I Never Liked Jason Mattera

February 20, 2010

It's particularly ironic and disappointing to see the New York Times use their newspaper to smear Jason Mattera because of this CPAC speech. I think Jason and I have some things in common.

Andrew Breitbart, no shrinking violet, calls Kate Zernike out for it in this video. More on Zernike and a call for an apology here.

"I'm just going to show you what I had to deal with today," Breitbart said. "Kate Zernike of the New York Times, are you in the room? Are you in the room? You're despicable. You're a despicable human being. You're the New York Times here. You came to CPAC to get your prey and here's your prey, Jason Mattera from HotAir and also from Young America's Foundation. This is the headline – ‘CPAC Speaker Bashes Obama, in Racial Tones.'"

As a writer and political blogger, I consciously use an author's voice to get in people's faces, to shake them up. It's a style, if you will, not a shtick. But I'm of an older generation than Jason is, so his on camera brashness always struck me as off-putting – which is not the same as saying it's wrong, by the way. The reaction is an ingrained reflex. I imagine some folks react to my style of writing the same way. But it's not who I am, nor is Jason Mattera the activist all of who he is.

Jason and I likely weren't exactly sure who the other was the other night as we rode an elevator up several floors, along with Michelle and some others, to the Freedom Works blogger bash. I'd already congratulated Michelle on the sale of Hot Air. Other than some small talk, no one really said much.

It wasn't until yesterday that Jason and I met and talked a bit. We don't live all that far from one another and I hope we can get together for dinner, or drinks, as discussed. Interestingly enough, I was immediately struck by what a genuinely nice and even gracious guy Jason seems to be. One also gets a very real sense that he's quite sincere and well-meaning. I can only hope that some who've read me, then met me, get a similar sense of who I am apart from the bomb- and flame-throwing, politically activist voice with which I often write.

Kate Zernike doesn't know Jason Mattera. Yet, knowingly, or not, she used the power of the New York Times to caricature, demean and ultimately marginalize him – and all of us on the Right. The Right needs this new generation of political activists Jason seems to represent. They are taking our much needed activism to new forms - up a notch. We have to do that if we ever want to turn things around. Ignored, or appeased, as some aligned with the Right seem intent on doing, the Left and elites will only continue what they've been doing to us for years.

I'd bet money that were Zernike to hear similar rhetoric with the same dialect from a friend or colleague, she wouldn't give it a second thought, let alone mis-characterize it as racist. One way or another, that is what they do to all of us on the Right. And whether they do it intentionally, or not, doesn't matter.

We can't allow them to keep getting away with it. We need the Andrew Breitbarts and Jason Matteras of the Right; they deserve our encouragement and support. They can help us move this movement forward in ways we never have before. The Left realizes it. So, don't expect them to relent. Standing up to the Left always puts a target on your back. It's long past time for the Right to shoot back.

And Kate Zernike needs to apologize to Jason Mattera for so crudely depicting someone she obviously doesn't know in the pages of the New York Times.

Oh, and I did tell Jason it was good to see he has a much better haircut than he did in this video of him confronting Charlie Rangel. So, I'm not a complete milquetoast in person, either, … in case you were wondering.

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  1. Mike2Cents says:

    I agree re: the NY Times piece.
    But ironically your are whining about a tactic that is much more typical of you, Malkin, etc.
    And Breitbart in calling her/the times out, is ten times as shrill (‘You’re despicable. You’re a despicable human being.’)
    So while the charge is accurate…it’s just silly how selective your and your colleagues outrage can be over these types of things.

  2. ddub says:

    Mike2Cents, your argument might hold water if both sides are slandering each other, but what we are starting to see is a conservative movement that is no longer willing to allow themselves to get smacked around. You have to be able to recognize right and wrong and act accordingly, so pick a side schmuck!

  3. Mike2Cents says:

    No…that is not my point.
    Sorry if it was lost on you.
    I am saying/suggesting that these types of extreme name calling is more regularly found in blogs such as Dan’s, Malkin, etc. (Gee..heard anyone called a ‘fascist’ lately?).
    Soooooo….it’s just silly for Dan to speak out for deceny in this regard.

  4. ddub says:

    I completely understood your point, maybe you didn’t understand mine. What you have to ask yourself is why extreme name calling(as you call it) is being used against those that loathe our Constitution, that use character assassination to marginalize their opponents and use lies to strike down a peaceful patriotic movement to restore power to the people. Why should we sit idly by and let these things happen? If you haven’t read the constitution I suggest doing so to understand why a word like fascist is being used these days. I’m afraid there is no more time left for decency in debate on the conservative side for some of us recognize that if we don’t reverse course there will be nothing left to debate on.

  5. FatBaldnSassy says:

    Kate Zernike has a right to write what she thinks, but she also has an obligation as a so-called journalist to report the facts. She clearly screwed this one up with the racial stuff falsely attributed to Mattera, the nonexistent Chris Rock allegations, and the complete lack of documentation about exactly where under thirty America is on the current economic catastrophe. Kate has engaged in less than factual gimmickry before; the Kerry-Swift Boat controversy comes to mind. Perhaps the NYT can provide her with a column instead of a news gig, so she doesn’t get caught lying quite so much.

  6. ddub says:

    “Kate Zernike has a right to write what she thinks”. That is not the job of a news reporter, a news reporter is to report what they see and hear without putting it through a partisan filter. Again, this is nothing new hear, she and almost everyone else in the media are water carriers.
    Journalism is in such bad shape that the National Enquirer is being considered for the Pulitzer for the John Edwards story.

  7. Despicable is a fine adjective to employ in this fight. We should bring every weight to bear on people who race-monger for the horror and deceit they knowingly practice.
    Please google “hidden racism” to see what we’re really up against: a whole new cadre of Obama lawyers.

  8. dorf says:

    …Standing up to the Left always puts a target on your back….
    In this day I think the target is on the front,,,

  9. templar knight says:

    “Kate Zernike has a right to write what she thinks.”
    True, but as a former managing editor of a newspaper, there were many times when I had reporters add, subtract or change parts of their stories that included opinion, bad facts or prejudice. That was part of my job, including headlining, which I never allowed a reporter to do. You get more accurate news that way.

  10. tom says:

    Sure Ms. Zenike has a right to her, just like Malkin and Riehl have theirs. No one disputes that. What ticks us off is that Zernike and the rest of the Times claim to be objective. But Zernike’s latest goes beyond letting her prejudice shine through her reporting. She didn’t just slant the facts to comport with her personal bias. She made stuff up. Repeat: She made it up.

  11. Montese says:

    Breitbart did the right thing in calling attention to bad reporting. I hadn’t paid attention to the story until he did it. Made me go watch Jason Mattera’s speech, which was not at all as Zernike described. Too bad lamestream media. We got the Internet.

  12. FeFe says:

    Substitute in the special needs community here and you might begin to see why we cheer on Sarah Palin; even if it is just a cartoon. Drill here drill now for conservative support too.

  13. FUBAR says:

    “No…that is not my point.
    Sorry if it was lost on you.
    I am saying/suggesting that these types of extreme name calling is more regularly found in blogs such as Dan’s, Malkin, etc. (Gee..heard anyone called a ‘fascist’ lately?).
    Soooooo….it’s just silly for Dan to speak out for deceny in this regard.
    Posted by: Mike2Cents | Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 03:16 PM”
    You must be joking. You people are accusing US of calling you fascists? After 8 years of Bushitler and his Brownshirts? Shredding the Constitution? Torture? Domestic SPYing?
    You’ve got some nerve, I’ll give you that.

  14. Ritchie The Riveter says:

    Civility in the face of intellectual dishonesty is counterproductive with respect to maintaining a sound society, for such civility gives the dishonesty an appearance of legitimacy.
    Tell you what, Mike2Cents … Y’ALL STOP THE LYIN’ … WE’LL STOP THE YELLIN!

  15. neomom says:

    So someone can casually try to destroy the credibility of an entire movement with a false “racism” charge and that’s OK because she said it nicely and when someone calls her despicable that is being too harsh.
    yeesh – what color is the sky in Mike’s world.
    One of the best things that has happened in the last year is that conservatives are now willing to boldly throw the “BS” penalty flag.
    Its about darned time.

  16. Mike2Cents says:

    Dan links to Guy Benson saying this:
    “But racism is the ultimate scarlet letter, as it should be — if accurate. Some on the Left continue to toss it about irresponsibly and unfairly for political purposes. It’s disgraceful, and it must stop. If it doesn’t, the charge will lose all meaning, thus allowing actual racists to shrug off the label and leading average Americans to tune out such discussions altogether.”
    I agree w/ this fully.
    But the Right seems to want the label to disappear completely…hence Malkin’s ‘raacciist’ jibe –
    she doesn’t ever say ‘faaascissst’ because she and many folks here want to be able to throw that word around as loosely and irresponsibly as some folks do ‘racist’.
    Fine to call out the Times on this – but for many of you, it’s just a political card – nothing you really believe in.

  17. buzz says:

    so you make a lot of money reading minds there Mike? How about lotto numbers?

  18. Mike2Cents says:

    Well, buzz, I did actually win $20 on a scratch card the other day…
    Look…you guys can whine about being ‘accused’ of something all day long.
    You still are not getting or responding to my point.
    To simplify – I do not see much, if any, concern or calling out over actual racism. Just indignation ant any false labels being applied….and I accept, a proper indignation.
    But just try – if you can – to spot as easily and quickly similar false labels thrown at progressives.
    Then maybe this hand-wringing won’t ring so hollow.
    (And not to cast a too wide net…plenty of examples of ‘conservatives’ standing up to actual racism rightfully and righteously.)