Media Matters for America has had a bad year, with declining traffic and regular knocks from more notable media outlets. This week alone, MMfA was slammed by Politico and the Simon Wiesenthal Center for antisemitism, so they are eager to deflect by trumping up an attack on Big Journalism.
On Dec. 15, 2011, at 10:02 p.m. EST, Media Matters for America’s Kevin Zieber posted a blog criticizing the use of a graphic in a post at Big Journalism that, Zieber argued, was reminiscent of a cartoon that appeared in antisemitic propaganda in the 1930s.
Approximately seven hours before that–well before we had received any complaints, but after Big Journalism post was published–Breitbart editor-in-chief Joel Pollak noticed the graphic, and alerted me that he suspected it was a recycled anti-Jewish cartoon. (He’s an Orthodox Jew with a degree in Jewish Studies, so he tends to pick up on these things.) He hadn’t seen the image before, but he had suspicions, and asked that we take the image down and stop using it in future. It had been used innocently, without knowledge of the provenance of the image. Nevertheless, it was replaced in the article almost immediately.
Again, all of that was proactive, done hours before Media Matters or anyone else had even noticed. There was no antisemitic intent in the use of the cartoon, nothing like what one can find on the pages of MMfA daily (for which they refuse to apologize, retract, or explain). We removed it anyway, as soon as humanly possible. Let’s see MMfA do the same to Rosenberg.
Loesch lied about Media Matters For America as she always does, and earlier this year on her radio show, she erroneously stated that "Obama was siding with the Terrorists, and not with the Israelis."
Jeff Dunetz, a Conservative blogger who blogs at yidwithlid.blogspot.com and on Breitbart's sites, misleadingly claims that "MJ Rosenburg and a few other people at MMFA are 'Jew-bashers.'" He also attacked the Center for American Progress, or CAP, for alleged anti-Semitism.
Media Matters for America’s Senior Fellow MJ Rosenberg has become infamous for accusing any American Jews who support Israel of dual loyalty (he calls them Israel-firsters). He also has claimed the evil Israel lobby” controls both the media and the U.S. foreign policy. He also uses the term “neo-con” as a slang pejorative term for Jews who are politically conservative. Rosenberg is not the only Jew-Basher at Media Matters, just the most vocal.
Rosenberg and his fellow progressives at MMFA and Center for American Progress have finally picked on the wrong Jews: The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC). Formed by the famous Nazi-hunter, the SWC’s only purpose is to preach tolerance. Unlike groups such as the ADL and the AJC, which often lean left, the Wiesenthal Center is non-political. Also unlike those groups, the Center will criticize and/or praise people on either side of the political aisle.
Media Matters for America busted the Breitbart hate machine machine for using an image that was connected to a Nazi Germany-era magazine called Kladderdatsch.
In at least three instances, Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism website has used an image connected to a Nazi-era German magazine noted for anti-Semitic cartoons and pro-Hitler leanings.
Heidelberg University in Germany maintains an online archive of Kladderadatsch. From the magazine's March 29, 1942, edition:
In his book The Offensive Art, Leonard Freedman, professor emeritus of political science at UCLA, wrote that the periodical, which "burst into print in 1848," came to "serve the Nazi regime docilely." Calvin College professor Randall Bytwerk, an expert on Nazi and East German propaganda, has noted Kladderadatsch's shift toward using its cartoons to express support for the Nazis:
These cartoons all come from 1934 issues of Kladderadatsch, a leading German satirical weekly that quickly adopted to National Socialism. These cartoons reflect the Nazi propaganda line at the time: Germany wanted peace, whereas the rest of the world was preparing for war.Heidelberg University explained that the magazine became increasingly anti-Semitic after Hitler's rise.
Ben Armbruster at ThinkProgress Security had this revealing report on the Pro-Israeli AIPAC shills on the right demonizing ThinkProgress for its alleged "anti-Semitism" and "anti-Israeli" viewpoints:
Yesterday, Politico published an article written by Ben Smith purporting to highlight a divide on the left on Middle East policy. The story quoted sources — including former AIPAC spokesman Josh Block — saying that bloggers here at the Center for American Progress are “borderline anti-Semitic” and “anti-Israel.” In the process, Politico also cherry-picked a few posts out of hundreds ThinkProgress has written on Middle East issues to back up its case. Yet Politico misrepresented the posts in question and CAP’s wider Middle East positions.
Salon’s Justin Elliott reports today that Block sent out an email to a neoconservative journalist list-serv called “The Freedom Community” urging members to read and “amplify” Politico’s story, promoting it because in his view it shows that CAP bloggers are “anti-Israel” and vilify “pro-Israel Americans, Jews, Members of Congress, and pretty much anyone who thinks Iran with nuke is a problem, or supports a strong US-Israe [sic] relationship.” He said of our writing, “These are the words of anti-Semites, not Democratic political players.” Block also said in the email — without offering any evidence — that we engage in “hate speech.” (CAP and its affiliated bloggers are pro-Israel, support a strong U.S.-Israeli relationship, believe Iran with a nuclear weapon is a serious problem and do not vilify Jews). While it’s unclear who is on this list-serv, Jen Rubin at the Washington Post, Commentary and the Weekly Standard amplified the Politico article shortly after it was published.
Salon’s Elliott notes that Block is a go-to for reporters looking for a right-wing view on the Middle East and that he now is a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute and also a partner in a lobbying and PR firm, Davis-Block. “It’s not clear,” Elliott adds, “whether Block is shopping the oppo trove on progressive bloggers as a personal project or as part of work for a client.”
So the moral of the story is if a Liberal-leaning person even slightly criticizes Israel in any way, shape, or form, they get derided as "anti-Semitic", "Jew haters," or even "Palestinian Terrorist Sympathizers" by the Right-Wing Pro-Israel Lobby. In contrast, left-leaning pro-Israel/pro-peace group J Street, is a advocate of the "two-state solution", anti-Ahmadinejad, and anti-Hamas. It has led to accusations that J Street is "anti-Israel" to the Pro-Israel apologists on the Right, mostly due to its support for rights for Palestinians.