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Trey Gowdy's Select Committee Investigates Media Matters

When Republicans go looking for dirt, no one is exempt.
Trey Gowdy's Select Committee Investigates Media Matters
Image from: Media Matters

Back in 2013 when the Groundswell messaging gang, led by Islamophobic warmongers Frank Gaffney and Jerry Boykin, was coordinating their attack over the Benghazi! attacks, they made it clear their goal was to have a Select Committee with unlimited subpoena power in order to go after anyone and everyone they perceived as having dirt they could use to toss at Hillary Clinton.

Now it's 2015, they have their committee, despite conclusion after conclusion that there's nothing to see here, nothing at all. They know it, too, so now they're just wasting taxpayer money going after organizations like Media Matters.

David Brock isn't going to take that one silently. Not at all. In a post on the Media Matters site, he writes:

During his deposition last week before a congressional panel investigating the 2012 tragedy in Benghazi, Libya, Sidney Blumenthal -- a former journalist and Clinton White House adviser and my long-time friend -- was asked more than 45 questions by the Republicans about his relationships with me, Media Matters, and a pair of super PACs I founded, American Bridge and Correct The Record.

By comparison, Blumenthal was asked by those same Republicans fewer than 20 questions about the terrorist attack in Benghazi, only four questions about U.S. security there, and zero questions about the U.S. presence in Benghazi, according to a fact sheet circulated by Democratic committee staff.

The chairman of the House Select Committee, Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, was especially animated in quizzing Blumenthal, who, as the press reported weeks ago, is a paid consultant to my aforementioned groups. Gowdy asked Blumenthal about his role in the production and promotion of four Media Matters research posts that were sharply critical of various false claims made by conservative media on Benghazi. Another Republican asked if Blumenthal had written or edited a recent statement from Correct the Record pointing out the partisan agenda behind the committee's ongoing investigation. (Blumenthal testified, accurately, that he had no role in any of it, though even if he had, what does that have to do with the avowed purpose of the committee?)


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Had the Republicans done some research, they would have discovered that our relationship is no secret. Blumenthal and I both wrote about it in our respective memoirs of the Clinton White House years, The Clinton Wars and Blinded by the Right, both published more than a decade ago.

But this is so typical of Republicans, particularly when it comes to the Clintons. It's an obsession, one that has poisoned the media well in so many ways. I'm astonished when I hear self-professed liberals repeating stories about Hillary Clinton that simply are not true, or when those same liberals repeat right-wing lies that have simply been repeated over and over and over.

It makes total sense for them to go after the one single organization making sure the lies aren't left to languish and leak into everyone's idea of who Hillary Clinton is or is not.

At this point, it's obvious that the committee's intended target is potential Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. If all the Republicans have left to nail her with is Media Matters and Blumenthal, this is an investigation that may as well shut down. There isn't even a whiff of scandal here. Media Matters sources of all its research to publicly available information and original reporting, and we make our work product public on this website. If the Republicans want to figure out what we're up to, the answer is a click away.

Mind you, these are the very same Republicans who whined and yelled over the IRS "targeting" their right wing organizations in order to intimidate the IRS into granting that coveted tax-exempt status that would mask their megadonors.

If this exercise in dirt-digging had been conducted by Democrats, the army of think tanks and free legal organizations would be mounting a full-scale offensive right now to sue the hell out of that chairman in order to shut down their bogus inquiries.

Perhaps it is time for progressives to take a page out of their books and force Trey Gowdy to disgorge the transcript from that deposition he's guarding so carefully. We paid for it, and we're entitled to see it.

Any liberal lawyers out there want to take this on? Anybody?

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