Right-wing activist Ben Shapiro is defending the launch of his new media site TruthRevolt against charges of hypocrisy and unconservative tactics by arguing conservatives need to follow the "tremendously successful" example of Media Matters. Shapiro added that Media Matters has "been able to so impact the debate that you see -- you know, talk show hosts are scared."
TruthRevolt officially launched this week with the intended mission to "unmask leftists in the media for who they are, destroy their credibility with the American public, and devastate their funding bases." TruthRevolt, which is positioning itself as the "anti-Media Matters," is led by editor in chief Shapiro and David Horowitz, who both have a history of accuracy problems and anti-progressive smears.
The group is the latest to position itself as the conservative answer to Media Matters. In 2009, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said that one thing conservatives needed in order to regain power was "communications organizations that can, again, match Media Matters."
Shapiro's organization hasn't found complete acceptance within the conservative movement. Daily Caller reporter Patrick Howley recently criticized the group, calling its push for a boycott of advertisers on MSNBC host Al Sharpton's program "shameful." He explained that Shapiro is emulating "Media Matters, which is a liberal organization that flags conservative P.C. violations and feeds them to the perpetually outraged liberal media. These tactics are completely antithetical to the promotion of an attractive conservative brand."
Shapiro encountered more resistance during an appearance on the October 9 edition of WMAL's Mornings on the Mall with hosts Larry O'Connor and Brian Wilson. O'Connor, who said Shapiro is a "good friend," began the interview by wondering, "You and I, we both share a loathing of the odious tactics of the left like Media Matters and Center for American Progress, trying to intimidate advertisers to get them off of shows like The Rush Limbaugh Show or, or Fox News. Why are you using those tactics?"
Shapiro responded, "Because they work. And we can either, we can either, you know, sit here and whine about it or we can actually use the means of the left against the left and we can hold them to their own standard."
The discussion later segued into Shapiro attempting to convince the hosts about the efficacy and power of Media Matters, which TruthRevolt says it is specifically modeling itself after.
Shapiro remarked: "And by the way, the left is using this tactic on us. So we can either sit here and we can complain. And we can say, 'Oh no, we can't use this tactic because of the -- of the general impact.' Or we can recognize that Media Matters, for all of our hatred of Media Matters, has been a tremendously successful organization. Media Matters has been tremendously successful. I mean, they've been able to so impact the debate that you see -- you know, talk show hosts are scared of this."
When O'Connor and Wilson raised questions about whether Media Matters really is effective, Shapiro again heaped praise.
"I can continue to move along, but the fact is that they have had an impact on folks ranging from Rush, to Glenn Beck, to Lou Dobbs, to Don Imus. They do have an impact on the debate. They do have an impact on advertisers," Shapiro said.
He continued: "If you don't think that Media Matters has had any impact at all, I'm not sure why everyone on the right is so annoyed with them. I think they've had a tremendous impact, and I think that, you know, Andrew Breitbart did not fight down. You know, I really don't -- Andrew really hated Media Matters, and I never invoke Andrew, but Andrew was the one that really made me aware of Media Matters in the first place, and Andrew believed that they had a tremendous impact on the debate. I agree with him. I think they do have a tremendous impact on the debate. I think that they have created a feeling that it is -- among many advertisers and a lot of the public that it is quote unquote immoral to support any companies that support conservative causes."