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Posts Tagged ‘David Brock’

Media Matters for America Founder David Brock Relaunches American Independent Institute

Sam Skolnik

Sam Skolnik

David Brock

David Brock

The founder of Media Matters for America David Brock has relaunched the American Independent Institute to push journalistic endeavors through grants.

The institute, which previously supported state news, will throw backing to long-form journalism while not excluding books, e-books, and documentaries.

“The American Independent has a proud history of journalism that spurred progressive change,” said Brock in a statement. “In our new role as a funder of deep-dig reporting projects, our mission — to foster strong journalism with lasting impact — hasn’t changed. With the on-going disintegration of the U.S. newspaper business, the need for alternative sources of information and independent reporting has never been greater.  We will continue to meet the new challenges of democracy in a new way.”

Editor, reporter, and author Sam Skolnik will serve as the Institute’s director, Brock as president.

For more info, click here. And to apply, click here.

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Weekend Show Preview, 4.25 – 4.27

Who’s on the talk shows this weekend? Glad you asked:


CBS’s “Face the Nation”: Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Rick Santorum, Peter Baker of NYT, Bobby Ghosh and Joe Klein of TIME, Nia-Malika Henderson of WaPo,  

“Fox News Sunday”: Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN), Jennifer Gratz from the XIV Foundation, Shanta Driver of BAMN, George Will, Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report, Karl Rove, Juan Williams

NBC’s “Meet the Press“: Tony Blair, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Rich Lowry of National Review, author Mallory Factor, Neera Tanden from CAP, Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic

ABC’s “This Week“: Sec. of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Matthew Dowd, Bill Kristol, Paul Krugman, Robin Roberts, Alicia Mendez of Fusion

Univision’s “Al Punto”: Anthony Weiner, Univision’s María Antonieta Collins, Reverend José Eugenio Hoyos of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, Former Priest of the Archdiocese of Mexico Alberto Athié, Columbian President Juan Manuel Santos, director Diego Quemada-Díez

CNN’s “State of the Union: 9:00 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Matt Bai of Yahoo News, S.E. Cupp, L.Z. Granderson of ESPN, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken; 12:00 – Dr. Hana Ashrawi of the PLO, Stephen Sestanovich of the Council on Foreign Relations, Fmr. US Ambassador to Russia Thomas Pickering

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DC Journos to Fete Compelling People

Can’t get in to Washington Life‘s Young and the Guest List party next Wednesday? Well no worries, there’s another big bash competing for attention that night. Several big DC names are hosting a book party / holiday soiree for Matt Kohut and John Neffinger’s new book, Compelling People, which was just named one of Amazon’s Best Books of 2013.

Hosts include: David Brock, Karen Finney, Ryan Grim, Elizabeth Glover, and Kimball Stroud. The party is from 6-8 PM at Baby Wale and features beats spun by DJ KC.



Separated at Birth: Media Matters’ Founder David Brock

These days it doesn’t necessarily work in your favor to be the spitting image of a senator embroiled in a Washington sex scandal. But that’s exactly what Media Matters founder David Brock is — the twin of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.). Surely their faces and their hairdos are the only things they have in common. Menendez has allegedly engaged the services of Dominican prostitutes. Some reports say some of the women were underage at the time they had sex with the senator. Menendez denies all allegations.

Howley: Out at Free Beacon, in at Daily Caller

Washington Free Beacon reporter Patrick Howley is the first employee to leave the right-wing news outlet. He wrote last week saying, “I’m not sure where exactly the door is revolving to. Anyways, I’m out at the Free Beacon. Voluntary resignation. Given my reputation in Washington, it may well be the end of my days working indoors.”

But Howley got a job quicker than he thought. He’s going to work for The Daily Caller. He starts today. “I’m leaving to pursue new opportunities, challenges, and horizons,” he wrote, prior to getting the new job. “Mostly horizons. I have some irons in the fire of the media world. I’m good at failing upward. No worries.”

He added, “Let it be noted that I had the first lede story in Free Beacon history, similar to John Belushi having the first sketch on SNL. Belushi also died first, which I’ll ignore.”
Howley’s history in D.C. journalism is as follows… Read more

Aide Says Anthony Was a Weiner To His Staff

Ben Fishel was all bright-eyed and smiling at Media Matters for America’s book party last night for organization founder David Brock. The only thing we knew when we first approached him was that he is the late Andy Rooney‘s grandson. But there’s so much more to this fresh faced young man in a blue checkered shirt and dark tie.

For one thing, he was the press secretary to ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) who first encouraged the congressman to use Twitter. For another, Weiner basically canned him two weeks before the scandal broke. The departure, he explained, was something in between a contentious quitting and a firing.

Fishel, now the press secretary, for the nerdier, wonkier lawmaker and previously a press employee for MMFA for four years, hasn’t spoken publicly about working for Weiner until now. But last night he revealed a few choice details about how Weiner treated his staff. (We’re talking aides, not penis. We know how he treated his member.)

“I had words with him, ” recalled Fishel, who worked for Weiner for one year. “We butted heads. He was really a jerk and called women on the staff ‘fat.’ … He was so unbelievably cruel.” Fishel, who acknowledged the congressman had a quick wit and stood politically for all the things he did, reasoned, “People make mistakes with their penis all the time.” But being cruel? That’s a “day to day decision” a person consciously makes. While other aides would cower under Weiner’s domineering demeanor, he challenged him and called him out for the way he treated office employees. That didn’t go over so well.

Fishel explained that he was the one who initially tried to persuade Weiner to go on Twitter. He sent him a memo detailing why the lawmaker ought to sign up for Twitter. Though he sat mere feet from the congressman, the office red tape was an intriguing clusterf&%k: First he’d write the memo and an executive assistant would take it to the congressman. Next, the congressman would mark up the memo and fax it back to Fishel. “It was very bizarre,” he said.

At first Weiner shooed away Twitter as “trite.” Fishel gave up. But soon Weiner rolled back around and signed up for the Social Media tool that would be his demise. Said Fishel, “I didn’t think I had to brief him on that.”

We attempted to reach Weiner via his Twitter account. His account is up, but he doesn’t seem to use it anymore.

Read about what the aide describes as Weiner’s revolving door of hires as well as Rooney’s phone call to Fishel about Weiner…

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Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

Convo Between Two Journos

Today’s conversation is that of Politico’s media writer Dylan Byers and The Daily Caller’s Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson discussing MMFA Founder David Brock‘s book party next week at MMFA headquarters in Washington. Brock’s book is called, The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned A Network Into A Propaganda Machine.

Byers: So: I got invited to a @MMFA party. Is it Ok if I go? (cc’ @TuckerCarlson) Carlson: Only if I can come as your date. Byers: I imagine I’ll have to clear that with them. Byers: *@TuckerCarlson cannot be my date to @MMFA party: “We are unfortunately at capacity and can’t accommodate +1s” Also, TC will be out of town.

Journo live tweets fatal train accident

“If we were in an area a #DigitalFirst newsroom covers, I’d try to get out to play reporter, but I’ll just tweet from my seat. #amtrakfatal” — JRC’s Community Outreach Director Steve Buttry.

‘Recovering journo’ hits Spa World

“Spa World was what I needed. Now I hope it storms all night long, then ‘ll be in amazing shape in the morning.” — Nicole Young. (If you’ve never been to Spa World, it’s a sauna lover’s paradise.)

Deep Thought: Is it the food’s fault?

“Why does food know when I’m wearing a Brooks Brothers shirt?” — Slate‘s Dave Weigel as quoted by HuffPost’s Elise Foley.

Irritated journo

“Hello, ‘Unknown’ number that keeps calling when I’m unable to answer, then not leaving messages. Stop that.” — Actual Weigel.


Incest Desk: Daily Caller MMFA Series Part II Arrives – the Quest to Destroy Fox News

The Daily Caller‘s series on Media Matters for America continues. Late last night, installment two arrived. This one involves the liberal media watch dog group plotting a methodical destruction of Fox News. The source: An internal memo.

The headline: ‘FOX HUNT.’ In this story, written solo by Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson, paints a picture of an organization that wants to go after Fox News employees — both professionally and personally.

Like the last, they name names. This time it’s former employee Karl Frisch, now of Bullfight Strategies and a syndicated columnist, who sent a memo to David Brock detailing a plan to “attack” FNC. In it, Frisch insists FNC is the enemy of the Obama Administration and the entire progressive movement.

An excerpt and likely the most damning graph in the piece: “What Frisch proceeded to suggest, however, went well beyond what legitimate presidential campaigns attempt. ‘We should hire private investigators to look into the personal lives of Fox News anchors, hosts, reporters, prominent contributors, senior network and corporate staff,’ he wrote.

Carlson is scheduled to appear on Fox and Friends this morning at 8:15 a.m. to discuss the story.

Meanwhile…the publication continues to ruffle the feathers of Politico and BuzzFeed Editor and Politico columnist Ben Smith. And WaPo‘s Erik Wemple makes fun of The Daily Caller series, saying that he too, has played ball with MMFA. You don’t want to miss the brawling between Carlson and Smith…

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Incest Desk: Daily Caller’s Tucker Carlson Uncovers Media Matters in Bed With White House, MSNBC and Certain Scribes

Late Sunday night, The Daily Caller published its first story in what will be an investigative series about Media Matters for America and its allegedly cozy relationship with the Obama Administration, MSNBC and certain scribes such as WaPo‘s “The Plumline” blogger Greg Sergent and BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith. The story names a number of journalists and outlets who have purportedly always been “game” for accepting leaks from MMFA. Apart from the aforementioned Sergent and Smith, they include MSNBC President Phil Griffin, Daily Kos, Salon, HuffPost‘s Sam Stein and former editor Nico Pitney, LAT‘s Jim Rainey and San Francisco Chronicle‘s Joe Garofoli.

The project was a group effort: Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson, who doesn’t normally attach his byline on a lead story, and Vince Coglianese are the primary authors, with Alex Pappas and Will Rahn contributing.

The story centers on MMFA Founder David Brock and his reportedly systematic effort to “influence” the national media. Former and current employees describe what they allege to be his erratic, manic and paranoid behavior in the workplace, badmouthing Obama in social settings, cocaine use and more. The degree of security around Brock is astonishing.

An excerpt: The threat he faced while smoking on his roof? “Snipers,” a former co-worker recalled.

“He had more security than a Third World dictator,” one employee said, explaining that Brock’s bodyguards would rarely leave his side, even accompanying him to his home in an affluent DC neighborhood each night, where they “stood post” to protect him. “What movement leader has a detail?” asked someone who saw it.

A little comic relief: Brock apparently can’t stand ugly people, and once wanted to can a researcher for his or her looks. “‘David really doesn’t like ugly people,’” one employee explains.

Part I has a little something for everyone: war room researchers having sex at work, drugs, guns and mental illness.

Brock and the named reporters chose not to defend themselves… The piece is predominately comprised of anonymous sources, but there are a lot of them, and internal memos such as one stating that “Media Matters intends to spend nearly $20 million in 2012 to influence news coverage.” Neither Sergent nor Smith would comment for the story despite requests. Brock also had no response. “I called Brock’s cell and office, texted him and sent notes to both of his email addresses,” Carlson told FishbowlDC. “No response. Disappointing.”

A Book Party That Could Raise Eyebrows

Expect a decent crowd of journos Thursday evening at a book party for Dal LaMagna‘s Raising Eyebrows, A Failed Entrepreneur Finally Gets it Right. If you don’t know Dal, he’s quite the character. Read the WaPo profile. The party is being hosted by a group of people that includes lobbyist Juleanna Glover, Ralph Nader, D.C. blogger and Q&A Cafe Host Carol Joynt, Media Matters founder David Brock, Code Pink’s co-founder Medea Benjamin and FishbowlDC’s Matt Dornic.

For those who don’t know, Dal is known as Tweezerman (yes, the tweezers, which he refers to as a “premier personal care tool brand.”). He earned an MBA from Harvard in 1971 and then a master’s in public administration in 2002.

The party is from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at Comet Ping Pong.  Fare and drink will be pizza, beer, wine and soda served from 7 to 9.  DJ/Dancing starts at 9.  Dal will be signing books or bookplates for you (if you already have the book).

Address: 5037 Connecticut Avenue NW  (two doors down from Politics and Prose).
Free Valet in front. If you don’t want valet Service – Parking is on 36th Street and Nebraska and behind the event.