Media Matters solicits lawmaker ‘allies’ to steer media coverage

Vince Coglianese Editorial Director
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The far-left nonprofit Media Matters for America (MMFA) has attempted to court at least one Democrat lawmaker as its “all[y]” in “gain[ing] favorable media coverage” in the ongoing Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline debate. Claiming an alliance with lawmakers appears to be the latest red flag for the organization critics allege has frequently overstepped its tax-exempt privileges.

In an email distributed to the offices of both Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer and Republican Sen. James Inhofe on Wednesday — and obtained by The Daily Caller — Media Matters employee Emilee Pierce sought to “flag” a liberal study by the organization released Thursday in an effort to manipulate coverage of the Keystone pipeline.

The email, addressed to Boxer staffer Mary Kerr and Inhofe staffer Matt Dempsey, sought to “flag that MMFA will be putting out a major, quantitative report on media coverage of KXL tomorrow [Thursday] morning.”

“The study will be similar to our [Environmental Protection Agency] counting study (http://mediamatters.org/research/201106070010) — and will drill home the point the media bought right into Big Oil’s desired frame on KXL,” the email reads, “focusing largely on the (inflated) number of jobs that could be created, without paying due attention to the many other important issues at stake. (Ranchers’ land, spills, climate change, etc.)”

“We are hoping for a big media splash,  but — more importantly — we’re hoping that allies will be able to leverage it to gain favorable coverage,” Pierce continued.

Dempsey says this is the first time Inhofe’s office has received an email of this nature from Media Matters — and likely the last. “I’m shocked that Media Matters would consider Sen. Inhofe an ally in their efforts. Sen. Inhofe has long been a target of the George Soros-funded Media Matters for all of his work in debunking global warming alarmism,” Dempsey wrote in an email to TheDC.

“Their email to our office was clearly an embarrassing mistake, to say the least. But it does provide plenty of insight into how closely Media Matters works with certain members of Congress to push a radical agenda.”

Boxer staffer Mary Kerr did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

When reached for comment, Emilee Pierce, Media Matters’ external affairs director for climate and environment, declined on account of a time conflict, telling TheDC that she would offer comment shortly. As of press time, Pierce has yet to respond.

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