MRC's Over The Top, Paranoid, 8-Page Fundraising Letter

According to the Media Research Center, the best way to “save America from socialism and economic run” and “expose an expanding plot to silence Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and all conservative media in America” is to send the conservative group at least $25.

That warning is detailed in a fundraising letter obtained by Media Matters detailing MRC's “Soros Project” which is described as “an urgent new special project of the Media Research Center.”

The letter is signed by MRC founder and President L. Brent Bozell. It rambles on for eight pages and attempts to scare up donations for MRC by concocting a vast conspiracy involving philanthropist George Soros, members of the media, and Media Matters.

Echoing other conspiracy-minded conservatives like Glenn Beck, MRC warns about a “foreign born man named George Soros.”

Bozell complains about “these Soros legions” that he claims are “riddled with hundreds of America's most well-known, well-watched and well-listened to leftist media elite personalities.”

Ratcheting up the paranoia, Bozell claims that their “Soros Project” has “put us here at the MRC in jeopardy” because “as a direct threat to his media empire - the only threat really - we at the MRC stand in the way of his malevolent dream.”

A considerable amount of Bozell's plea portrays the conservative media as if it were under assault. He quotes a Mother Jones headline and claims that the publication “has admitted its goal is 'taking down Fox News'.” In fact, that appears to be a reference to a Mother Jones news story about a “turn off Fox” campaign, and not any sort of editorial dictate from that organization. That is the sort of deception we've come to expect from Bozell over the years, however.

Bozell goes on to describe “the Soros Web,” breathlessly described as a “massive empire” that is part of a plot whose goals include “destroying free market capitalism” and “transforming America into a second-rate socialist state.”

Included in the SorosWeb is David Gergen, former Director of Communications for Presidents Ford and Reagan and adviser to President Clinton. His sin? Sitting on the journalism advisory board for the non-profit ProPublica.

Some other figures implicated in the SorosWeb: Christiane Amanpour, Len Downie (Washington Post Vice President), Jill Abramson (executive editor of The New York Times), Martin Baron (Boston Globe editor), Cynthia Tucker (Atlanta Journal-Constitution editorial page editor), Arianna Huffington, Paula Madison (NBC Universal Vice President), David Brock, Deirdre Edgar (LA Times reader's representative), Brent Jones (USA Today standards editor), Kelly McBride (ESPN ombudsman) and Patrick Pexton (Washington Post ombudsman).

As Bozell writes, he could “go on and on -- and on” about members of the SorosWeb.

On the last page of his appeal, Bozell boasts that MRC can “counter and neutralize the lies, smears and propaganda that leftist Soros connected groups like 'Media Matters' spread through their Soros ties in the liberal American media.”

After detailing this nightmare scenario, Bozell asks readers for donations of $25 or more in order to fight back for the right (and to keep Limbaugh, Hannity, and Fox News on air). A reply form is provided, for the reader to say “thank you” to Bozell for “informing me of the vast and evil empire of the socialist billionaire George Soros.”

MRC even provides an envelope marked “First Class” to send the donations in (without prepaid postage, however).

MRC has done a good service here, providing a textbook example of exactly how the conservative media group resorts to the same sort of deceptive practices and scare tactics they practice with their research. The difference this time is they'd like you to send in a check after they've scared you.