This article first appeared at American Lens News on August 11, 2017.
David Brock’s Media Matters is making sure what you see on Facebook and Google is what he wants you to see.
In a playbook memo leaked earlier this year by the Washington Free Beacon, the Media Matters strategy for attacking President Trump was exposed. Included in the playbook was the way in which Media Matters outlines how the group is manipulating what people see on social media.
The dark money funded Media Matters waged a campaign to force Facebook to address so-called “fake news.” The playbook boasts what a success the campaign was.
Once Media Matters had Facebook compliant with their demands, Brock’s outfit was then given access to raw data by Facebook. The document also says Media Matters was given to raw data from Twitter as well.
Media Matters Censorship Campaign
The intent to replace, influence or manipulate what any given person sees, hears, reads or posts is a form of censorship. This is exactly what Media Matters is doing and the impact of this censorship campaign is very real.
This past week, Facebook announced it will be rolling out a feature that will automatically place “related articles” under posts Facebook has decided are “fake news.”
Facebook will be using often partisan outlets such as Politifact and Snopes supply these “related articles.” ABC news is also on the list for alternative articles, yet it has been demonstrated that their reporting is less than nonpartisan.
Imagine a video of ABC news mocking President Trump popping up under one’s Facebook post as a ‘related article’.
In fact, ABC employs prominent former Clinton and Obama officials such as Clinton spokesman and ‘war room’ leader, George Stephanopolous.
ABC also employs Claire Shipman, who is married to no other than Jay Carney, the former White House Press Secretary to former President Obama.
To make matters worse, the president of ABC News, Ben Sherwood, is the brother of Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, who as a special adviser to former President Obama.
The current president of CBS News is David Rhoades. He’s the brother of Ben Rhoades and was Obama’s White House national security adviser.
This brotherly relationship was likely instrumental in the later ousting of CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who had been covering Benghazi.
Attkisson recently wrote a book detailing the ‘smear industry’ and smear operators. David Brock and Media Matters have an entire chapter dedicated completely to them titled, David Brock’s Smear Frontier.
In an interview with American Lens about the book, Attkisson said that Brock had made millions from the dozens of smear organizations he had founded.
“They are innocent sounding non-profits and are supposed to sound neutral in some cases,” Attkisson told American Lens. “They train hundreds of pundits and people and operatives and journalists to go out with these narratives that are supposed to look like just ordinary news coverage or independent thought and they are far from it.”
Media Matters Propaganda Campaign Snares More Than Facebook
The leaked Media Matters playbook states that they have a “detailed map of the right-wing Facebook pages.” The group insinuates this list was given to Facebook, likely with the intent of having those pages shut down.
The document also says that Media Matters supplied Google with a list of alleged fake news websites (all right-leaning) for Google to knock out of their advertising network.
The playbook states boldly, “Internet and social media platforms, like Google and Facebook, will no longer uncritically and without consequences, host and enrich fake news sites and propagandists.”
The tone-deaf nature and complete lack of self-awareness of that single sentence is breath-taking. But the statements that follow it are even worse when one remembers that both Google and Facebook are using definitions and examples provided by Media Matters.
“Social media companies will engage us over their promotion of the fake news industry. Facebook will adjust its model to stem the flow of damaging fake news on its platform’s pages. Google will cut off these pages’ accompany sites’ access to revenue by pulling their access to Google’s ad platform.”
Google cutting off revenue generation to sites dictated to them by Media Matters should give everyone pause.
This isn’t even a case of ‘Nice news site you got there. Be a shame if anything happened to it’. It’s an deliberate eradication of sites Media Matters consider to be having any impact whatsoever that they do not like.