The Washington Post Snuggles with a Racist Security Blanket

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Over the last three evenings, Americans watched Tucker Carlson refuse to be cowed by the sophisticated, well-funded, coordinated information operation designed to chase him off the air and make him unemployable for life.

One of the points he’s raised, not so much in his own defense, but rather as a counteroffensive against his enemies, is that Media Matters for America (MMfA)—his primary tormenter—enjoys a symbiotic relationship with the corporate Left media (CLM), to whom it can feed propaganda with the assurance that it will be regurgitated verbatim. “Symbiotic” because they need and feed off one another. MMfA lacks a sufficiently large megaphone to broadcast its message. The CLM, by contrast, not only has such a megaphone; fundamentally it is a megaphone. It’s lazy and so relies on others to feed it stories, which MMfA is only too happy to do.

As if to prove Carlson right, the Washington Post on Thursday published an embarrassingly spoon-fed story from (you guessed it) MMfA. It’s a perfect case study in how the CLM spins and misleads without lying and peddles propaganda under the guise of “news.”

The premise of the piece is accurately encapsulated by its title: “Tucker Carlson says he’s the victim of a powerful bully. Meet the 24-year-old who found the tapes.”

See what they did there? The Post deliberately glides right past who and what Carlson actually means by “bully”: MMfA itself, its deep-pocketed donors, its Democratic Party backers and beneficiaries, the rent-a-mobs it can instantly gin up on Twitter and even in person, and of course its media lackeys—emphatically including the Post. Instead, they try to say that Carlson’s “bully” is merely a lone “24-year-old” who “lives in the basement of a D.C. house she rents with five other people, a few cats and a dog named Noodles.”


But is this “24-year-old” acting alone? Of course not. She’s low-paid, grunt labor for the real bully—or better to say, constellation of bullies—out to get Carlson.

Note how the Post doesn’t actually deny this. Rather, they simply give their credulous readers—which is to say, all of them—the misleading impression that this lone Gen Z upstart, all on her own, is taking on a TV titan.

Is anyone dumb enough to believe this? Since it’s safe to assume that world’s richest man is not an idiot, it’s also safe to assume that he had good reason to pay $250 million for the Post. Jeff Bezos is a modern-day P.T. Barnum. He knows there’s a sucker born every minute. He has a name for them: “subscribers.”

Now, granted, Carlson himself is more powerful than this one individual opposition researcher. But when you factor in the massive institutions and bank accounts behind her, the power dynamic changes a bit. Is Carlson more powerful than MMfA, the Democratic Party, all the other cable news channels, the broadcast news divisions, the daytime talk shows, legacy print media, plus Facebook, Google, and Twitter combined?

Because that’s the combination coming after him. The Post further tries to muddy the waters by comparing Fox’s revenues to MMfA’s. At least that’s a tacit admission that our basement dweller is not entirely on her own! But it’s still massively misleading. Media Matters doesn’t need more than its $14 million a year because the organization can rely on its army of lockstep allies to spread its message far and wide. This is what the military calls a “force multiplier.” OK, so Fox News’ revenues were $3 billion last year. What did MMfA-amplifiers CNN and MSNBC take in? Fox is not a market for MMfA troll farmers, but the others are. So how much “free” air time (also known as “earned media”) does that $14 million actually buy?

A lot.

And that was, and is, the plan all along. That’s MMfA’s business model. It was founded to be an integral ally of the Democratic Party and the Left and that’s exactly what it is.

The Post thinks it has a real zinger on its hands when it notes that George Soros is not “currently” funding Media Matters. Oh, OK. I guess that means Tucker is a liar! Or else it means that, having provided the seed money to get MMfA off the ground, once it was well established, Soros felt free to focus his attentions elsewhere, such as destroying his native Hungary.

Tucker is not quite alone. He’s got Fox and Rupert Murdoch behind him, no slouches, and long may they stand firm. The Republican Party? In hiding. Which is for the best, because if it spoke up, it would only be to backstab him. Conservative media? Some, including this site, may God bless its editors. Social media? Again, some, but disorganized, outnumbered, and at the mercy of the platform masters, who censor the Right on a whim while letting the Left run riot.

The fact is, contra the Post, Carlson really is the David in this fight and our “24-year-old” is, if not herself Goliath, a part of Goliath, one of his fingers or toes, with all the rest of his muscle mass behind her and against Carlson.

As is the Washington Post itself. It pretends to be a disinterested player—we’re just bringing you the story of this plucky kid!—but in fact has been a key leader in the “Get Tucker!” brigade since MMfA ginned up the controversy on Sunday night. I count no fewer than 12 anti-Tucker Post stories in the past four days. If our plucky researcher is Goliath’s little toe, the Washington Post is his right fist.

They’re all in it together and “it” is a scam. Remember when that CNN reporter just happened to be camped out in front of Roger Stone’s house one hour before his supposedly top secret 6 a.m. arrest? CNN never convincingly explained that “coincidence,” though it’s safe to speculate that they were tipped off by friendly insiders.

Something similar no doubt happened here. I imagine it went down something like this.

“Hello, Eli? Hey, it’s ____ at Media Matters. Got a dynamite ‘human interest’ story for you. Profile the kid who’s taking down Tucker. We’ll give you total access and carte blanche. I don’t have to tell you the angle, do I?”

“What do you take me for? Of course you don’t. When can we start?”

“The sooner the better. And remember: the dog’s name is Noodles.”

The resulting story is riddled with the worst cut-and-paste clichés of puffery and bias. One paragraph actually begins “It’s been a busy week at Media Matters.” Yes, ladies and gentlemen of Georgetown, Spring Valley, Takoma Park, Chevy Chase and Old Town: your heroes are working overtime on your behalf!

According to the script reserved for leftist activists everywhere, MMfA is described as merely “left-leaning” (only a degree or two!) as opposed to the allegedly “far right” Carlson. The hero of the story claims to have watched “many . . . hours” of Carlson’s show but apparently never noticed any of the ways he diverges from conservative orthodoxy—on war, trade, economics, or anything else. Does anyone at MMA even know that after Carlson’s now legendary January 2, 2019 monologue, it was “conservatives” who came after him the hardest?

The rest of the story is a one-sided back-scratch of Angelo Carusone, MMfA’s president. Carusone is allowed expansive space to speak for himself and put his organization and its latest influence operation in the best possible light without the smallest challenge or inconvenient question from the Post’s intrepid stenographer.

Kudos, though, to the Post for one thing. At least they mentioned Carusone’s own offensive past statements—though, again, allowing him to paint them in the most exculpatory light without facing any pointed questions. Courtesies, needless to say, that neither the Post nor MMfA extended—or would ever extend—to Tucker Carlson.

I hope—less for Carlson’s sake than for his viewers, and for the country—that this little episode is now behind him. Knock on wood, I suspect it is. It seems likely that if MMfA had more—at least qualitatively, if not quantitatively—they would have made it part of the present rollout. The drip, drip, drip would have continued at least until today. The story warns ominously that “Media Matters says it has more material” but immediately adds that “it is not clear if the releases will continue.” If they thought they had the knockout blow, they wouldn’t be holding back.

But the game is given away well before that. In only the Post story’s fourth paragraph—to make sure the head-smack is delivered before Northwest D.C. tunes out and turns to the next article—we are treated to this gem:

After many Carlson-watching hours, the 24-year-old researcher developed a working theory, which she outlined on the nonprofit’s website: that Carlson is using his platform on Fox News to introduce white-nationalist ideas to the mainstream, making him a uniquely prominent “mouthpiece for white supremacy.”

The hyperlinks are, of course, present in the original; the Washington Post doesn’t half-ass its symbiosis.

“White supremacy.” Uh, huh. The Left’s all-purposes boogeyman since 2016 and counting. It’s hard to say if that’s the Post jumping the shark or the shark is eating the Post. Our “24-year-old researcher” apparently didn’t learn much about Carlson’s actual views from her “many Carlson-watching hours.” Or perhaps, like too many young people today, she was rather loosely educated—something it would be hard to blame on her. In any case, either her listening comprehension skills aren’t very good, or else she heard what she wanted to hear, or—more likely—she knows what her editors and readers want to hear.

Dissent? A different point of view? Criticism? Don’t try to understand! Engulf your audience in the comfortable refuge of their enemies’ “racism.” Like Linus, they’ll snuggle into that familiar fuzzy blanket and thank you for it.

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Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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About Michael Anton

Michael Anton is a lecturer and research fellow at Hillsdale College, a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute, and a former national security official in the Trump Administration. He formerly wrote under the pseudonym Publius Decius Mus when he was a senior editor of American Greatness. He is the author most recently of The Stakes: America at the Point of No Return.