A New Virus To Be Injected Into the Public Discourse


Impressed by the effectiveness of the liberal Center for American Progress, a group of conservative journalists and operatives are preparing to engage in their own sincerest form of flattery — launching an advocacy group with a similar name and mission but very different target.

Part assault on CAP and part homage, the Center for American Freedom’s goal is to wage a well-funded assault on the Obama White House and the liberal domination of partisan online media.

Based in Washington, it will have an annual budget of “several million dollars,” according to its chairman, Michael Goldfarb, and will house a new conservative online news outlet, the Washington Free Beacon, edited by former Weekly Standard writer Matthew Continetti. It will also include a campaign-style war room led by two former chiefs of the Republican National Committee’s vaunted research operation, and a media-monitoring shop that aims to do to MSNBC what Media Matters has done to Fox News.

“This is a fairly modest start-up that really hopes to combat the Center for American Progress and create something that in the not-so-distant future can be competitive,” said Goldfarb, 31, a former Weekly Standard writer who is now a partner in the lobbying firm Orion Strategies, where his clients include Charles and David Koch — liberal bugaboos and dominant funders of a range of conservative causes and politicians.

There is no slimier person in politics than this guy:

There seriously is no bigger douchebag on the planet, and I don’t mean Rick Sanchez. That the right wing is willing to throw millions of dollars at him to spew his bile tells you EVERYTHING you need to know about the modern right. Oh, and Matt Continetti? That’s this winner.

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78 replies
  1. 1
    MildlyAmusedRainbowPerson says:

    Michael Goldfarb? Wasn’t he Sarah Palin’s foreign policy make-up boy for a while?

  2. 2
    Karen says:

    When they say advocacy group, do they mean they’re forming a Super PAC?

  3. 3
    redshirt says:

    The Repuglican voters seem a dim lot. Repuglican masterminds seem to know what they’re doing. Control the medium, control the message, and the truth is what you make it.

    I just posted on this!

  4. 4
    schrodinger's cat says:

    How about injecting some happiness instead, we can has Tunch plz?

  5. 5
    Jewish Steel says:

    Washington Free Bacon?

    That shit ain’t kosher.

    ETA: Isn’t Fox losing viewers anyway? Hypothesis: They’re dying off.

  6. 6
    joes527 says:

    Wait – I thought that Olberman was today’s designated douchebag.

  7. 7
    Wiesman says:

    I guess I’m confused. I thought CAP was an advocacy group that was created to respond to the conservative think tanks like Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, and Plausible-But-False-Koch-Bullshit-Group. (I made up one of those names.)

    So this new group would be a response to a response? Or is CAP doing something different than Heritage and AEI?

    You shouldn’t have to use fractals to understand thinktanks…

  8. 8
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Will anyone even notice these yayhoos? A few million is nothing compared to the amount of money Fox and the other Redoublechin media organs go through.

  9. 9
    BGinCHI says:

    Dumber Than Rick Sanchez, now on Bravo after Top Chef.

  10. 10
    Chyron HR says:

    More information about those crazy liberals and their silly little bugaboos can be found in the Protocols of Saul Alinsky.

  11. 11
    jl says:


    ” Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, and Plausible-But-False-Koch-Bullshit-Group”

    I think their work has been discredited so often that it is now presumed to be ‘inoperative’, or at least suspect upon release.

    Hey, rotating corporate shells work in the for profit sector. This is just innovative reactionary out of the box thinking in adapting successful for profit private sector success.

  12. 12
    nastybrutishntall says:

    OT – but speaking of viruses injected into the discourse, seems Newt doesn’t want Sticky Ricky beating him to the crusty white stuff at the bottom of the barrel (via TPM).
    Newt: African Americans Should Get Off Food Stamps, Demand Paychecks

  13. 13
    jl says:

    OT, but congrats to Eer maniac Cole on the WV game. Glad that college basketball has broken out of the doldrums caused by emphasis on defense.

    That was a basketball game, right?

  14. 14
    redshirt says:

    It gets more insidious I think. This is on the front page of the Portland Press Herald today:


    Most concerning is the comments about state based news bureaus which feed local newspapers with “objective” news, which of course means Foxified News.

    They’re fighting a ground war block by block. We’re still in our airy halls of debate wondering what should be done.

  15. 15
    Maude says:

    OT, Obama announces fewer troops in US military and AP headline: Consumer Agency head: First targets are shadow banks.
    Keep ’em screeching.

  16. 16
    eponymous_coward says:

    Grifters gon’ grift.

  17. 17
    Brian R. says:

    God, I’d forgotten about that clip. That’s better than the time Chris Matthews showed the “Chamberlain! Appeasement!” guy was utterly clueless.

    Please, please, please show that every single time Goldfarb’s name is mentioned. Every time.

  18. 18

    So many douche bags, so little time … I’m going to check in with my buddy Barry Sotero and see if he can have me transported to Mars …

  19. 19
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Jewish Steel: Someone had posted the other day that the Daily Show now has more viewers than Fox prime time.

  20. 20
    IrishGirl says:

    “media-monitoring shop that aims to do to MSNBC what Media Matters has done to Fox News”

    Not that MSNBC is perfect or anything but what the Hell will they cover and what will they use for proof?! Their standard grab bag of lies? It’s not like Media Matters is faking what Fox News reports…..

  21. 21
    Special Patrol Group says:

    Gosh, I wonder what issues this new outlet will take on.

    I predict this.

  22. 22
    Downpuppy says:

    The reason NRO Online, Clown Hall, Renew America, Pajamas & the Daily Caller lose influence is because of their continuous run of stupidity & errors. Well, that & crappy writing. And illiterate commenters.

    Clearly, the answer is to launch yet another. On to V 14.0! This time will be different.

  23. 23
    RP says:

    Who was Goldfarb talking about? Am I supposed to know?

  24. 24
    The Moar You Know says:

    Just some new grifters showing up in town with a fancy-pants wagon and some new and different snake oil to sell.

  25. 25
    amk says:

    whatever fuck happened rick sanchez. The guy is still in teevee world ?

  26. 26
    jl says:


    Yeah, right, because African Americans and other racial/ethnic minorities, and organizations representing them, have not been calling for jobs.

    You would think that Santorum would be a little careful after he got questioned by press about why his response to a question about welfare (that did not mention race)quickly turned into a bizarre counter factual rant that assumed all welfare recipients were black. In a state where almost 90 percent of welfare recipients are white.

    But I guess the GOP primary voters love this stuff, even if it is complete fantasy.

  27. 27
    Yutsano says:


    OT, Obama announces fewer troops in US military

    Watch this get sold as ZOMG OBAMA IZ FIRING DA TROOOPS!! when in fact most attrition programs just slow the pace of replacing retirees. The Army is just too big now anyway, and the Marines were already doing this. But let the freak-out commence apace.

  28. 28
    Brachiator says:

    It’s officially election season.

    Just received at work an anonymous political robo call, full of stuff about how Obama was a monarch trying to overturn the Constitution, etc, along with snippets from various right wing political shows.

  29. 29
    Comrade Dread says:

    Doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. There are multitudes of conservative ‘think’-tanks and blogs and other mediums out there to spew their message and provide “facts” to support their “arguments.”

    This sounds like they’re taking “talent” from a bunch of these and forming a new group.

    Sort of how a kitty shuffles kitty litter around until it forms a new stack of litter and poo.

  30. 30
    jackmac says:

    A “conservative journalist” is an oxymoron.

    Or maybe just a plain moron.

  31. 31
    ruemara says:

    A few million is a small start-up. In rightwing nutbar world.

    @nastybrutishntall: Wow. Fuck him.

  32. 32
    Valdivia says:

    New meme–if Obama wins but doesn’t get more electoral votes than last time he lost! Via Goddard I refuse to link.

  33. 33
    jl says:

    @Comrade Dread: Some egghead should build a ‘kitty model’ for how this reshuffling works.

    Kittys, on average, probably more clever. So maybe should study these guys and work up to kittys.

    Anyway, I sense an opportunity for an interesting interdisciplinary research grant application.

  34. 34
    MonkeyBoy says:

    I thought this had already been done back in 1987 when Brent Bozell set up the Media Research Center. They even have their own news site, CNSNews.com (or Cybercast News Service).

    Then again, most people have not heard of them, and the whole organization may exist more as a scheme to absorb Republican donations than be effective.

    Then again there is plenty of Republican money available for those with the right pitch so might as well set of several such groups and see which are the most tractable.

  35. 35
    Maude says:

    He’s weak on National Security. We need to remember that one the Rs will pout out.

  36. 36
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Exactly what I was thinking of.

    Fox’s programming hasn’t changed that I know of. Their demo skews ancient. Mortality eroding their veiwership isn’t that far fetched, is it?

  37. 37
    jl says:

    @jl: Oops, misread that, it was Nest, not Santorum who pushging the ‘demand paychecks’ line. Anyway, not much difference. I guess enough of the GOP base consists outright and committed racists that they will love this kind of idiocy even if it is obvious nonsense.

  38. 38
    Brachiator says:


    You would think that Santorum would be a little careful after he got questioned by press about why his response to a question about welfare (that did not mention race)quickly turned into a bizarre counter factual rant that assumed all welfare recipients were black. In a state where almost 90 percent of welfare recipients are white.
    But I guess the GOP primary voters love this stuff, even if it is complete fantasy.

    Apparently, white people on welfare are Real Americans(tm) temporarily fallen on hard times, just getting a little of their own back. Anybody else is a parasite aided and abetted by the federal gummit.

    And it ain’t just Republicans who believe this crap.

  39. 39
    jl says:

    @MonkeyBoy: Good point. When most of the cause’s troops are grifters, they will grift the cause if nothing better available. It is a variation on the underpants gnome business plan. Goes like this:

    1) Start new conservative organization to attack liberal lies
    2) profit
    3) ???

    If this new scheme is something along that line, it might be good news.

  40. 40

    God DAMN that Goldfarb clip still makes me see red, just like the first time I saw it. Such a smug asshole, and he doesn’t even bring anything to the table.

    SANCHEZ: Michael, I asked you to name one person! One!
    GOLDFARB: Rick…
    SANCHEZ: You said he hangs around with people who are anti-Semitic. Okay, we’ve got Khalidi on the table. Give me number two. Who’s the other anti-Semitic person that he hangs around that we, quote, “all know about.”
    GOLDFARB: Rick, we both know who number two is.
    SANCHEZ: (shaking head) Who?
    SANCHEZ: Would you tell us!?
    GOLDFARB: No, Rick, I think we all know who we’re talking about here.
    SANCHEZ: Somebody who is anti-Semitic that he hangs around with.
    GOLDFARB: Absolutely.
    SANCHEZ: Well say it!
    GOLDFARB: I think we know who we are talking about, Rick.

    What’s the matter, chicken? Not willing to name names? Or are you just slinging innuendo with nothing to back it up? Either way you’re a worthless slime mold. No offense indended to actual myxogastrids.

  41. 41

    @amk: Didn’t Sanchez get canned in one of those “guy who routinely says offensive things gets canned for something less offensive than usual” incidents?

  42. 42
    Niik says:

    I remember that clip. If I remember the background correctly, the reason Douchefarb was staying silent and had the smarmy smile on his face was because he was dying to jump out and say “Jeremiah Wright!” but McCain had given orders that the Rev. would no longer be mentioned in the campaign. I think that’s right. The guy is such a jack-ass.

  43. 43
    Judas Escargot says:


    Watch this get sold as ZOMG OBAMA IZ FIRING DA TROOOPS!! when in fact most attrition programs just slow the pace of replacing retirees. The Army is just too big now anyway, and the Marines were already doing this. But let the freak-out commence apace.

    In the early 1990s, a certain thrifty SecDef named “Dick Cheney” made much deeper cuts when it was clear that the Soviet Union was gone for good.

    Of course, Clinton got blamed for that in the MSM a few years later, so I’m just reinforcing your point…

  44. 44
    Bludger says:

    I don’t think this enterprise will be successful because it will be competing with a lot of established, well-funded, right wing noise makers that already operate in the realm of the absurd.

    I suppose they can try and out-absurd other organizations?

  45. 45
    Downpuppy says:

    @redshirt: So they thought they could revolutionize journalism by hiring a semi-literate Nazi punk to report on stuff in Maine?! Well, at least he wasn’t a moose molester.

    I say knock yourselves out.

  46. 46
    Jay says:

    The only thing cooler than watching Rick Sanchez get tased (click to about 1:10) would be watching Rick Sanchez tase Michael Goldfarb.

  47. 47
    28 Percent says:

    Awwww… they didn’t call it the Free America Project?

    I haz a sad.

  48. 48
    redshirt says:

    @Downpuppy: Its the local focus of it but organized and funded nationally. That they use racists, idiots, and other jackwads is not the story – that’s a given. Its the extreme localization that concerns me.

  49. 49
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    The person who writes the definitive book on wingnut welfare — the entire money-laundering, tax-dodging fuckwit-sinecuring circlejerk that allows a bunch of “free marketeers” to suck off the corporate tit — will deserve a medal.

  50. 50
    Kane says:

    I hate to be the one to rain on their parade, but there’s already an organization in place devoted to this cause. It’s called FOX.

  51. 51
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    This sounds like they’re taking “talent” from a bunch of these and forming a new group.

    Which is exactly what they do, like the dodgy camera shops in Brooklyn that shut down when the fraud detectives are en route, only to reopen under a new name. Whether it’s to stop the IRS looking too closely at their Form 990s or to rebrand their bullshit or get a new tit to suck on, you decide.

  52. 52
    ChrisNYC says:

    @Wiesman: EXACTLY! That Politico piece calls this thing “imitating liberals” — and then has a picture with CAP and AEI signs together. WTF? Total upside down. I guess Politico needed some excuse to make publishing a press release touting the start up of yet another conservative advocacy group newsworthy so they frame it this way. Gross bastards they are.

  53. 53
    Auldblackjack says:

    Just more wingnut welfare.

  54. 54
    AnotherBruce says:

    @RP: C’mon, you know who we’re talking about, everybody knows. How can Michael possibly make it more obvious?

  55. 55

    I see this as a sort of mirror-image of the left’s history of looking at Rush and his sort, and wondering “why can’t we do a liberal version of that?” The answer is that there is no liberal version of Rush (because the liberals are short on articulate-seeming-because-they-spew-hate-so-fast knownothings) just as there is no possibility of a teabag version of CAP. Because a conservative CAP would require that the teabaggers deal in ideas that have some plausible connection with reality, that being what CAP is about.

  56. 56
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Goldfarb looks like someone piled a bunch of Shoney’s yeast rolls on top of toothpicks and drew sad-face eyebrows on em

    A fat fuck chair captain who should go pick grapes in the valley for five years or so

  57. 57
    fasteddie9318 says:

    What the fuck is that clip? If I brain myself with one of those one-handed sledgehammers, will whatever Goldfarb is doing there actually make sense?

  58. 58
    AA+ Bonds says:

    The real problem is that CAF won’t get what CAP already has, a President to shill for, LOLLLLLLLL

  59. 59
    Calouste says:

    American conservatives have completely 1984’ed the word Freedom. Whenever you see an organization with Freedom in its name, you can be 99% certain that they’re a bunch of fascists or neo-feudalists.

  60. 60
    AA+ Bonds says:


    Goldfarb went from soft-degree undergrad to “online editor” for the Weekly Standard, nothing he has done in his life has given him the capacity to reason or the ability to argue, his life has involved giggling under blankets with other doughy shut-ins who share his point of view

  61. 61
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I will bet you anything Goldfarb’s ass is, like, twice as wide as his shoulders

  62. 62
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Valdivia: Do you mean they are saying that he will “lose” in terms of reduced prestige, or that he will literally “lose” in the sense that they are planning to challenge the election or impeach him as a usurper, or something?

  63. 63
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Q: How can you tell when Michael Goldfarb just accidentally walked up to a poor person


  64. 64
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Yutsano: Yeah, I watched some of the initial “analysis” on CNN at lunch. “You know, Obama is only doing this so he can say he is fiscally responsible during the election cycle. He wants the message to be…blah blah blah…”

    Could we get an actualy senior policy analyst at one of the news networks who knows anything about something other than PR, messaging and spin?

  65. 65
    DanielX says:

    Another well funded outlet for douchbaggery? Jeezus, how many do they need? Oh, wait…

  66. 66
    Jay says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    I think “Giggling Under Blankets With Shut – Ins” is actually the name of a forgotten, but somewhat successful, Drew Barrymore movie. Oh, wait…

  67. 67
    Another Bob says:

    There seriously is no bigger douchebag on the planet . . .

    Clearly, you’ve forgotten about the truly reprehensible Nathan Thurm.

  68. 68
    DanielX says:

    Makes me long for the days of the late and much lamented Media Whores Online, which featured true zen masters in the art of skewering wingnut media outlets. Motto: We Set Out To Bring The Media To Their Knees And Found They Were Already There.

  69. 69
    Mackenna says:

    Another demonstration of the resources the very very rich and corrupt have to literally waste. The Koch bros. may as well light highrise size bonfires of their money, they will achieve the same result with these illiterate monkeys. Another Democratic victory.

    Bring it!

  70. 70
    uptown says:

    Damn, I’m really on the wrong side! Seems all you have to do nowadays is put together a front organization, whose brief is too slam those lefties (cause no one else is doing that) and the super rich suckers will throw wads of cash at you.

  71. 71
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Calouste: Totally! I’m seriously annoyed at what wingnuts have done to the word “freedom.”

  72. 72
    Karen says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    But it is freedom!

    Freedom for THEM. Not you.

  73. 73
    Peter says:

    @Calouste: Only counter-example I can think of is the EFF, and I’m sure there’s more than a hundred ‘freedom’ foundations. You may be on to something.

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:


    Wait – I thought that Olberman was today’s designated douchebag.

    Nah, Olbermann’s just a douche, not a douchebag. He’s still your friend, but every so often, you roll your eyes at each other behind his back because, well, he’s being a douche.

    The douchebag is the guy not in your group who tries to hit on your girlfriend when you go to the john.

    ETA: If you saw that Zooey Deschanel show “New Girl,” Olbermann is Schmidt.

  75. 75
    AWJ says:

    @Peter: EFF stands for Electronic Frontier Foundation, actually.

  76. 76
    Gus says:

    How can you be stupid enough to get owned by Rick Sanchez, but still have enough brain power to breathe?

  77. 77
    tdm says:

    I read that as “Washington Free Bacon”. Now I’m disappointed.

  78. 78
    C Biren says:

    Look who Continetti hired for The Washington Free Beacon

    Center for American Freedom taps “Jackass” Patrick Howley for conservative news team

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