paragraphs of fake news, Unruh uniroinically complains that Media Matters is changing its focus to more closely examine fake news, going on to whine: "Media Matters’ idea of 'fake news,' however, is more along the lines of the Drudge Report; WND, the online news pioneer that is approaching its 20th anniversary; Breitbart; and other Internet media outlets that compete successfully with America’s establishment media."

Well, yes, because WND publishes so much of it. Remember when WND columnist Jack Cashill published a badly Photoshopped picture to back up his utterly false claim that a picture of a young Barack Obama and his grandparents was itself badly Photoshopped (except that the photo he claimed wasn't Photoshopped somehow contained Obama's knee)? Good times.

(Disclosure: I used to work for Media Matters.)

Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 PM EST

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