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Critic report claims Drudge and conservative media aided D'Souza's defense plan

Critic accuses Drudge Report of aiding defense of Dinesh D'Souza
Critic accuses Drudge Report of aiding defense of Dinesh D'Souza
Getty Image/ Evan Agostini (left) Drudge Report Screenprint (right)

On Wednesday, the Drudge Report was criticized as a primary conservative source responsible for setting up a line of defense for Dinesh D'Souza. D'Souza is a conservative filmmaker and author who will be defending himself for charges that he violated federal campaign laws.

The charges Ben Dimiero of Media Matters is making, that conservative media has benefited D'Souza in the court of public opinion, weren't made in a vacuum. Also on Wednesday, The New York Times, quoted D'Souza's attorney saying that D'Souza has been a target of the president and the Obama administration, "because of his consistently caustic and highly publicized criticism."

Today, the Drudge Report critic, Dimiero, again pointed out that Matt Drudge had tweeted Eric Holder was "unleashing the dogs" on "Obama critics." This was the second time Dimiero has criticized Drudge for the tweet; the first followed the announcement of the indictment against D'souza.

Back in January, when Drudge made the "unleashing the dogs" tweet, Dimiero published a story, "Conservative darling D'Souza indicted for campaign finance fraud" connecting the Drudge tweet with "conspiracy." Dimerio wrote, "While it remains to be seen how D'Souza's conservative media allies will handle his indictment, Matt Drudge is already getting the conspiracy theory ball rolling, claiming the charges are evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder is "unleashing the dogs" on Obama critics."

Although Dimiero did not reference specific Drudge Report headlines today, when the news of the indictment of D'Souza first broke Drudge's banner headline led to a "Hollywood Reporter" story of the scheduled arrest and indictment of the filmmaker for the alleged violation of campaign finance laws. At that time, producer Gerald Molen said the charges were politically motivated.

Dimiero considered it especially inflammatory that the Drudge Report had included an image of the cover of D'Souza's highly critical documentary "2016: Obama's America," plus a banner headline, reading, "Moviemaker indicted." Dimiero criticized D'Souza's film as "a shoddy 'documentary' he [D'souza] made smearing the president as 'anti-American.'"

Amid continuing Drudge Report election topic headlines regarding the IRS and Tea Party groups, the D'Souza story mirrors the angry response of Tea Party groups that they have been unfairly targeted. Of that defense line, Dimiero has continued to maintain, and maintains today, that "Conservative media have been crucial in helping D'Souza 'get his story out there,' his allies on Fox News, talk radio, and right-wing online outlets have loudly and repeatedly claimed that D'Souza is a victim of persecution because of his political beliefs."

Today, Dimiero is again criticizing the Drudge Report for being one of the arms of a right-wing conspiracy touting a D'Souza defense of a "left-winged conspiracy." Dimiero concluded, "This conservative media narrative about the case has now become central to D'Souza's defense."

Currently there has been no response from any conservative media groups nor from Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report to Dimiero's accusation that the right wing media has aided, if not plotted, a defense for D'Souza to support his plea of "Not guilty." According to the New York Times report, D'Souza's trial, covered by the Drudge Report or not, will be held in approximately a month.

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