Media Matters on Daily Caller series: We don’t ‘respond to trolls’

Vince Coglianese Editorial Director
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WASHINGTON — Media Matters for America officials resorted to name-calling Monday as they again dismissed questions regarding revelations about their organization as reported by The Daily Caller.

“I generally make a policy not to respond to trolls, basically,” Media Matters Executive Vice-President Ari Rabin-Havt said, referring to TheDC, when asked about the group’s silence amid the continuing investigative series, “Inside Media Matters.”

“I’m not going to respond to an article that’s basically filled up with just crap,” Rabin-Havt continued. “There’s no point getting into a match back and forth with The Daily Caller, and that’s why we chose not to respond.”

Rabin-Havt and Media Matters founder David Brock addressed the question at a D.C. event promoting their organization’s latest book, “The Fox Effect.”

The move to remain silent is an uncharacteristic one for the flame throwers at Media Matters, who are often quick to address perceived media inaccuracies on their blog. The ranks of the organization, including regular agitators like senior fellow Eric Boehlert, have maintained silence on the reports.

“The only other thing I would say,” Brock offered, “is that the timing of these attacks — this explains it right here,” he said, while holding his book up for the bookstore audience, implying that that the reports were intended to undercut the efficacy of the group’s attacks on Fox News.

Media Matters representatives have avoided numerous requests for comment from TheDC, including over the group’s relationship with the Obama White House, internal claims of broad media manipulation, the specific circumstances by which David Brock’s assistant illegally wielded a concealed Glock pistol, concerns surrounding Brock’s purportedly erratic behavior and drug use, and the use of Bernard Madoff-invested contributions by the group.

Rabin-Havt did make an exception Monday night to address a Media Matters memo that proposed the use of private investigators “to look into the personal lives” of Fox News employees. While not denying the use of private investigators, he said he was uninterested in the personal lives of Fox staffers.

“All of our work on Fox News focuses on their work,” Rabin-Havt said. “There’s nothing in this book that focuses on the personal lives of Fox News people. There’s nothing on our website that focuses on the personal lives of Fox News people.”

“I could not care if a Fox News person was cheating on their wife. That doesn’t matter,” he said. “We don’t dig into people’s personal lives, no.”

Sarah Muro and Sarah Hofmann contributed to this report. Videography by Grae Stafford.

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