Conservative website vows to 'unmask leftists in the media'

FILE: Oct. 10, 2013: The Rev. Al Sharpton receiving a citation from the Philadelphia City Council,  at City Hall in Philadelphia, Pa.

FILE: Oct. 10, 2013: The Rev. Al Sharpton receiving a citation from the Philadelphia City Council, at City Hall in Philadelphia, Pa.  (AP)

A California conservative group is launching a bare-knuckle campaign to expose the so-called liberal media and its advertisers -- vowing to knock down the highest-profile players and “unmask leftists in the media.”

“The media must be destroyed where they stand,” Truth Revolt, a new project by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, said Sunday before launching a website. “That is our mission.”

To be sure, its first target was MSNBC talk-show host Al Sharpton and major advertiser Ritz Crackers -- an opening flurry followed by at least 15 Sharpton-related stories over roughly the past week.

However, the attack on Ritz, sold in the United States under the Nabisco label and owned by parent company Mondelēz International, has resulted in some criticism among conservatives about a potential job-killing strategy in a slow-growing economy.

Horowitz has hired Breitbart News editor at large Ben Shapiro -- author, Harvard Law School graduate and a well-known voice of the young conservative movement.

The project has been branded as the conservative response to the George Soros-back Media Matters of America, which has used similar tactics to attack members of the so-called “right wing media.”

Horowitz, Shapiro and others also appear eager to take the fight beyond network TV.

“TruthRevolt understands that all politics is local, and therefore looks to fight leftist propaganda at the local level, monitoring local newspapers, television and radio,” according to the website. “TruthRevolt also seeks to stop the left dead in its tracks when it comes to training the next generation, our college campuses.

Exactly who is backing the entire Los Angeles-based Horowitz operation is unclear since the foundation is a 501 (c) 3 charity, which does not require it to disclose contributors on IRS filings.

However, the foundation reported a total of $5.5 million in contributions in 2011, the most recent available year.

The foundation -- whose operations include the project Jihad Watch and which puts out publications and hosts a variety of salons with high-profile conservatives -- also reported $6.4 million in total revenue in 2011, including $914,293 from programming.

Horowitz started the group in 1988 under the name the Center for the Study of Popular Culture to “establish a conservative presence in Hollywood and show how popular culture had become a political battleground.” The name was change in 2006 to the foundation.

Horowitz could not be reached for comment despite several attempts.

However, Shapiro recently told The Daily Beast that boycotts like the ones aimed at Sharpton and Ritz are just the beginning.

“Politics is a hard-nosed game, and the right has been playing Marquess of Queensbury rules for a long time on this,” he told the news website.