Home » » Dana Milbank: Plagiarist, Conspiracist, or just a Shill? A new propaganda machine is born: MMM--Media Matters & Milbank.

Dana Milbank: Plagiarist, Conspiracist, or just a Shill? A new propaganda machine is born: MMM--Media Matters & Milbank.

Written By mista sense on Saturday, July 31, 2010 | 4:59 AM

Does the Washington Post's Dana Milbank lift his stuff from Media Matters--or does he simply take dictation from Media Matters?   Let's take a look at the similarities between what Media Matters wrote on Friday, and what Milbank wrote for the WP.   As we can see, the two items show the same speculative sequencing of events to make the argument that Glenn Beck is a menace.   Milbank is either a plagiarist, or a co-conspirator. 

Here's the first part of an e-mail that Media Matters (MM)--the lefty group founded by David Brock, funded by George Soros--that was mass-blasted out yesterday, as part of MM's usual tub-thumping and fund-raising schtick:

------Original Message------
From: Ari Rabin-Havt, Media Matters for America
To: _____
Subject: What Has Beck Unleashed?
Sent: Jul 30, 2010 12:25

Dear ___:

On Sunday, July 18, unhinged ex-convict Byron Williams loaded his truck with guns and headed up a California highway with the intention of starting a revolution. If he hadn't been stopped by brave officers -- two of whom were wounded in the confrontation -- he could have carried out a plan to kill staff at progressive organizations, including the Tides Foundation.

What is the Tides Foundation? It's the nonprofit that Glenn Beck brags about "turning the light of day" on by constantly attacking it as part of a socialist conspiracy to destroy our government. The Tides Foundation isn't the shadowy political influence of Beck's fantasies -- it's a transparent organization known in the philanthropic community for doing good public service. Make no mistake: Beck's intention was to paint the Tides Foundation as a dangerous, increasingly powerful threat to freedom that must be stopped. And Williams set out to stop them.


OK, that was Friday--MM writes about a criminally insane man out to get the Tides Foundation, and blames the man's actions on Beck.   Of course, we don't even know where Byron Williams got his ideas from, and what his ideas were--we are just supposed to take MM's word for it. 

Next up, Milbank.  He's more than happy to take MM's word for everything.  Indeed, he is more than happy to take MM's words, period.  Here are the first few paragraphs of his column, datelined Sunday; note that Milbank uses the same set-up--crazy man stalks Tides Foundation, inspired by Beck, says MM, oops, I mean, Milbank:

Late on a Saturday night two weeks ago, an unemployed carpenter packed his mother's Toyota Tundra with guns and set off for San Francisco with a plan to kill progressives.

When California Highway Patrol officers stopped him on an interstate in Oakland for driving erratically, Byron Williams, wearing body armor, fired at police with a 9mm handgun, a shotgun and a .308-caliber rifle with armor-piercing bullets, Oakland police say. Shot and captured after injuring two officers, Williams, on parole for bank robbery, told investigators that he wanted "to start a revolution" by "killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU," according to a police affidavit. His mother, Janice, told the San Francisco Chronicle that her son had been watching television news and was upset by "the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items."

But what television news show could have directed the troubled man's ire toward the obscure Tides Foundation, which sounds as if it's dedicated to oceanography, or perhaps laundry detergent, but which is in fact a nonprofit that claims to support "sustainability, better education, solutions to the AIDS epidemic and human rights"?

A week after the incident, the mystery was solved. "Tides was one of the hardest things that we ever tried to explain, and everyone told us that we couldn't," Fox News host Glenn Beck told his radio listeners on Monday. "The reason why the blackboard" -- the prop Beck uses on his TV show to trace conspiracies -- "really became what the blackboard is, is because I was trying to explain Tides and how all of this worked." Beck accuses Tides of seeking to seize power and destroy capitalism, and he suggests that a full range of his enemies on the left all have "ties to the Tides Center." On Monday, he savored the fact that "no one knew what Tides was until the blackboard."


The similarities between MM's e-mail blast and Milbank's column are so strong that if MM wanted to, the group could nail Milbank for plagiarism--a firing offense at newspapers.   Milbank credits MM with providing anti-Beck information, but doesn't credit MM for writing the column for him. 

But instead of being mad, MM seemed delighted by Milbank's piece, which suggests that MM and Milbank were in this together all along.  Here's the way MM reported all of this on Saturday morning--see screen grab above, touting Milbank's column; note the arrow.   For its part, MM takes credit for providing the "research" to Milbank, but doesn't note that Milbank used the MM lede. 

So what to make of this combination?  MM and Milbank are like twins--maybe we should call the two of them simply, "MMM"--for Media Matters & Milbank.   A new propaganda machine is born, carrying lefty messages from Soros' wallet, to Brock's factoid mill, right into the pages of the Washington Post.

Which makes The Cable Gamer wonder: Does the WP have any ethics?  Does the paper care that its reporters are simply water-carriers for agenda-driven billionaires?  

And there's more to come: As reported earlier this year, Milbank is writing a book on Beck, with the not-so-unloaded title of "Tears of a Clown."  No doubt MM will praise that book too.  Although a better question is: Will MM write the book for Milbank?

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