Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 4:19 PM ET, 01/28/2011

David Brock's big-money outside group gains steam

By Greg Sargent

It looks like David Brock is getting more serious about building a powerful apparatus on the left to go head-to-head with the flood of outside money conservative groups are planning to pump into the 2012 elections.

I'm told that Brock has made some major staff shifts within his Media Matters empire in preparation for 2012, shifting key staff over to a new third-party spending vehicle he's created to spend big money on campaigns this cycle, which is called American Bridge.

Brock will move Media Matters' top communications director, Chris Harris, over to American Bridge, and he's installing a new president and CEO at Media Matters, Matthew Butler. That will allow Brock to focus more energy on building out the new effort and enlisting major donors to finance it.

Also: In another indication that Brock is shifting his empire harder into politics, he has enlisted one of the key architects of MoveOn's growth over the last few years -- operative Ilyse Hogue -- to oversee a new Media Matters operation dedicated specifically to taking action against right wing media.

Brock outlined these and other staff shifts in a memo for staff this afternoon.

Brock is a major Beltway player, and if his effort gains traction, it could have a real impact on the 2012 campaigns, helping to offset the lopsided advantage conservative groups are expected to enjoy. It's also a sign that Washington's power liberal types are getting serious about figuring out how to navigate the new, post-Citizens United landscape, which has clearly put them at a disadvantage.

More broadly, the shift suggests that the brand of media criticism practiced by Media Matters is shading into outright guerrilla-style political activism against conservative groups and right wing media outlets alike -- another symptom of the broader breakdown of old categories that will continue to roil our politics for the foreseeable future.

By Greg Sargent  | January 28, 2011; 4:19 PM ET
Categories:  2012, Political media  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: White House hardens line on Egypt
Next: Happy Hour Roundup

Comments

@Greg: "The lopsided advantage conservative groups are expected to enjoy."

That's what you said about 2010 but you were wrong! Any advantage the conservative outside groups had was more than compensated for by the Democratic committees and candidates.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47589.html

The influence of outside groups was way overstated in 2010 - don't make the same mistake. It makes it seem as if you're just fearmongering to help Brock's fundraising.

Posted by: sbj3 | January 28, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

sbj, that study was thoroughly debunked:

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0111/Actually_outside_spending_was_pretty_important.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 28, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Bravo

Posted by: bernielatham | January 28, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Was Brock's first hire Jay Carney? I know entire news staff of the Washington Post is on Brock's payroll. Notice the disinformation? Gee, have some self-respect.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | January 28, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Anonmous money that was laundered through Karl Rove, and the Chamber of Commerce is a hell of a lot different than donations to candidates, which must be disclosed.

Fat Cats using Fat Rove as their Cat's Paw to attack candidates from only one Party, is a hell of a lot different than money that is being spent by any candidate, because a candidate has to openly state that they approve of the messages.

SBJ is either the biggest dummy in the world, even bigger that Fred Sanford's son, if he really believes that The Oligarchs laundered their big anonymous contributions through Rove and The Chamber of Con Artists, with no advantage for them, over just donating directly and openly to candidates.

It is a way for them to bribe candidates, without ever leaving their fingerprints at the scenes of the crimes.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 28, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: You call *that* a convincing rebuttal?

Posted by: sbj3 | January 28, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

This is the best news I've heard in a long time.

Posted by: ANDYO1 | January 28, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Greg, how could you believe "thoroughly debunked" would convince someone like sbj?

Posted by: pragmaticagain | January 28, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

@prag: Did you click on Greg's link? It's about an email that Ben Smith received from some Democratic operative.

Posted by: sbj3 | January 28, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Mubarak speaking now.

Posted by: sbj3 | January 28, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

If the Egyptian government is ousted,

The Chinese Leaders will have ever right to worry about their own fates.

They are now too Dependant on exports to the Western Democracies, to be able to repeat the Tienanmen Square Massacre.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 28, 2011 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I have noticed that when ever someone calls for letting the Bush Tax cuts for the super rich expire, right wingers trot out the old chestnut: "that is class warfare".

Yet, when ever some right wing politicians calls for taking away benefits, pensions, unemployment comp. minimum wage standards, etc. from poor working class people, the right wingers rush to support that form of class warfare.

Hypocrites in the service of evil is what they are.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 28, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Watching the Egypt unrest. Anyone else notice that there are no women in these crowds? All men. Violent men. Where are the women? When it happened in Iran, the women were marching in the street.

Very worried what this means for women in Egypt.No good answers.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | January 28, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Watching the Egypt unrest. Anyone else notice that there are no women in these crowds? All men. Violent men. Where are the women? When it happened in Iran, the women were marching in the street.

Very worried what this means for women in Egypt.No good answers.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | January 28, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse


Anyway. The Republicans are not going to play Axelrod's games.


Get it?


The Republicans are focused on taking over the Senate (with as close to 60 votes as possible) and getting Obama out of office.


Get it?


Then the American People WILL GOVERN THEIR NATION THE WAY THEY WANT TO. Not according to some BAIT-AND-SWITCH OBAMA post-racial SCAM.


Get it????


The American People are taking their country back


Get it???


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 28, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, if Gibbs calls for the end to violence, the people on the street should listen to Obama immediately.


Why aren't they doing that???
______________________________

If Obama allows an Islamic government to take hold in Egypt, it will be an extremely serious mistake.


This could spread to other countries


Egypt is bad enough. The peace treaty will be in jeopardy. This is a serious situation.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 28, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Brock spent the last half of the midterms demagoguing the Camber and Rove for doing the exact thing he is now doing. Greg fails to mention this hypocrisy, of course.

Posted by: johnyt1977 | January 28, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Cornell said: "Very worried what this means for women in Egypt"

If there are no women on the street, that would be a consequence of culture under the present regime, yes?

Posted by: bernielatham | January 28, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Cornell

great point - that means this is an ISLAMIC revolt

And it is the Muslim Brotherhood.


It is serious

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 28, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone come across any reports on where the Coptic Christians stand on the current unrest. Are they joining the protests, or not?

Posted by: Liam-still | January 28, 2011 6:12 PM | Report abuse

@sockpuppetcentral:

The American People are taking their country back

nonsensical.

Do we take our country back after every election? Did we take our country back when we voted Obama in?

Did we take our country back when we elected the biggest democratic majorities in the house and senate since the dixiecrats were still dems [of course now they are all repubs]?

Will we take our country back when another dem majority in the house boots out the rightwingnutistan (see Bachman, Michelle) party?

Or does country taking only happen with we republicans are in the ascendency?

nonsensical...with a bullet STRF,RFR, etc. sockpuppetcentral...

BTW, it is too bad that Obama has to clean up the multiple messes (2 failed wars, deficits as far as the eye can see, wall street crashes, poorly structured bailouts, unfunded mandates, torture tainted trials, etc.) left by GWB, by far the worst president since Andrew Johnson if not the worst of all time. Just sayin'

Posted by: srw3 | January 28, 2011 6:12 PM | Report abuse

"Brock spent the last half of the midterms demagoguing the Camber and Rove"

He did? Odd I missed that. Perhaps you are thinking of someone else?

But in any case, your protest is noted and we'll keep it on file for future reference in the "who is being hypocritical" section.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 28, 2011 6:13 PM | Report abuse

What about average Joe citizen? I guess we're no longer represented?

Posted by: soapm | January 28, 2011 6:15 PM | Report abuse

@sbj, you sound like quite a fan of the zombie lies. A lot of the Big Business money used to buy candidates and elections wasn't even reported! But the party money WAS reported.

What's more, a lot of money did not flow through the RNC, because of Steele. The Plutocrats ran it through their on outfits.

Concede to reality, you know it will just win in the end.

Posted by: ANDYO1 | January 28, 2011 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Mubarak's dictatorship derives from the "emergency powers" he achieved 30 years ago. Still, I'll bet his son is disappointed dad didn't achieve Pharaoh status. That makes dynastic succession so popular with the masses.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 28, 2011 6:17 PM | Report abuse

@srw - Yes, that's the way it works.

For example, if Obama wins the next Presidential election, it logically follows that this clearly demonstrates that Americans have fully rejected the Conservative ideology and agenda and have accepted liberalism (with a strong socialist leaning).

The formulation is really very clear.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 28, 2011 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Big Money, in smoke filled rooms, will once more pick our candidates for us.

Scalia and his four Right Wing Stooges got in their Way Back Machine, and returned power to the Oligarchs only.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 28, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

srw3

The current economic crisis was caused by the democratic policies of Bill Clinton


I know you want to FALSELY blame someone else.

AND Bush had to "clean-up" Bill Clinton's failed policies in the Middle East.


The KEY is the BAIT-AND-SWITCH of Obama - the country NEVER voted for leftist policies.

Obama and the liberals HIJACKED the government.

WE ARE TAKING OUR COUNTRY BACK !!!!

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 28, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

@SPS:great point - that means this is an ISLAMIC revolt

And it is the Muslim Brotherhood.

Of course, the MB didn't sanction its members to join the protests until 3 days after they started, but continue to fear monger, it does suit you...

And just what do you propose as a solution? Should we prop up autocratic regimes until the hatred of the "government" by the people is so intense that the country devolves into chaos, allowing a small but well organized group like the Muslim Brotherhood or the Iranian Mullahs to co-opt the movement to serve their own ends?

Propping up dictators has had such great results so far...Just look at Haiti under Papa and Baby Doc, Iran under the Shah, PreCastro Cuba, any number of Central and South American countries. All of that dictator propping has created stable and prosperous democracies...oh wait...

Posted by: srw3 | January 28, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/happy_hour_roundup_174.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 28, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why this board seems to attract conservative congenital liars. I mean, a few threads back we had qb - or was it skipsailing? hard to tell; they were each pushing lies, one about the dominant influence Frances Fox Piven exerts in American political life and culture - spinning tales about how a law passed in 2007 was the result of a corrupt pact between Obama and GE. You really can't have a discussion with these people.

Posted by: JennOfArk | January 28, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama is the worst President in history, except for Buchanan


Funny that both of them had rumors that they were gay.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 28, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Why do the liberals keep calling these people in the streets throwing molotov cocktails, rocks, setting buildings on fire, etc. "peaceful protesters". Dude, we are watching -- they are mad and violent. These are not peaceful protesters. They may have good reason, but they are not peaceful.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | January 28, 2011 6:35 PM | Report abuse

How long before Michael Moore goes to Egypt and claims they have the best education and health care in the world -- all for free!!

Posted by: Cornell1984 | January 28, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

@Jenn - what a surprise they'd come up with Piven, isn't it? One reason I find their posts so yesterday is that I've usually already read the wackos they attend to.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 28, 2011 6:39 PM | Report abuse

@srw: "Should we prop up autocratic regimes?"

Well, I guess so, according to Obama. He just expressed a desire to work with the Egyptian government.

Posted by: sbj3 | January 28, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Mubarek started out as President Reagan's pet, and stayed that way through the 12 years that Bush One and Two were in the White House. Bill Clinton maintained the Reagan and Bush One status quo with Mubarek, so it has been Republican Presidents for 20 of the twenty eight years who have coddled Mubarek.

Now you have SBJ and his ilk, crawling out from under their rocks, to start trying to lay all the blame for the US support of Mubarek on this President, who has been in the White House for just the last two years.

Rock covered right wing cretins have no shame.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 28, 2011 6:54 PM | Report abuse

"Why do the liberals keep calling these people in the streets throwing molotov cocktails, rocks, setting buildings on fire, etc. "peaceful protesters". Dude, we are watching -- they are mad and violent. These are not peaceful protesters. They may have good reason, but they are not peaceful."

Which "liberals" have described these protests as peaceful?

Posted by: bernielatham | January 28, 2011 6:55 PM | Report abuse

The president called the protesters "peaceful". As did the CNN lefties.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | January 28, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Let's face it: the Iranian protesters were much more diverse and way cooler, yet our country didn't lecture the Iranian leader nor did we support the protesers. Not liking this Egyptian thing. This is where Mohammad Atta got all his crazy ideas.

Let's remember that the Suez Canal is run by Egypt.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | January 28, 2011 7:07 PM | Report abuse

So? What do you want the USA to do about it?

Posted by: Liam-still | January 28, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

@SPC: The current economic crisis was caused by the democratic policies of Bill Clinton

I know you want to FALSELY blame someone else.

No I am placing the blame where it belongs, on the worst president of the 20th century, GWB.

I guess 8 years of controlling the whitehouse and 6 years of controlling the congress wasn't enough time for Bush and the repubs to right the ship of state after being left a surplus. Somehow the surplus became record deficits. Maybe it was cutting taxes while waging an invasion based on deliberately manipulated (if not outright false) information. First time in history that taxes were cut in the middle of a major military action. That Bush was a ground breaker... I guess we should give Obama at least that much time to try to get the country out of the Bush caused near depression...no lets call it a failed presidency before he even takes office and continue the shameless character assassination, lying, obstruction, and demagoguery daily for the two years...I know, lets repeat what Bush did to get us into this mess and cut taxes on the wealthy! Maybe start another war. Iran looks ripe!

Actually the roots of our current deep hole track back to Saint Ronnie who cut taxes but didn't have the guts to even propose much less execute the draconian spending cuts that would have been necessary to not explode the deficit. During the sainted 80's the trend of needing 2 incomes to maintain a middle class lifestyle accelerated as people's individual purchasing power (because of stagnant wages) continued to plummet. Not to mention cutting and running from Lebanon, Iran contra, etc...

Clinton, much to his own discredit, did not do enough to reverse wage stagnation (average after inflation wages rose towards the end of his second term, but not by much), but he did orders of magnitude more than bush did, who picked up right where ronnie left off, presiding over the biggest gap in earnings between the top 2% and the other 98% since the 20's. During the Bush years, (the first 8 year period since the great depression when no net jobs were created) people used their houses like piggy banks by borrowing against equity to try to make up for the wage stagnation/ decline that all but the top 5% experienced. As for the wall st part, that is on Bush who appointed the regulators who thought that the big wall st boys could regulate themselves and their job was to help the skirt the regulations their positions were supposed to enforce. The housing bubble had to crash because prices were wildly inflated. The wall st crisis was totally manufactured by people creating financial instruments based on mortgages that a child could tell were bad investments. But as long as the bonuses rolled in, it didn't really matter that those CDOs and MBSs were nothing but smoke and mirrors. Until the excrement hit the ventilator that is...

As Kdaffy says, Own it...

Posted by: srw3 | January 28, 2011 7:13 PM | Report abuse

So, two examples which morphs somehow into "liberals".

And the President used that term when? But I do love the "CNN lefties" bit.

As regards Atta, if you read "The Looming Tower" (and you should) you'll appreciate that 9/11 would never have happened if Egypt didn't have a long and very very ugly history of torture in their prisons which continues.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 28, 2011 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Egypt didn't have a long and very very ugly history of torture in their prisons which continues.

Didn't we render a few "bad" people to the Egyptians to "interrogate?"

Posted by: srw3 | January 28, 2011 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps President Obama should ask himself: What Would The Gipper Do, and then go liberate Grenada again.

What a lovely war that was, after Ronnie ran from Lebanon, and wagged the dog, down in Grenada.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 28, 2011 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Walk like an Egyptian.

Posted by: drowningpuppies | January 28, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse

@SPC:The KEY is the BAIT-AND-SWITCH of Obama - the country NEVER voted for leftist policies.

Funny how Obama campaigned on health care reform. Everyone knew HCR was a major plank of his platform. Obama and Clinton debated health care reform. Gramps McCain and Obama debated HCR. But now its a hijacking... How things have changed...

I guess we should get rid of those pesky commie invaders social security and medicare....

Posted by: srw3 | January 28, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Aw, come on, Greg...wipe the spittle from your mouth. You have a thing for Brock's style of bullcrapperino journalism, taking things out of context and then expressing horror or silence when caught. The man is a political prostitute, and everyone except his Mother knows it (and she might, too).

Brock can do what he wishes...Obama has despoiled the business community so badly in this country that if they have to use the entire $2 trillion they have in reserve to help him be defeated in 2012, they will do it. I don't think business can survive if Obama gets another four years to destroy this nation.

Posted by: gideonssword81 | January 28, 2011 11:01 PM | Report abuse

"that if they have to use the entire $2 trillion they have in reserve to help him be defeated in 2012, they will do it. I don't think business can survive if Obama gets another four years to destroy this nation"

Makes one wonder where they got those cash reserves and record profits and why, since Obama was President when they collected all this loot, you would imagine business, which is thriving, would have trouble under Obama's second term. After all, in addition to continuing Bush's torture policies, Obama has also continued most of Bush's oligarchy policies.

Posted by: timb3 | January 28, 2011 11:45 PM | Report abuse

No matter how much money Spooky Dude pores into this new enterprise, you can't polish this turd.

Palin-Bachmann Overdrive 2012

Posted by: grahampink | January 29, 2011 3:15 AM | Report abuse

Brock? Brock is doing nothing. Spooky Dude is taking care of his empire. More lies for Obama.

Posted by: annnort | January 29, 2011 7:08 AM | Report abuse

@JennofArk

Take a look in the mirror and check out the person that posters here can't have a discussion with. You're a complete imposter and should really check in for psychiatric help. You're your own worst enemy, not the so-called "conservatives."

Posted by: djman1141 | January 29, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Come on, Greg, does anybody but Brock, George Soros and you take Media Matters seriously?

It seems to be staffed by journalistic wanna-be's who somehow imagine that catching Rush Limbaugh in a slip of the tongue will be the next Watergate.

Plus, I've seen more objectivity at a Robert Gibbs news conference. Brock should rename his little enterprise "Fact Checking for (and by) Dummies."

Posted by: UponFurtherReview | January 29, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info, Greg. Good to know someone on the left is getting serious about defeating the economy-destroying republicans.

Posted by: fiona5 | January 29, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

You'll never outspend the Republicans baby ... we'll always have more jack ... because we work for a living ... this column reads like a business plan for Air America ... best of luck red ... you'll need it ...

Posted by: cunn9305 | January 29, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

"..the shift suggests that the brand of media criticism practiced by Media Matters is shading into outright guerrilla-style political activism against conservative groups and right wing media"
==========================================

Substitute "outright underhanded and dishonest guerrila-style political activism" and you've got it right.

Posted by: bethg1841 | January 29, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

@srw - Yes, that's the way it works.

For example, if Obama wins the next Presidential election, it logically follows that this clearly demonstrates that Americans have fully rejected the Conservative ideology and agenda and have accepted liberalism (with a strong socialist leaning).

The formulation is really very clear.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 28, 2011 6:18 PM | Report abuse

===========================================

If Obama wins in 2012, it will be because he has followed Clinton's lead by listening to the voters and because he has decided to actually work with the Republicans rather than constantly attacking them. The American public voted against the liberal agenda in November 2012.

Posted by: bethg1841 | January 29, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

It seems like there should be a legal precedence, sans an actual law, that corporations, whom already have a vested interest in media corporations as advertisers, if not the media corporations themselves, would be unfairly compensated by contributing to political campaigns. In a sense they are investing, not only in the candidate, but also in the companies that profit from the campaigning process.

The person who is an individual contributor sees a campaign contribution as a loss, whereas corporations are in a position to recomp portions of their losses from making campaign contributions, giving them (yet another) unfair advantage.

Posted by: valvestate | January 29, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

~ "In another indication that Brock is shifting his empire harder into politics, he has enlisted one of the key architects of MoveOn's growth over the last few years -- operative Ilyse Hogue -- to oversee a new Media Matters operation dedicated specifically to taking action against right wing media." ~
--------------------------------------------

Great. So now they too can raise a bajillion dollars and blow it all on ineffective and/or counterproductive preachings to the choir. I fear this will not end well.

Posted by: CalD | January 29, 2011 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company