Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Media Distractors

The right wing Republican front group Media Trackers exists to unfairly taint the opposition and to distract an already tabloid-prone media. Based on everything that they have done in their relatively short existence, that much has been abundantly clear. It seems that some in the media are finally noticing the pattern of deception employed by Media Trackers while others still blindly promote their smears.

Legitimate news outlets should be referencing Media Trackers record before even considering mentioning them, much less amplifying their distractions. Frankly, their record is rather embarrassing and is filled with little more than innuendo, partisan rush to judgement and willfully negligent"research".

Here are some of their distractions that stand out to me and they should give at least a moment of pause to legitimate members of the media:

The Underage Girls that Weren't: Remember when Media Trackers promoted video of what they described as underage girls signing recall petitions? They even suggested that the African American girls were being compensated with cigarettes. The only thing that they had was video and their own wild speculation. Certain members of the more tabloid-prone media (WTMJ) quickly amplified the innuendo but the claims were quickly and easily proven to be false. Confirming the wild speculation would have only taken an extra layer of research but they were not interested in accuracy, only in distracting the larger media and attempting to taint the recall process.

Trying to Tarnish Senator Taylor: Late last year Media Trackers targeted a vocal Walker critic and major voice in the recall effort, Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee). Once again, the group found enough information to quickly publish a smear on Taylor but not enough to actually make a legitimate case against her. They targeted a property owned by Taylor but run by her mother as a ministry to the homeless. They suggested that there were illegalities because homeless people actually registered to vote and listed that shelter as their residence. They further embarrassed themselves after finding out that one of the residents had been convicted of a felony once upon a time. Again they quickly ran with blind allegations of a felon voting without bothering to check if he was still on paper (he wasn't and was perfectly eligible to vote).

Public Smears vs. Sworn Statements: Another Media Trackers failure was the debunked "BBQ for votes" nonsense. They claimed that a progressive coalition's get-out-the vote effort engaged in "illegal election behavior." They suggested that the coalition exchanged free BBQ for votes. Their star witness to these wild allegations was one of their own staff members. When questioned under oath, he was specifically asked if anyone told him that he had to sign up to vote to get the food. In spite of Media Trackers public statements and vile innuendo on the matter, their star witness under oath was forced to admit that they were essentially baseless. No one ever told him that he had to sign up to vote to get BBQ.

Judicial Commission FAIL: More recently Media Trackers has been engaged in a coordinated effort of intimidation that would have made Joseph McCarthy blush. They have been steadily trying to tarnish anyone that dared to sign recall petitions against Walker. Not long after the Judicial Commission filed an ethics complaint against angry partisan Justice David Prosser, the smear machine went desperately fishing for what they perceived to be dirt on commission members. Again the group rushed to judgement over-hyping what they thought that they found. The group claimed that a number of commission members signed Walker recall petitions and were thus overly-partisan (an absurd argument in its own right). However they wrongly identified one member and the others no longer even served on the commission.

Targeting Walkergate Investigators but with Faulty Aim(s): Now, with cult-like fervor, the smear machine is continuing to target more people that exercised their constitutional right by signing a recall Walker petition. This time they are spewing their vile brand of innuendo at the Milwaukee County District Attorney's office. Once again their efforts are so easily transparent. Something in the Walkergate investigation must have them and/or their funders worried. They have identified several dozen employees, out of the hundreds that work in the office, that signed the Walker recall petition. Some of the people that signed are support staff like secretaries and others. However not a single one of them are actually involved in the Walkergate investigation itself. The group's effort is clearly to taint the Walkergate investigation and the entire district attorney's office.

The pattern with this right-wing smear machine is abundantly clear. Why any member of the legitimate media would even consider citing this group is beyond me. They have repeatedly proven that they play fast an loose with the truth only to serve very narrow and nasty political aims. Apparently they are of the mind that the ends justifies the dishonest means. That kind of relativism is a peculiar approach for people that self-identify as being "conservative" and as having "traditional values".

They call themselves "Media Trackers" but their real goal is to simply be a media distractor.


John Foust said...

Yeah but their masthead says they're "non-partisan".

Who uses terms like "the Left" except for partisans?

Why is it "interesting" that a secretary in the Public Integrity Unit signed the Walker recall petition?

Jake formerly of the LP said...

We really need to make it an issue about media not stepping up and rightfully ignoring this Koch and Bradley-funded drivel. In fact, it's getting very close to the time where we need to confront the media head-on, as they seem to be ignoring facts that far too many blogs are beating them to the punch on.

There is no question in my mind that Pucher's pathetic move claiming bias in the Milwaukee Co DA's office was coordinated with this Media TraKKKers report, and with right-wing talkers whining about the "issue".