The group Media Matters for America has something of a history of involvement with powerful forces within the White House. The group was, after all, founded by a group of Clinton loyalists that my have even included Hillary Clinton herself, and has persistently defended the Obama administration from criticism since President Barack Obama took office.
And if a report from today’s Daily Caller is to be believed, Media Matters is protective of more than just the president. Apparently, according to the DC, they also coordinate with the Justice Department on attacks against critics of the Justice Department’s various operations, including (but not limited to) the New Black Panther voter suppression scandal, and Operation Fast and Furious:
Dozens of pages of emails between DOJ Office of Public Affairs Director Tracy Schmaler and Media Matters staffers show Schmaler, Holder’s top press defender, working with Media Matters to attack reporters covering DOJ scandals. TheDC obtained the emails through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Emails sent in September and November 2010 show Schmaler working with Media Matters staffer Jeremy Holden on attacking news coverage of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation scandal.
Holden attacked former DOJ Civil Rights Division attorneys J. Christian Adams and Hans von Spakovsky on Sept. 20, 2010 for what he called an attempt “to reignite the phony New Black Panther Party scandal.”[…]
Fox News played its tease shortly after of a segment promising new information on Fast and Furious, and at 10:18 a.m. Gertz sent the text of Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer’s tease to Schmaler.
“Also two weapons found at the scene where Border Agent Brian, uh, Terry was murdered linked to a botched federal gunrunning sting operation, and today the plot thickens once again,” Gertz quoted Hemmer as saying.
Eight minutes later, Schmaler wrote a terse “??” back to Gertz, likely indicating that she did not understand Hemmer’s statement.
Seconds after receiving Schmaler’s reply, Gertz responded, “No idea. Will let you know when the segment happens.”
Schmaler then praised Gertz for monitoring the situation: “Thanks Matt,” she replied.
In the interests of fairness, it should be noted that executive branch offices routinely leak information to sympathetic news sources. However, the degree of collaboration on a mutually crafted message that appears in the emails obtained by the Daily Caller goes quite a bit beyond leaking in this case. Fox News has even questioned whether the actions of the Justice Department are legal:
In any case, the next time Media Matters puts out a press release slamming critics of the Justice Department, one might be tempted to view it as a press release from the Justice Department itself.