David Brock’s public cheerleading for President Obama isn’t his first experience as an informal political operative working to help a presidential candidate.
The Media Matters for America founder has long been a devotee of Hillary Clinton, and that devotion influenced his entire operation as she ran for president in 2008, one former staffer claimed during a discussion with The Daily Caller.
Former employees of the liberal messaging organization have told TheDC that Brock, a well-known supporter of the former first lady, was often in communication with her presidential campaign during 2008 and was in regular email contact with longtime Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal as recently as 2010.
A former Media Matters staff writer told TheDC that Brock’s risky 2008 support of Mrs. Clinton manifested itself in obvious ways, including influencing which politicians the group would publicly defend.
“The editorial staff would kind of decide which articles we were gonna write and not write, and it was funny because we would do so many more Hillary Clinton articles than Obama articles. [former Sen. John] Edwards articles we almost never did,” explained the staffer, who said the favoritism played out while “Edwards was still in the mix.”
501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations like Media Matters are not permitted to campaign for or against any candidate for elective public office. (RELATED: Tax-exempt Media Matters ramps up support for Obama during election year)
“It was one of those things I feel like everybody kind of knew,” the former Media Matters staffer continued, “but nobody talked about it.”
“But if you go back to the articles we did during that period of time, I would say we had 60 percent Clinton articles until it became clear that Obama was going to be the nominee. And then it sort of switched.”
Indeed, from the time that Obama announced his candidacy on February 10, 2007 until Edwards dropped out on January 30, 2008, Media Matters ran 1199 posts for Clinton and only 700 for Obama. 378 posts mentioned Edwards.
“It just seemed like we were writing a lot more Hillary articles than [about] anybody else, and we were,” the writer admitted.
A Daily Caller analysis determined that among articles supportive of Mrs. Clinton and Obama, 63 percent of Media Matters’ published support went to her.
The former staff writer noted that for all the talk about appearing neutral, Brock also did a poor job of hiding his affinity for Hillary Clinton in his personal life.
“I remember one time seeing his SUV — it was an old green Land Rover Range Rover,” the former staffer explained, “and Media Matters would always say, ‘we don’t support a particular candidate,’ and one time I saw him driving into the parking garage and he had four Hillary Clinton bumper stickers on his car.”
A Media Matters spokesperson did not return a request for comment.
Sally Nelson contributed to this report.