Person

Angelo Carusone

Nationality:

American

Occupation:

President and CEO, Media Matters for America (since 2016)

Former Deputy CEO, Finance & Administration::

Democratic National Convention Committee

Campaign Organizer::

#DumpTrump, #StopBeck

Angelo Carusone is the president and CEO of Media Matters for America (MMfA), a left-of-center organization that purports to “fact check” conservative media and political commentators. [1] Carusone frequently discusses “fake news” and is an advocate for higher levels of censorship on social media platforms to combat supposed misinformation among conservative outlets and users. [2]

Carusone has led several activist corporate campaigns targeting prominent media figures, an activity he calls “brand safety.” In 2021, he launched the “#DumpTrump campaign” that successfully pressured department store chain Macy’s to end its business partnership with former President Donald Trump. He also played key roles in the advertiser pressure campaigns which led to the termination of Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News shows. [3]

He has worked for the Democratic National Convention Committee in the past. [4]

Career

Angelo Carusone attended Fordham University from 2000 to 2004, majoring in American studies and philosophy. He then went to University of Wisconsin Law School for a J.D., which he earned in 2010. [5] Carusone was working as a case coordinator for Hughes Hubbard and Reed, an elite New York-based international law firm dealing in business and financial law, litigation, and arbitration. [6]

In 2009, Carusone worked as an organizer for StopBeck.com, an advertiser pressure campaign that worked to reduce the number of advertisers on Glenn Beck’s Fox News show, eventually leading to its cancellation. Carusone organized 25,000 active participants on social media to help sustain the campaign. [7]

Carusone led a pressure campaign against Rush Limbaugh during his controversy involving Georgetown University Law Center student Sandra Fluke in 2012. [8]

Dump Trump Campaign

In November 2010, Carusone joined Media Matters for America as a campaign director. He worked in this role for 10 months, before moving into a new position as a director of online strategy and campaigns. He worked in this role from August 2011 until February 2013, when he became vice president of the organization. His title changed from “vice president” to “executive vice president” in December 2013. [9]

In October 2012, while working for Media Matters, Carusone began organizing for the “700,000+ person” #DumpTrump effort. This was a pressure campaign formed to convince Macy’s to stop its business partnership with Donald Trump due to Trump’s role in the “birtherism” controversy surrounding then-President Barack Obama’s birthplace and citizenship status. [10]

MoveOn, a left-progressive activist organization, uploaded a #DumpTrump ad to YouTube in November 2012. The video narrator says, “There’s no department store that embodies the holiday spirit quite like Macy’s. And there’s no blowhard willing to stoop to the lowest common denominator quite like Donald Trump.” [11]

In a 2015 interview, Carusone claimed that Trump ordered bodyguards to walk and stand next to him to intimidate him for delivering the #DumpTrump petitions to Macy’s. [12] Trump threatened to sue Carusone for $25 million; Carusone and his lawyer asked Trump’s team for evidence of the $25 million in damages, leading Trump to back off from the threat and instead celebrate the petition claiming that it was boosting sales of the clothing line in question. [13] [14]

The #DumpTrump effort never closed when the controversy ended. Instead, it continued to serve Carusone as a platform with which he could attack Trump. In 2016, Carusone claims to have broken the story that Trump used hired actors to attend the announcement of his presidential campaign launch at Trump Tower in support of the effort. [15] [16]

As of March 2022, the banner photo of Carusone’s personal Twitter profile read “DUMP TRUMP” and his bio mentioned that he still was a “#DumpTrump organizer.” It also mentioned that he formerly organized for “@StopBeck,” and his pinned tweet was a March 2020 thread of his in which he detailed the alleged fragility of Fox News’s relationship with advertisers and his thoughts on how “Fox News’ misinformation harms us all.” [17]

In 2016, Carusone worked as the deputy CEO, finance and administration for the Democratic National Convention Committee. [18] [19]

Media Matters Leadership

Carusone became the president and CEO of Media Matters in December 2016, replacing Bradley Beychok, who became the senior adviser and chief of staff to David Brock, the founder of Media Matters. His appointment led to a shift in the focus of the organization from monitoring conservative “misinformation,” principally on cable news, to tracking the spread of “conspiracy theories, false stories and other incarnations of fake news.” [20] At the time, Media Matters announced it would be building “in-house technology” to help discover the sources of such misinformation. [21]

At the time, Carusone said, “It used to be simple, Fox News was the gate keeper…but now there are so many potential bad actors,” mentioning Facebook users. Carusone stated that Media Matters had not tried to mobilize large numbers of people in the past, but that it was necessary to become a part of its strategy in the future. [22]

Media Matters founder David Brock issued a statement to accompany the announcement of Carusone’s promotion: [23]

Whether it’s blunting the ‘alt-right’s’ ascent, ensuring the media doesn’t normalize Trump’s bigotry or neutralizing the spread of fake news and other propaganda, Media Matters has critical work ahead. […] In his time here, Angelo has expanded our online footprint and led effective campaigns. He’s demonstrated that he knows how to bring to bear Media Matters resources and will advance our mission well.

In a 2017 interview with the Guardian, Carusone said that the organization was shifting from merely correcting to actively trying to change the media due to the election of Trump, the rise of the alt-right, and “fake news.” He explained Media Matters’ thought process behind this shift in intention: previous administrations were (allegedly) not directly tied to the media companies unlike the Trump administration. Carusone cited the fact that Trump Campaign CEO Steve Bannon was formerly the executive chair of Breitbart News. “Donald Trump’s own campaign is a purveyor of fake news,” he said. [24]

Carusone went on to claim that some media organizations were not being as critical of Trump as they should be, and that Media Matters was going to purposely get “bigger and louder” to “blunt and neutralize” the attempts to normalize the far right. In January 2017, Media Matters released a petition to make the White House Correspondents’ Association promise to take strong actions against Trump if he blacklisted media organizations from attending his press conferences. [25]

Media Matters collects Carusone’s media hits, soundbites, and commentary pieces. [26] The topics he frequently discusses include the January 6 committee concerning the Capitol riot, his demand for cable companies to stop including Fox News with their packages, and various other subjects related to the “cancellation” of right-wing media figures or other heterodox figures such as podcaster Joe Rogan. [27]

References

  1. “Angelo Carusone.” Media Matters for America. Accessed 2 April 2022. https://www.mediamatters.org/author/angelo-carusone. ^
  2. “Angelo Carusone.” Media Matters for America. Accessed 2 April 2022. https://www.mediamatters.org/author/angelo-carusone. ^
  3.  “Angelo Carusone.” Media Matters for America. Accessed 2 April 2022. https://www.mediamatters.org/author/angelo-carusone. ^
  4. “Angelo Carusone – Experience.” LinkedIn. Accessed 2 April 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelo-carusone-48319724/details/experience/. ^
  5. “Angelo Carusone.” LinkedIn. Accessed 3 April 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelo-carusone-48319724/. ^
  6. “Angelo Carusone – Experience.” LinkedIn. Accessed 2 April 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelo-carusone-48319724/details/experience/. ^
  7.  Angelo Carusone – Experience.” LinkedIn. Accessed 2 April 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelo-carusone-48319724/details/experience/. ^
  8. Grindley, Lucas. “The Man Behind ‘Dump Trump’ on Why Everyone Should Fight Back.” Advocate, 10 December 2015. Accessed 3 April 2022. https://www.advocate.com/40-under-40/2015/12/10/man-behind-dump-trump-why-everyone-should-fight-back. ^
  9. “Angelo Carusone – Experience.” LinkedIn. Accessed 2 April 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelo-carusone-48319724/details/experience/. ^
  10. “Angelo Carusone – Experience.” LinkedIn. Accessed 2 April 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelo-carusone-48319724/details/experience/. ^
  11. MoveOn. “TELL MACY’S: DUMP TRUMP.” YouTube, uploaded 18 November 2012. Accessed 3 April 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gn0Q6RhJ5QE. ^
  12. Grindley, Lucas. “The Man Behind ‘Dump Trump’ on Why Everyone Should Fight Back.” Advocate, 10 December 2015. Accessed 3 April 2022. https://www.advocate.com/40-under-40/2015/12/10/man-behind-dump-trump-why-everyone-should-fight-back. ^
  13.  Gabbatt, Adam. “Donald Trump threatens to sue ‘Dump Trump’ internet campaign for $25m.” The Guardian, 19 February 2013. Accessed 3 April 2022. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/feb/19/donald-trump-lawsuit-macys-angelo-carusone. ^
  14. Grindley, Lucas. “The Man Behind ‘Dump Trump’ on Why Everyone Should Fight Back.” Advocate, 10 December 2015. Accessed 3 April 2022. https://www.advocate.com/40-under-40/2015/12/10/man-behind-dump-trump-why-everyone-should-fight-back. ^
  15. “Angelo Carusone – Experience.” LinkedIn. Accessed 2 April 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelo-carusone-48319724/details/experience/. ^
  16. Grindley, Lucas. “The Man Behind ‘Dump Trump’ on Why Everyone Should Fight Back.” Advocate, 10 December 2015. Accessed 3 April 2022. https://www.advocate.com/40-under-40/2015/12/10/man-behind-dump-trump-why-everyone-should-fight-back. ^
  17. “Angelo Carusone.” Twitter, 29 March 2022. Accessed 4 April 2022. https://web.archive.org/web/20220329082813/https://twitter.com/GoAngelo ^
  18. “Angelo Carusone – Experience.” LinkedIn. Accessed 2 April 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelo-carusone-48319724/details/experience/. ^
  19. Grinapol, Corinne. “Media Matters Names Angelo Carusone its New President.” AdWeek, 6 December 2016. Accessed 3 April 2022. https://www.adweek.com/performance-marketing/media-matters-names-angelo-carusone-its-new-president/. ^
  20. Grinapol, Corinne. “Media Matters Names Angelo Carusone its New President.” AdWeek, 6 December 2016. Accessed 3 April 2022. https://www.adweek.com/performance-marketing/media-matters-names-angelo-carusone-its-new-president/. ^
  21. Grinapol, Corinne. “Media Matters Names Angelo Carusone its New President.” AdWeek, 6 December 2016. Accessed 3 April 2022. https://www.adweek.com/performance-marketing/media-matters-names-angelo-carusone-its-new-president/. ^
  22. Gold, Hadas. “Media Matters to pivot away from focus on Fox News, as it names new president.” Politico, 6 December 2016. Accessed 3 April 2022. https://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2016/12/media-matters-announces-new-president-and-new-direction-232228. ^
  23. Gold, Hadas. “Media Matters to pivot away from focus on Fox News, as it names new president.” Politico, 6 December 2016. Accessed 3 April 2022. https://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2016/12/media-matters-announces-new-president-and-new-direction-232228. ^
  24. Gabbatt, Adam. “Activism in the age of Trump: meet the leaders of the grassroots resistance.” The Guardian, 19 January 2017. Accessed 3 April 2022. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/19/anti-trump-activists-protest-grassroots-leaders. ^
  25. Gabbatt, Adam. “Activism in the age of Trump: meet the leaders of the grassroots resistance.” The Guardian, 19 January 2017. Accessed 3 April 2022. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/19/anti-trump-activists-protest-grassroots-leaders. ^
  26. “Angelo Carusone.” Media Matters for America. Accessed 2 April 2022. https://www.mediamatters.org/author/angelo-carusone. ^
  27. “Angelo Carusone.” Media Matters for America, 10 February 2022. Accessed 2 April 2022. https://web.archive.org/web/20220210160814/https://www.mediamatters.org/angelo-carusone. ^

Connected Organizations

  1. Democracy Alliance Conferences (Other Group)
    Participant, Spring 2018; Fall 2018
  2. Media Matters for America (Non-profit)
    Officer/Board Member
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