Sometimes a story is just too good to let pass
The recent revelation that the head of Media Matters walked the streets of Washington with a Glock-toting personal assistant acting as a bodyguard may make it a little awkward for the group the next time it seeks a donation from a gun control advocacy group.
Media Matters reportedly took more than $400,000 from the Joyce Foundation specifically earmarked to promote a $600,000 initiative on “gun and public safety issues.” At the same time, Media Matters’ gun-guarded boss David Brock reportedly obsessed over his own security.
“It doesn’t look good,” said Fraser Seitel, president of Emerald Partners Communications and a public relations expert who authored the book “Rethinking Reputation.”
“But it is a gray area in terms of public relations. Since (Media Matters) is so anti-NRA, to have their members packing heat leaves them open to criticism,” he said.
Brock reportedly told confidantes that he feared for his safety and needed hired guns to keep him safe. The District’s gun laws are among the strictest in the nation, which raises the question of whether Brock’s assistant at times was in violation of its ban on carrying a concealed weapon.
“He had more security than a Third World dictator,” one Media Matters employee told The Daily Caller. Brock’s guards rarely left Brock’s side and even accompanied him to his home in a tony Washington neighborhood where they “stood post” nightly, the source told the DC.
Media Matters proudly claims to be engaged in an information war to bring down Fox News, and has been exposed as a distributor of liberal talking points that regularly find their way into the reporting of mainstream media outlets, according to The Daily Caller.
Officials at the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation did not return repeated calls for comment. The nonprofit doles out donations to a variety of groups to address such issues as urban public education, job training, the environment, and gun violence.
Brock and Media Matters seem to be suffering a generalized nervous breakdown, but especially so Brock.
David Brock was smoking a cigarette on the roof of his Washington, D.C. office one day in the late fall of 2010 when his assistant and two bodyguards suddenly appeared and whisked him and his colleague Eric Burns down the stairs.
Brock, the head of the liberal nonprofit Media Matters for America, had told friends and co-workers that he feared he was in imminent danger from right-wing assassins and needed a security team to keep him safe.
The threat he faced while smoking on his roof? “Snipers,” a former co-worker recalled.
“He had more security than a Third World dictator,” one employee said, explaining that Brock’s bodyguards would rarely leave his side, even accompanying him to his home in an affluent Washington neighborhood each night where they “stood post” to protect him. “What movement leader has a detail?” asked someone who saw it.
Extensive interviews with a number of Brock’s current and former colleagues at Media Matters, as well as with leaders from across the spectrum of Democratic politics, reveal an organization roiled by its leader’s volatile and erratic behavior and struggles with mental illness, and an office where Brock’s executive assistant carried a handgun to public events in order to defend his boss from unseen threats.
Paging Mr. Schadenfreude!