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Trump Allies Targeting Journalists Are Following Media Matters Template: NY Times

New York Times media reporter Jeremy Peters appeared on Morning Joe on Monday morning and discussed a stunning report he co-authored with Ken Vogel that detailed how a networks of Trump allies are digging up negative information on journalists critical of President Donald Trump.

The report claimed that a network of conservatives allied with the White House is pursuing an aggressive operation designed to discredit news organizations that are deemed hostile to the president by publicizing damaging information about journalists. Citing four sources familiar with the plan, the report found that the group has compiled dossiers of potentially embarrassing social media posts and other public statements by hundreds of people who work at some of the country’s most prominent news organizations. The research is said to extend to members of journalists’ families who are active in politics as well as liberal activists and other political opponents of the president.

From the report:

The operation has compiled social media posts from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and stored images of the posts that can be publicized even if the user deletes them, said the people familiar with the effort. One claimed that the operation had unearthed potentially “fireable” information on “several hundred” people.

“Only a fraction of what the network claims to have uncovered has been made public, the people said, with more to be disclosed as the 2020 election heats up. The research is said to extend to members of journalists’ families who are active in politics, as well as liberal activists and other political opponents of the president…”

MSNBC host Joe Scarbrough asked how this effort is any different from controversial and partisan media watchdogs like the progressive Media Matters or the conservative Newsbusters. “How is this different from what say Media Matters has been doing for quite some time and what NewsBusters has been doing in defense of Donald Trump?”

Peters replied that the reported effort is “not really all that much different,” adding that  “in fact the people we spoke to, we interviewed them for the story, kind of uncovering the depth of this here told us that their template was Media Matters and kind of this exhaustive — basically what’s called opposition research that people do all the time.”

Peters added that the difference is that “it’s being deployed against very low-level people in a lot of cases,” adding “if you look at what these guys have uncovered here and who it’s hurt its low-level journalists at places like CNN. A photo editor who had nothing to do with the coverage of Donald Trump. Media Matters would do after big targets at Fox News, the anchors like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson. These guys that we have investigated here for our piece here will go after anybody no matter how low level or irrelevant to the coverage of American politics.”

Watch above via MSNBC.

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