Recent published reports that David Brock, head of Media Matters, had his own armed bodyguard while the organization took more than $400,000 from the anti-gun Joyce Foundation to push "gun and public safety issues," offers one more revealing example of crass elitism.
Simply put, instead of being a media watchdog, Media Matters practices checkbook advocacy journalism while its head man practices world-class hypocrisy.
A Feb. 14 Media Matters diatribe defended a court ruling in Illinois that contends the right to keep and bear arms is confined to one's home. Media Matters blasts what it calls "Right Wing media outlets" that took to task the opinion by federal Judge Sue Myerscough, an Obama appointee, that rejected a lawsuit seeking to overturn the Illinois ban on carrying loaded firearms outside the home for personal protection.
Had Myerscough determined that the right of free speech or free press is confined to one's home, Media Matters would be screaming to the heavens. However, because this is a gun rights issue, and Brock's organization is financially obligated to the Joyce Foundation's anti-gun agenda, naturally they would defend a proposition that is fundamentally indefensible.
It should surprise nobody that the Daily Caller reported that $612,500 of Media Matters assets was "restricted by donors to be applied to gun and public safety issues" at the end of 2010.
Meanwhile, Brock's personal conduct suggests he believes himself deserving of special privilege. While fronting for a group that advocates general public disarmament, he reportedly enjoyed the luxury of armed protection. To do what Brock allegedly did - have an armed "personal assistant" close by his side nearly all the time, plus have security at his Washington, D.C. home, as the Daily Caller reported smacks of the worst kind of double-standard elitism.
The sorry truth is that the Brock story is not unusual for high-profile anti-gunners who argue that firearms in the hands of average citizens pose a public safety risk, while guns carried by bodyguards and "personal assistants" are perfectly fine.
Published reports about Brock's hired guns suggest that they may have been packing in the District of Columbia, which is strictly illegal despite the landmark Supreme Court ruling in the Heller case, which struck down the District's handgun ban. If those reports are accurate, they reinforce the notion that elitist gun prohibitionists believe the laws apply to everyone but themselves.
This social bigotry against average citizens exercising a fundamental civil right to keep and bear arms fits a pattern among self-anointed "progressives" that would have us "progress" ourselves back to the Medieval era, when only the ruling class afforded themselves the right to go armed, and everyone else belonged to the serf class. Elitists like Brock presume they are somehow endowed with special privilege to rule over the rest of us and to dictate the common lifestyle.
That the Joyce Foundation would earmark more than $400,000 for Media Matters to focus on firearms issues is all the confirmation one needs that the organization has a political agenda, and that would be reason enough to question their journalistic integrity. It supports the notion that Media Matters is for sale; that its opinion can be bought.
News and public opinion are not for sale, and neither is a civil right, except, perhaps, in the Media Matters office. Whatever Mr. Brock believes is good for him should likewise be good for everyone else, and vice versa. If he believes the world would be safer with fewer firearms, he should lead the charge by disarming his bodyguards and sending them far away.
Everybody else can wait to see how that works out for Brock before they make up their own minds.
Alan Gottlieb is chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arm and founder of the Second Amendment Foundation.
Dave Workman is senior editor of TheGunMag.com. They are co-authors of "Shooting Blanks: Facts Don't Matter to the Gun Ban Crowd."