Advance Excerpt: Ailes Coordinated Smear Campaign Targeting Media Matters
Blog ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN
Fox News president Roger Ailes coordinated a smear campaign targeting Media Matters for America and its founder, David Brock, in response to Media Matters' book critical of Fox News, according to a biography of Ailes scheduled to be released March 19.
Media Matters obtained an exclusive copy of Zev Chafets' upcoming Roger Ailes: Off Camera, in which Chafets wrote:
In February 2012, Media Matters put out a book of Ailes's horribles, The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network into a Propaganda Machine. The book itself didn't concern Ailes much, although he saw to it that friendly websites and some Fox commentators reminded America that the coauthor, David Brock, the head of Media Matters, does not exactly have a sterling reputation for honesty, and that the organization, which was founded with the "help and support" of the obviously partisan Hillary Clinton, is a political group that enjoys a charitable tax status.
During the weeks surrounding publication of The Fox Effect, Fox News aired dozens of segments attacking Media Matters and Brock, attacks that it is now clear were directed from Ailes in retaliation for a critical analysis of the network. Many of those attacks were in coordination with The Daily Caller.
While the campaign to smear Media Matters was underway, Zaid Jilani at Salon wrote:
Ultimately, Media Matters is being targeted for what it has accomplished. In just the eight short years of its existence, the organization has created a powerful watchdog hub for countering right-wing misinformation and pushing the progressive message to the press and policymakers. The group is ultimately being attacked for doing the very things that it publicly set out to do, and that is likely making the right wing much angrier than David Brock's eccentricities.