The recent revelation that the head of Media Matters walked the streets of Washington with a Glock-toting personal assistant acting as a bodyguard may make it a little awkward for the group the next time it seeks a donation from a gun control advocacy group.
Media Matters reportedly took more than $400,000 from the Joyce Foundation specifically earmarked to promote a $600,000 initiative on "gun and public safety issues." At the same time, Media Matters' gun-guarded boss David Brock reportedly obsessed over his own security.
"It doesn't look good," said Fraser Seitel, president of Emerald Partners Communications and a public relations expert who authored the book "Rethinking Reputation."
"But it is a gray area in terms of public relations. Since (Media Matters) is so anti-NRA, to have their members packing heat leaves them open to criticism," he said.
Brock reportedly told confidantes that he feared for his safety and needed hired guns to keep him safe. The District's gun laws are among the strictest in the nation, which raises the question of whether Brock's assistant at times was in violation of its ban on carrying a concealed weapon.
"He had more security than a Third World dictator," one Media Matters employee told The Daily Caller. Brock's guards rarely left Brock's side and even accompanied him to his home in a tony Washington neighborhood where they "stood post" nightly, the source told the DC.
Media Matters proudly claims to be engaged in an information war to bring down Fox News, and has been exposed as a distributor of liberal talking points that regularly find their way into the reporting of mainstream media outlets, according to The Daily Caller.
Officials at the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation did not return repeated calls for comment. The nonprofit doles out donations to a variety of groups to address such issues as urban public education, job training, the environment, and gun violence.
A July 2010 grant of $400,000 to Media Matters was specifically targeted to support a gun and public safety issue initiative. As part of the initiative, Media Matters sent a representative, David Holthouse, undercover to a shooting sports trade show and had him write about the experience.
In a Media Matters article entitled, SHOT Show 2011: "The Second Amendment Ain't About Duck Hunting," Holthouse wrote that "increased lethality has become the nicotine of the firearms industry."
"Every year gun makers roll out new lines of assault rifles, tactical shotguns and handguns that hold even more bullets, or fire even faster, or boast new gadgetry that supposedly enables their user to kill other human beings more efficiently than ever before," reads a line from the January 2011 article.
Holthouse previously wrote an article for a Denver publication claiming he once planned a murder in such detail that he traveled to a neighboring state to buy a gun with a scratched-off serial number so it could not be traced back to him. His intended target was someone who attacked him as a child, forcibly raping him as a 7 year old, according to the article.
The latest revelations about Media Matters has raised questions in Washington, with some lawmakers in Congress considering opening a investigation into the group's tax-exempt status, according to reports in The Daily Caller.