Trump, Breitbart, GOP, Arthur Schwartz to target opponents exactly like Media Matters does
Trump and his allies are - no big surprise - trying to engage in sleazy tactics just like the far-left Media Matters.
A loose network of conservative operatives allied with the White House is pursuing what they say will be an aggressive operation to discredit news organizations deemed hostile to President Trump by publicizing damaging information about journalists. It is the latest step in a long-running effort by Mr. Trump and his allies to undercut the influence of legitimate news reporting. Four people familiar with the operation described how it works, asserting that it has compiled dossiers of potentially embarrassing social media posts and other public statements by hundreds of people who work at some of the country’s most prominent news organizations... The operation is targeting the news media by using one of the most effective weapons of political combat — deep and laborious research into the public records of opponents to find contradictions, controversial opinions or toxic affiliations. The liberal group Media Matters for America helped pioneer close scrutiny of public statements by conservative media personalities...
There's no real difference between what Trump allies want to do and those like Media Matters do, the only difference is what "side" they're on and their ability to be effective.
Media Matters wants to quash dissent by dumpster diving opponents. Trump and his allies want to quash dissent by dumpster diving opponents.
Both sides are too intellectually weak and too unpatriotic to engage opponents in debate about policy.
For an example of the media doing what Trump is doing, just look to the quoted portion above: the phrase "legitimate news reporting". To the establishment media, that doesn't include those like Breitbart News. To supporters of the New York Times, Breitbart News isn't a legitimate news source. (NB: both sites tend to lie, mostly by omission).
The ringleader appears to be Arthur Schwartz, "a combative 47-year-old conservative consultant who is a friend and informal adviser to Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son." Then:
In the case of the Times editor [show Schwartz accuses of wrongthink], the news was first published by Breitbart, immediately amplified on Twitter by Donald Trump Jr. and, among others, Katrina Pierson, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, and quickly became the subject of a Breitbart interview with Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary and communications director.
The White House press office denies Trump is directly involved, but that doesn't mean much: this is clearly being done with his blessing. That includes Trump communications director Tim Murtaugh doing a Sgt Schultz: "We know nothing about this, but it’s clear that the media has a lot of work to do to clean up its own house."
Then, there's irony and an example of why campaigns like this don't get much sympathy:
“Two can play at this game,” (Schwartz friend Sam Nunberg) said. “The media has long targeted Republicans with deep dives into their social media, looking to caricature all conservatives and Trump voters as racists.”
But using journalistic techniques to target journalists and news organizations as retribution for — or as a warning not to pursue — coverage critical of the president is fundamentally different from the well-established role of the news media in scrutinizing people in positions of power.
“If it’s clearly retaliatory, it’s clearly an attack, it’s clearly not journalism,” said Leonard Downie Jr., who was the executive editor of The Post from 1991 to 2008. Tension between a president and the news media that covers him is nothing new, Mr. Downie added. But an organized, wide-scale political effort to intentionally humiliate journalists and others who work for media outlets is...
“They are seeking to harass and embarrass anyone affiliated with the leading news organizations that are asking tough questions and bringing uncomfortable truths to light,” (A. G. Sulzberger, the publisher of The Times) said...
In a statement, a CNN spokesman said that when government officials, “and those working on their behalf, threaten and retaliate against reporters as a means of suppression, it’s a clear abandonment of democracy for something very dangerous.”
The establishment media constantly smears those who dissent from the establishment line. Andrew Kaczynski of CNN has built his career (at CNN and formerly at BuzzFeed) on dumpster diving. There's a stylistic difference between the New York Times and Breitbart and the NYT has actual bureaus and so on, but their approach to their opposition is about the same.
Plus, the idea that the NYT or any other major outlet - left, right, or center - ever asks "tough questions" is ludicrous. Exhibit One is Trump: if anyone had ever asked him an even remotely tough question he would have abandoned his campaign back in 2015.
The solution to the sleaze from both the Trump and MSM camps is to finally engage opponents in tough Socratic debate about real policy. Not personal junk, but things that really matter.
See the Question Authority plan for what both the Trump and MSM camps are too intellectually weak and unpatriotic to use.