Why Media Matters Is Bad for Liberalism
So, the Heritage Foundation puts together a database and a project intended to create public awareness about the overcriminalization of federal law, highlighting just some of the many problems with our criminal justice system. This, of course, is a project that liberals have been working on, passionately and righteously, for years. You would think that, as a result, liberals would be cheering the opportunity to finally have a highly-influential movement conservative organization joining their cause – and to be fair, I suspect most liberals, to the extent they’re actually aware of this project, are in fact quite welcoming of it. But not Media Matters. No, Media Matters would much rather use the occasion to launch a disinformation campaign (see also: Balko) against Heritage to paint the project in the worst possible terms, and indeed in almost the exact same terms as conservatives have too-often portrayed civil liberties-oriented liberals for decades.
This is disgusting and depressing behavior by Media Matters. It also clearly demonstrates that Media Matters is not a pro-liberal organization. It is, instead, solely dedicated to attacking the American Right. These two goals are not the same thing. When liberals look to Media Matters as a credible source for documenting the political Right, they risk believing their own propaganda and missing out on very real opportunities to advance important elements of the liberal agenda. That’s not to say that Media Matters should just be ignored, just that it should not be mistaken for an organization actually interested in advancing liberal causes, and its analyses should always be heavily fact-checked.