Media Matters Action Network



Washington, DC

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:



Political Advocacy




Angelo Carusone

Budget (2021):

Revenue: $1,021,795
Expenses: $318,220
Assets: $2,040,753

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The Media Matters Action Network (MMAN) is a research organization which targets right-of-center publications, institutions, and public figures to discredit them. The organization also provides resources to left-wing activists for them to conduct their own targeting campaigns. MMAN is a partner project of Media Matters for America (MMFA), a left-of-center media criticism organization founded by controversial conservative-turned-liberal journalist and operative David Brock. 1

The MMAN’s activity has typically spiked during election seasons: the organization was particularly involved in the 2008 presidential election, publishing reports attacking Republican candidate John McCain and defending Democratic candidate Barack Obama from right-of-center criticism. MMAN also increased its activity in the lead-up to the 2020 elections, launching a campaign designed to discredit alleged “misinformation”—particularly concerning left-of-center female candidates and politicians, whom the organization claimed were facing “attacks” from online media. 2

Parent Organization

In 2004, right-of-center journalist turned liberal-Democratic operative David Brock launched Media Matters for America with a starting budget of $2 million from a number of wealthy left-of-center donors. The initial goals of the organization were to identify alleged factual errors and controversial rhetoric by right-leaning and Republican Party-aligned political commentators, as well as to generate talking points and lines of attack for left-wing media personalities. From its inception, the organization has been explicit about its bias against the political right, claiming that it is “common” for the press to “overly promote […] a conservative, Christian-influenced ideology” and that MMFA would “reduce” the perceived influence of right-leaning media on the public. 3

The Center for American Progress, a now-leading left-of-center think tank founded the previous year by influential Democratic Party operative John Podesta, initially provided support to MMFA. Since then, the organization has received funding and backing from numerous major grantmakers affiliated with the institutional left: these have included the Tides Foundation, a leading pass-through entity for liberal donor funds; the National Education Association, a major teachers’ labor union; and the Open Society Network of billionaire activist financier George Soros. 4


Media Matters Action Network was founded as the political action arm of Media Matters for America, which is organized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization barred from election intervention. MMFA hired M.J. Rosenberg, a former staffer at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), to be the senior fellow at MMAN. Rosenberg was known for his aggressive rhetoric towards perceived criticism of Israel, once condemning left-leaning Jews as having an “Uncle Tom” mentality and allegedly wanting to fit in with white American Protestant culture. By the time he joined MMAN, however, he had himself become a critic of pro-Israel advocacy, accusing AIPAC of being loyal to the Israeli state above all, as well as adopting a stance sympathetic to the pro-Palestine cause and to Israel’s geopolitical opponent Iran. When Rosenberg came under criticism from right-of-center Jewish commentators in 2012, he resigned from MMAN. Following his departure, the amount of content the organization produced started declining. Soon after, the MMFA-affiliated political action committee American Bridge 21st Century became more active in the areas which MMAN previously covered. 5


During the 2008 election season, the Media Matters Action Network published a report alleging that then-Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was receiving preferential treatment from the mainstream media. Around the same time, the organization also released a report in which it claimed that then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) was being attacked unfairly, drawing parallels with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign against 2004 Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). MMAN was largely inactive during the 2012 and 2016 election cycles following the departure of senior fellow J.M. Rosenberg, but in 2020, it ran a campaign pushing back against criticism of Democratic politicians across the country, with a particular focus on female candidates. 6 7


David Brock was the chairman of the Media Matters Action Network and the founder of launched Media Matters for America. Brock was a conservative earlier in his life and was active in right-of-center campus journalism during his time at the University of California Berkeley. After graduating in 1985, he spent several years working for the Heritage Foundation, as well as the right-leaning Wall Street Journal and Washington Times. 8

He also wrote a series of articles for the American Spectator on the sexual scandals surrounding President Bill Clinton. In addition, he wrote an article critical of Anita Hill, the civil rights lawyer who accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 1992. Brock went on to write a book expanding on this reporting, then accepted an advance from a right-of-center publisher to write another book, this time investigating then-First Lady Hillary Clinton. When the book was published, however, many right-of-center observers, as well as the left-of-center New York Times, criticized him for allegedly minimizing the scandals surrounding Clinton. 9

Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, Brock walked back his previous criticism of the Clintons and the political left in general, and by 2004 he was working for Democratic Party political operative Sidney Blumenthal, a former top advisor to President Clinton. Since then, Brock has founded several prominent left-of-center activist organizations, including Media Matters, as well as the American Bridge 21st Century Democratic-aligned political action committee (PAC) and Correct the Record, a PAC supporting the Hillary Clinton 2016 Presidential Campaign. 10 11 Brock left MMAN and MMFA in November 2022. 12

Angelo Carusone is the president of MMAN. 13 He has worked as president of MMFA since December 2016. He joined the organization in November 2010, and has held a number of other management positions including director of online strategy and executive vice president. In 2012, he also became the organizer of a campaign called “#DumpTrump” which pressured corporations to cut ties with the businesses associated with Donald Trump. During the 2016 presidential election cycle, he also worked as the deputy chief executive officer of finance and administration for the Democratic National Convention Committee. Prior to joining MMFA, he was the organizer of the “Stop Beck” pressure campaign, which targeted businesses advertising on the Fox News show of right-of-center commentator Glenn Beck. 14

Pilar Martinez is the chief financial officer of the MMAN and of MMFA. He joined the parent organization in 2008. Martinez also manages finances and accounting for the American Independent Foundation, another project of MMFA founder David Brock which funds left-of-center journalism, and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a legal advocacy group. Previously, Martinez also helped run the financials of American Bridge 21st Century and Correct the Record, also projects launched by Brock. 15 16


Between 2018 and 2020, the Media Matters Action Network was receiving an average of just over $600,000 in donations annually. Following the 2020 election season, contributions to MMAN increased: in 2021, the organization received more than $1 million in total revenue. 17 The leading known financial backer of the MMAN and its parent organization is the Tides Foundation, a major grantmaking institution within the Tides Nexus left-of-center activism incubator: the foundation has contributed more than $4 million to both groups since their founding. 18


  1. “About Us.” Media Matters Action Network. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  2. “About Us.” Media Matters Action Network. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  3. [1]“Media Matters for America.” Activist Facts. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  4. “Media Matters for America.” Activist Facts. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  5. [1]“Media Matters for America.” Activist Facts. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  6. “About Us.” Media Matters Action Network. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  7. “Media Matters for America.” Activist Facts. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  8. [1]“David Brock.” Discover the Networks. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  9. “David Brock.” Discover the Networks. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  10. [1]“Media Matters Action Network.” ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  11. “David Brock.” Discover the Networks. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  12. “Media Matters announces departure of David Brock.” Media Matters for America. November 17, 2022. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  13. “Media Matters Action Network.” ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  14. Angelo Carusone. LinkedIn. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  15. “Media Matters Action Network.” ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  16. “Leadership.” Media Matters for America. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  17. “Media Matters Action Network.” ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  18. [1]“Media Matters for America.” Activist Facts. Accessed August 7, 2023.
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Media Matters Action Network

PO Box 44811
Washington, DC