Published February 14, 2012
Harvard University Professor Alan Dershowitz compared the impact of Media Matters for America to the role Jeremiah Wright played in Barack Obama's 2008 campaign, saying the liberal media watchdog's comments on Israel could be a "game-changer" for Jewish voters in 2012.
The liberal, pro-Israel professor made the comparison in an interview with The Daily Caller, after reportedly warning earlier this month that Democrats would lose the 2012 race if they maintain their affiliation with MMFA.
"I think if swing voters in the pro-Israel community had any idea how extreme Media Matters was on issues of Israel and supporters of Israel, they would regard Media Matters as another, you know, Rev. Wright," he told The Daily Caller.
Obama eventually severed ties with Wright, his former pastor, after his inflammatory sermons were made public.
Dershowitz reportedly said the Obama administration must distance itself from Media Matters, a nonprofit, tax-exempt group.
"The Obama administration cannot have Media Matters and me or people who look to me for advice," Dershowitz is quoted saying. "We cannot be in the same tent. The tent is not big enough to include us."
Though the professor said he doesn't believe the administration and Media Matters are close, The Daily Caller reported on Monday that the group coordinates with members of the administration, and held weekly strategy calls with the White House and Center for American Progress.
Bloggers for Center for American Progress and Media Matters were criticized last year for using the term "Israel firster" – meant to derogate U.S. supporters of Israel who put their loyalties to the Jewish state above their own country.
That riled Jewish advocacy and anti-defamation groups. The Center for American Progress has implemented editorial changes since then, but Media Matters has not.