Media Matters for America touts itself as “a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.”
Today, we learn that the organization has put a new and active spin on that last directive: correcting misinformation. Media Matters, the WaPo’s Greg Sargent reported this afternoon, “has bought a week of ad time on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News in D.C., New York, and Atlanta, beginning Tuesday”—which it will use to run a spot attacking Lou Dobbs for his continual coverage of the “birthers” and their cause, thus “promoting the false, right-wing conspiracy that President Obama hasn’t produced a valid U.S. birth certificate.” The ad will conclude, Sargent reports, with the line, “It’s time for ‘The Most Trusted Name in News’ to live up to its slogan. Let CNN know there’s nothing ‘legitimate’ about racially charged paranoia.”
Oh, and! The ad, on CNN, will run during Dobbs’s show.
Yes. The move, Sargent notes, makes for “an intriguing new frontier in political media criticism.” One that places CNN, in particular, in an awkward position. “It seems that Media Matters’ goal is to get CNN’s competitors to pick up on the story as news,” Sargent writes, “to bait CNN into responding, and to foment internal tensions over Dobbs within the network. Media Matters has been closely documenting the Dobbs/birther story, and this is a real escalation. It’ll be interesting to see how CNN and Dobbs react.”
Yes, it will. And it’ll be interesting, from our perspective, to see whether an organization that is “dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media” can directly affect the content of the very media it criticizes. Stay tuned.