A content analysis by The Daily Caller shows that the tax-exempt liberal messaging organization has steadily committed more of its resources to defending Obama from critical media coverage during 2012.
Between May 29, the day Mitt Romney crossed the delegate threshold to secure the GOP nomination, and June 11, fully 60 percent of the Web articles produced by Media Matters have set out to defend the president.
During the same time frame in 2011, a non-election year, just 39 percent of the group’s online posts mention Obama.
This year, those ever-supportive mentions typically peak between Tuesday and Thursday of each week. The timing and regularity of the spikes in Obama coverage may reflect the group’s publishing schedule, but the focus of those peaks represents an all-in approach to pushing back against critiques of the president.
In recent weeks, peak Obama mentions on the Media Matters website revolved around the issues for which the president has taken the heaviest political fire:
On April 4, Media Matters attacked conservative talkers Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity for accusing the president of “thuggish” behavior when he admonished the Supreme Court to not take the “unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law [Obamacare] that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”
Commentators across the political spectrum later pointed out that such a move would not be unprecedented. “[T]here is ample precedent for the Supreme Court voiding laws passed by Congress,” wrote FactCheck.org. “In fact, overturning unconstitutional laws has been part of the Supreme Court’s job description for more than two centuries.” (RELATED: Media Matters pulled hard for Hillary Clinton in 2008)
On April 13, Media Matters attempted to deflate conservatives’ uproar over Obama supporter Hilary Rosen’s televised claim that Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann, “never worked a day in her life,” calling the anger a “distraction.” Ann Romney is a stay-at-home mother.
April 18 saw Media Matters rushing to Obama’s aid after musician Ted Nugent made a Secret Service visit-inducing claim that “if Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”
Several audio clips of Rush Limbaugh appeared on the Media Matter website April 24 after Limbaugh dinged President Obama for attempting to bolster federal student loans despite the massive debt already saddling student borrowers. Media Matters also flagged Limbaugh’s criticism of Obama’s role in the killing of Osama bin Laden.
On May 9 and 10, Media Matters went wall-to-wall with praise for the president’s decision to announce his “personal” support of gay marriage, while simultaneously highlighting disappointed reactions from writers who advocated traditional Christian views.
Media Matters accused Breitbart.com on May 18 of being “wildly incompetent” for an exclusive story featuring a promotional pamphlet created in the early 1990s by President Obama’s literary agency — a publication that described Obama as a young writer who was “born in Kenya.”
Fox News was the subject of seven separate May 30 Media Matters articles after the cable channel released a branded video segment that was critical of Obama’s time in the White House.