Hogan's Alley

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Media Matters: The Non-Denial Denial

In the film "All The President's Men", Washington Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein are seen several times describing one or another of the mealy-mouthed evasions by the Nixon Administration as a "non-denial denial".

In recent days, the right's perennial angry old man, Bill O'Reilly, alleged that George Soros, the left wing's perennial rich angry old man, was a principal funder of Media Matters. Media Matters is the left's main organization to sift through the press and media for anything they material that can be useful in the ongoing game of "My side is not being treated fairly in the press".

Media Matters' posting on their website today is extraordinary. They provide extensive video and written coverage of O'Reilly's charges. Presented fully and almost without comment. But their only denial of the charge is in three sentences, two of which are the same sentence.

In the sub-headline of the piece appears the following sentence:

"In fact, Soros has never given money to Media Matters, either directly or through another organization." (bold type from original)

In the body, the following two sentences appear:

"As previously indicated, Soros has never given money to Media Matters, either directly or through another organization. If he wanted to fund Media Matters, he or Open Society Institute (OSI), a grant-making foundation he established in 1993 to conduct his philanthropy, could simply write a check directly to Media Matters, as he and OSI do to numerous entities."

Follow the link under the word "indicated" and you get nothing more than another page with the same simple sentence.

All of which begs the question, why did they not deny they were funded by the organizations that O'Reilly claims are the conduits for Soros' money, The Tides Foundation, Democracy Alliance, Move On and the Center For American Progress. These organizations, O'Reilly charges are funded by Soros. That is also not denied by the posting. The only reasonable assumption is that Media Matters in fact does receive much of its funding from those organizations.

Their only defense is their unsupported assertion that none of Soros' money reaches their coffers. Yeah, and Tony Soprano supports his family on the proceeds of his waste management businesses. Money laundering to maintain "plausible deniability".

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