Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Incestuous Relationship Between Media Matters And CSGV

Last week we saw another hit piece on gun rights issues by Media Matters for America. This one concerned Operation Fast and Furious. It accused former S.C. Governor Mark Sanford of being the latest to push the "paranoid conspiracy theory" that Project Gunwalker was an effort to build support for more gun control in the United States.
Or put more simply, Sanford is saying that "a lot of people" want to know if "Fast and Furious" was a plot hatched by Attorney General Eric Holder to curb gun rights in the United States. The answer to this question is a resounding no.

This conspiracy was recently laid out in the book Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and its Shameless Cover-up, authored by Townhall news editor Katie Pavlich. The theory is so far-fetched that even Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has expressed skepticism, calling it a "conspiracy thing." Media Matters has previously debunked several other outrageous claims contained within the book.
Attacks on gun rights and on gun rights organizations like the NRA are not new for Media Matters. The NRA-ILA had a post a day later that noted for the month of April alone MMfA had run 32 hit pieces on the NRA. Attacks on the investigation into Operation Fast and Furious by the House Oversight Committee are also common as alluded to in the quote above regarding Katie Pavlich's new book. They had one just yesterday accusing Rep. Darrell Issa and Fox News of trying to politicize the scandal.

What is new is the author of these last two pieces for MMfA's County Fair blog - Timothy Johnson. If his Facebook page is to be believed, he now works for Media Matters.

Prior to joining Media Matters, he worked for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) and ran the MeetTheNRA website for their 503(c)3 counterpart the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (sic). He can be seen in his hoodie, second from the left, in this photo of CSGV staffers. The MeetTheNRA website is where they take quotes out of context so that they can accuse NRA leaders, past and present, of being "a group of individuals who promote racism, misogyny, homophobia, anti-immigrant animus, religious bigotry, anti-environmentalism, and insurrectionism."

Attack pieces seem to be Mr. Johnson's forte as evidenced by an article that he and Ladd Everitt published in the Neiman Watchdog entitled "'Is the NRA paying mainstream reporters by the hour?'" Neiman gave the article this synopsis.
Two gun control advocates say that misstatements and fuzzy data coming from the National Rifle Association often are accepted by the press unchecked, and then disseminated, incorrectly, as trends and facts in American life. They point out, among other things, that gun sales are not perpetually rising; that neither are sales of guns to women, and that lax 'carry laws' have not been shown to lessen crime. There’s a lot of misinformation being spread, hardly examined at all by the press.
Prior to this stint with CSGV, Mr. Johnson was an intern with the Brady Campaign's Legal Action Project in the Fall of 2010.
Legal Action Project Intern Tim Johnson, a current Georgetown Law student, joined the Brady Center for similar reasons. Tim explains, "Interning for the Legal Action project has shown me the importance of pro bono legal work as a way to assist victims injured by the negligence or intentional conduct of corrupt gun dealers." In the wake of the McDonald and Heller Supreme Court decisions has allowed Tim to take part in the ongoing debate over the Second Amendment.
Johnson is listed in the Georgetown University directory but no info as to year or area of studies is given.

Nonetheless, Mr. Johnson does seem to have a long history of working with gun prohibitionists. Prior to his work for the Brady Campaign and CSGV, he worked the now-defunct Iowans for the Prevention of GunViolence in his home state of Iowa.

To conclude, given the left-wing and rabid anti-gun biases of both Media Matters and CSGV, is it any wonder that Media Matters sought someone from CSGV to be their new, pun intended, hired gun? If anything, his hiring just serves to confirm the incestuous relationship between these groups.


  1. Good post! Thanks for the links that tie it together!

  2. " They point out, among other things, that gun sales are not perpetually rising; that neither are sales of guns to women".

    There must be a completely different reason why my local gun stores are packed every weekend with people buying guns (and signing up for intro pistol and rifle classes). And I am sure there is also another explanation as to why those crowds are typically about 50% women.