The Info List - David Brock

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DAVID BROCK (born November 2, 1962) is an American liberal/progressive political operative, author, and commentator who founded the media watchdog group Media Matters for America . He has been described by _Time _ as "one of the most influential operatives in the Democratic Party."

Brock began his career as a right-wing investigative reporter during the 1990s who wrote the book _ The Real Anita Hill _ and the Troopergate story, which led to Paula Jones filing a lawsuit against Bill Clinton . In the late 1990s he switched sides, aligning himself with the Democratic Party, and in particular with Bill and Hillary Clinton.

In 2004, he founded Media Matters for America , a non-profit organization that describes itself as a "progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media." He has since also founded super PACs called American Bridge 21st Century and Correct the Record , has become a board member of the super PAC Priorities USA Action , and has been elected chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

_ The Nation _ has described Brock as a "conservative journalistic assassin turned progressive empire-builder;" _ National Review _ has called him a "right-wing assassin turned left-wing assassin;" and _ Politico _ has profiled him as a "former right-wing journalist-turned-pro-Clinton crusader."


* 1 Early life and education

* 2 Journalism career

* 2.1 Conservative journalism * 2.2 _The Real Anita Hill_ * 2.3 Troopergate * 2.4 _The Seduction of Hillary Rodham_

* 3 Changing sides

* 3.1 _Blinded by the Right_ * 3.2 _The Republican Noise Machine_

* 4 Political operative career

* 4.1 Media Matters for America * 4.2 Hillary Clinton\'s 2008 campaign * 4.3 American Bridge 21st century * 4.4 Correct the Record * 4.5 Priorities USA Action * 4.6 The American Democracy Legal Fund * 4.7 American Independent Institute * 4.8 CREW * 4.9 _Killing the Messenger_ * 4.10 Purchase of _Blue Nation Review_ * 4.11 Hillary Clinton\'s 2016 campaign

* 5 Personal life

* 6 Controversies

* 6.1 Potential legal conflicts * 6.2 Comments about Brock

* 7 Books * 8 References * 9 External links


Brock was born in Washington, D.C., and was adopted by Dorothea and Raymond Brock. He has a younger sister, Regina. Brock was raised Catholic. His father was a marketing executive, whom Brock has described as "a Pat Buchanan conservative."

Brock grew up in Wood-Ridge, New Jersey , where he went to Our Lady of the Assumption School, and later attended Paramus Catholic High School in Paramus, New Jersey . During his sophomore year of high school, Brock's family moved to the Dallas, Texas area where Brock attended Newman Smith High School . Brock became editor of his high school newspaper, which he says he "fashioned into a crusading liberal weekly in the middle of the Reaganite Sunbelt."

Brock attended the University of California, Berkeley , where he worked as a reporter and editor for _ The Daily Californian ,_ the campus newspaper. Brock arrived at college as a liberal Democrat, but at Berkeley he was "repelled by the culture of doctrinaire leftism" and turned to the political right. The turning point came with a column he wrote for _The Daily Californian_, which supported the US invasion of Grenada, and led to demands he resign from the newspaper staff. "I thought it was McCarthyism of the left," Brock later said. "I thought it was extremely intolerant." He then founded a neoconservative weekly, the _Berkeley Journal_.

He graduated from Berkeley with a B.A. in history in 1985.



While he was at Berkeley, Brock published an op-ed in _The Wall Street Journal _ entitled “Combating Those Campus Marxists.” It drew the attention of John Podhoretz , who at the time was the editor of Insight, a weekly newsmagazine published by _The Washington Times _. Podhoretz flew Brock to Washington, D.C., for an interview and hired him as a writer of the weekly conservative news magazine _ Insight on the News ,_ a sister publication of _The Washington Times_, a job Brock took up in 1986.

After working at Insight, Brock spent some time as a fellow at The Heritage Foundation .


Main article: The Real Anita Hill

In March 1992, _ The American Spectator _ published a 17,000-word article in which Brock challenged the claims of Anita Hill , who had accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. Shortly thereafter Brock became a full-time staff member at that publication. In 1993, Brock expanded his article into a book, _The Real Anita Hill_. Brock's description of Hill in the book as "a bit nutty and a bit slutty" was widely quoted.

The book became a best-seller. It was later attacked in a book review in _ The New Yorker _ by Jane Mayer , a reporter for _The New Yorker,_ and Jill Abramson , who was at that time a reporter for _The Wall Street Journal _. The two later expanded their article into the book _Strange Justice,_ which cast Anita Hill in a much more sympathetic light. It, too, was a best-seller. Brock replied to their book with a book review of his own in _The American Spectator._


Main article: Troopergate (Bill Clinton)

In the January 1994, issue of _The American Spectator,_ Brock, by then on staff at the magazine, published a story about Bill Clinton 's time as governor of Arkansas that made accusations that bred Troopergate . Among other things, the story contained the first printed reference to Paula Jones , referring to a woman named "Paula" who state troopers said offered to be Clinton's partner. Jones called Brock's account of her encounter with Clinton "totally wrong," and she later sued Clinton for sexual harassment , a case that became entangled in the independent counsel 's investigation of the Whitewater controversy , and set in motion a series of developments that led to the exposure of Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky and, ultimately, to Clinton's impeachment trial. The story received an award later that year from Joseph Farah 's Western Journalism Center , and was partially responsible for a rise in the magazine's circulation.


Main article: The Seduction of Hillary Rodham

After the success of _The Real Anita Hill_, The Free Press paid Brock a $550,000 advance to write a book about Hillary Clinton . The expectation was that it would be a takedown in the style of his writings on Anita Hill and Bill Clinton. The project, however, took a different turn, and the resulting book, _The Seduction of Hillary Rodham_, proved to be largely sympathetic to Mrs. Clinton. Having received a $1 million advance and a tight one-year deadline from Simon their relationship ended in a bitter, three-year-long legal battle in which "Brock and Grey traded angry accusations, ... replete with charges of blackmail, theft and financial malfeasance" related to a Rehoboth Beach, Delaware house that the two once shared. Grey filed a lawsuit against Brock in January 2011, and Brock countersued Grey in March 2011. The dispute was settled at the end of 2011 on confidential terms. On 22 March 2017, Brock suffered a heart attack whilst at work at Media Matters headquarters; he was expected to fully recover.



Brock's simultaneous involvement with Correct the Record, American Bridge, and Priorities USA raised legal questions, given that the first two groups work closely with Clinton's campaign while Priorities USA is legally prohibited from doing so. Brock claimed to have stopped working directly with American Bridge, although its staffers continued to operate out of his office. Paul Ryan, a lawyer at the Campaign Legal Center, considered complaining about Brock to the Federal Election Commission and Justice Department, charging that he was "creating new ways to undermine campaign regulation."


In 2001, Jonah Goldberg wrote in _National Review_ that while Brock has been "hailed by liberals for 'coming clean,' they would never really trust him." He quoted reporter Jill Abramson as having said that "the problem with Brock's credibility" is that "once you admit you've knowingly written false things, how do you know when to believe what he writes?" Similarly, _The Guardian_ referred in 2014 to "residual unease among some liberal operatives that Brock's conversion story fits into a pattern of opportunism and self-promotion rather than ideological transformation." Observing in 2015 that Brock had admitted to mudslinging before, _The Daily Beast_ noted a difficulty in dispatching fears he would do it again.

Brock's claim that the Clintons have never committed any wrongdoing has received criticisms from many, including fellow Democrats, who have cited instances of abuse.

Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks criticized Brock’s negative coverage of the Bernie Sanders 2016 Presidential Campaign, specifically the invention of the " Bernie Bro " controversy. Uygur said that Brock’s January 10, 2017 open letter of apology to Sanders and his voters was disingenuous because it was motivated by a desire to raise money from wealthy democratic donors and to foster a perception of himself as being a member of the US progressive movement.


* _The Real Anita Hill: The Untold Story _. Free Press, 1993. ISBN 978-0-02-904656-2 * _ The Seduction of Hillary Rodham _. 1996, Free Press. ISBN 978-0-684-83770-3 * _Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative ._ 2002, Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-4000-4728-4 * _The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy ._ 2004, Crown. ISBN 978-1-4000-4875-5 * _Free Ride: John McCain and the Media_ with Paul Waldman. 2008, Anchor. ISBN 0-307-27940-5 * _The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network into a Propaganda Machine _ with Ari Rabin-Havt. 2012, Anchor. ISBN 978-0-307-94768-0 * _Killing the Messenger: The Right-Wing Plot to Derail Hillary and Hijack Your Government_. 2015, Twelve. ISBN 1455533769


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