Media Matters founder David Brock criticized the Washington Free Beacon for its reporting on Hillary Clinton before citing the Free Beacon‘s reporting in his own attacks on Rand Paul during a speech at the Clinton School of Public Service dedicated to "Countering the Culture of Clinton Hatred."
With his comments, Brock joined critics of the Free Beacon including Ron Paul and Ecuadorian strongman Rafael Correa.
Brock lashed out at the Free Beacon for its story last month on the Hillary Papers, which examined an archive of correspondence and diaries compiled by Clinton’s closest friend, the late political science professor Diane Blair.
"Using a familiar sexist trope as a marketing tool, the Beacon story lit up the sky with the false claim that her own friend had described Mrs. Clinton as ‘ruthless,’" said Brock, according to a speech transcript. "Sadly, even the most esteemed news organizations in the country felt obliged to file their own stories chasing the right-wing website."
Other media outlets criticized by Brock included Fox News, the Drudge Report, the Daily Caller, and Breitbart.
"Successor websites to Drudge—Breitbart.com, The Daily Caller and the Washington Free Beacon—have as their sole goal slandering their political opponents," Brock said. "Their function in the media eco-system is to launder dirt fed to them by right-wing operatives and dress it up as real journalism—all in the expectation that the mainstream will be goaded into following along."
Brock, a former reporter for the conservative American Spectator, broke with the right in the late 1990s and went on to found the left-leaning media criticism shop Media Matters. He also leads the Democratic super PAC American Bridge and the pro-Clinton war room Correct the Record.
Despite his critique of this website's work on Hillary Clinton, Brock was quick to cite reporting by the Free Beacon in his own critique of Rand Paul.
Brock accused Paul of wanting to "take women back to the 19th century" and slammed him for criticizing Hillary Clinton over "a long-ago private indiscretion by President Clinton."
"It’s not surprising that Rand Paul is obsessed with something that happened long ago," said Brock. "His general mindset seems stuck in the past. Paul may pretend to stick up for women, but at a time when women in America are still fighting for basic rights, he leads a movement that wants to take women back to the 19th century."
Brock said Paul would need to "answer for the secessionist rantings of a former top aide who is a cult worshiper of John Wilkes Booth" as well as "for the anti-Semitic and racist material published by a newsletter his father Ron Paul oversaw—a newsletter that was the megaphone of a movement Rand Paul has now inherited."
Paul came under fire last July after the Washington Free Beacon reported on his social media director Jack Hunter’s decade-long career as a pro-secessionist radio shock jock known as the "Southern Avenger." Hunter later resigned from Paul’s office.
Paul’s father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas), published newsletters under his name that included anti-Semitic and racist commentary in the 1980s and 1990s. The elder Paul has denied he was aware of the incendiary content.
Paul was the only potential Republican presidential candidate mentioned in Brock’s speech.