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<html> <head><style type ="text/css">body { font-family: "Bloomberg Prop Unicode I", Verdana, sans-serif; font-size:125%; letter-spacing: -0.3pt; color: #FF9F0F; background-color: #000000; text-align: left; } p {line-height: 1.25em; max-width:900px; width:expression(document.body.clientWidth > 900? "900px": "auto" );} h1, h2, h3 { text-align: left; font-weight: normal; color: #FFFFFF; } h1 { font-size: 130%; } h2 { font-size: 115%; } h3 { font-size: 100%; } #bb-style { font-size: 90%; max-width:900px; width:expression(document.body.clientWidth > 900? "900px": "auto" ); } b, strong { font-weight: bold; } i, em { color: #FEC54A; } pre { font-family: "Andale Mono", "Monaco", "Lucida Console"; letter-spacing: -0.3pt; line-height: 1.25em; } table { border: 0; font-size: 90%; width: 100%; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; } td, tr { text-align: left; } td.numeric { text-align: right; } a:link { color:#53B2F5; text-decoration: none; } a:visited {color:#53B2F5} a:active {color:#53B2F5} a:hover {color:#53B2F5} </style> </head> <body> <p>By Francis Wilkinson</p> <p>Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller has published a <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/15/media-matters-tax-exempt-status-may-face-new-scrutiny-from-congress/">series</a> of <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/15/thedc-top-ten-interesting-nuggets-from-media-matters-2010-tax-records/">reports</a> on <a href="http://mediamatters.org/">Media Matters for America</a> and its leader, David Brock. It's an intriguing piece of <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/13/inside-media-matters-david-brocks-enemies-list/">work</a>.</p> <p>"An internal Media Matters For America memo obtained by The Daily Caller reveals that the left-wing media watchdog group employs an `opposition research team' to target its political enemies," the report states.</p> <p>It's not clear why the Daily Caller needed a memo to learn this. Media Matters is a left-wing web site that was founded to  publish research that makes conservatives look bad. Opposition research isn't some byproduct of a secret plan. It's the whole reason the group exists. That's more or less<a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/02/daily-caller-is-on-the-line-dont-pick-up.html"> the point that Jonathan Chait made</a> earlier this week.</p> <p>But in addition to pointing out the obvious, the Daily Caller series cites bizarre behavior by Brock, who is portrayed as a paranoid fearful of being assassinated. The Daily Caller states that its reporting is based on "extensive interviews with a number of Brock’s current and former colleagues at Media Matters, as well as with leaders from across the spectrum of Democratic politics."</p> <p>It's not every day that you see committed lefties and liberals from "across the spectrum of Democratic politics" handing over dirty partisan laundry to a conservative web site run by a well-known conservative celebrity. It seems Washington is not nearly as polarized as we've been led to believe; here we find a legion of left-wingers eager to let <a href="http://www.salon.com/2011/01/31/tucker_carlson/">bygones be bygones</a>, reach across the divide and assist the conservative cause.</p> <p>Remarkably, these inside sources were not only happy to dish dirt on Media Matters. They also jumped at the opportunity to tarnish the reputations of some liberal and not-so-liberal journalists.</p> <blockquote><p>"The entire progressive blogosphere picked up our stuff,” says a Media Matters source, “from Daily Kos to Salon. Greg Sargent [of the Washington Post] will write anything you give him. He was the go-to guy to leak stuff.” “If you can’t get it anywhere else, Greg Sargent’s always game,” agreed another source with firsthand knowledge.</p></blockquote> <blockquote><p>Reached by phone, Sargent declined to comment.</p></blockquote> <p>Having dispatched Sargent to the ethical trash heap, via a "source" and a "source with firsthand knowledge," the story then quotes an anonymous "former staffer"  impugning the integrity of a long list of well-known journalists.</p> <p>It's the darnedest thing, but the quotes about a "go-to guy" who is "always game" to be a political tool have a jaunty quality unlike the perennially aggrieved tone of Media Matters, whose staff seems forever in a snit. The language seems so college-spirited, so carefree, so cheesy. A lot like the Daily Caller, actually.</p> <p>(Francis Wilkinson is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board. <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/fdwilkinson">Follow</a> him on Twitter.)</p> <p>For more quick commentary from Bloomberg View, go to <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/view/the-ticker/">the Ticker</a>.</p> </body> </html>