With the recent controversies involving Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, the faux liberal group Media Matters has gotten some exposure as the ones responsible for exposing the aforementioned conservative talk show hosts. Their purpose, as stated on their website, is "comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media." To some, they're a godsend, but before you jump on their bandwagon (if you're inclined to do so, that is), it's necessary to look at one of the particulars, David Brock.
David Brock is the conservative-turned-liberal who was responsible for two of the most popular and controversial books of the 90s, The Real Anita Hill and The Seduction of Hillary Rodham. Since his conversion, he has written two more books, Blinded By the Right and The Republican Noise Machine. When he came out with the first two books, the faux left attacked Brock as a liar. With the last two books, they praised him without hesitation because, well, they have no sense of intellectual consistency.
Or maybe it's because he was always just like the faux left. I've read almost all of Brock's books, save The Republican Noise Machine, and I came away from the first two wondering why he was praised by conservatives. Certainly, his politics were in question because the "hit pieces" he wrote on Anita Hill and Hillary Clinton were...soft. To me, he was always hedging his bets, saying things that would ensure book sales while at the same time giving himself an out in case he made a decision to jump ship. This bothered me.
At least until I read Blinded By the Right. In that book, Brock not only admits he's a liar, but that the only reason he became a Republican was because he was being contrarian. And while he was a Republican, he would say and do anything to draw attention to himself. Now, he's "seen the light" and switched sides...and still saying and doing anything to draw attention to himself and, now, to Media Matters.
I've had the opportunity to review a few incidents reported on Media Matters involving Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, and I would be remiss if I didn't point out how Brock's intellectual dishonesty is rampant throughout the website. Instead of "monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media," they're guilty of creating, analyzing, and dispensing misinformation about conservatives. Most often, they take statements out of context, twist the actual statement so it means something that wasn't stated or intended, and then rail against their twisted interpretation. Some of the things Media Matters has said about Beck alone have been out and out dishonest, considering I actually heard the shows they "quote" and knew what Beck was driving at from the outset.
But Media Matters isn't trying to be accurate. They're trying to be a one-stop-shop for faux liberals who already believe conservative media lie to produce "proof" of their beliefs. But any proof with a heart of dishonesty doesn't help the cause. If Brock honestly chronicled the foibles of conservative media and their moments of misinformation, I would be fine with that. But he doesn't. Instead, he's resorting to the kind of misinformation that he allegedly is trying to beat back with Media Matters.
Then again, that is how Brock rolls.