The Psycho Analyst: Fox News Quack Analyzes Media Matters Founder

The Abominable “Doctor” Keith Ablow, part of the Fox News medical “A” Team, published an article on with his insights into the mind of Media Matters founder, David Brock. Suffice to say that ducks would be offended by referring to this character as a quack.

Keith Ablow

The article sported the headline: What’s Eating Media Matters’ Founder David Brock? It purported to be a psychological profile of Brock and an attempt to explain what Ablow perceived as Brock’s hostile motivations. Ablow, whose dubious ethics resulted in the severance of ties with the American Psychiatric Association, began his column with a disingenuous disclaimer saying that…

“David Brock is not one of my patients. I have not interviewed him, and I would never hazard a diagnosis of him.”

First of all, it needs to be noted that Ablow frequently “hazards” diagnoses of public figures despite never having examined, or even met, the subject. And hazard is just the right word for it. He has offered an utterly deranged psycho analysis of President Obama, as well as perverse praise of Newt Gingrich, specifically citing his history of serial adultery as a positive character trait that would make him a better president.

However, Ablow’s disclaimer falls flat when just a few paragraphs down he says this:

“A sailboat adrift, in danger of capsizing, looks for the strongest wind to keep it moving. Direction matters little or not at all when drowning is the other option. Brock would seem to be captaining such a ship-of-self. […] his own self-loathing might be unbearably palpable.”

Somehow Ablow doesn’t consider that to be a diagnosis. Neither does he regard his later comments comparing Brock to “despots and dictators and even cult leaders” to be outside the bounds of remote analysis. And to top it off, Ablow concludes his unprofessional and ethically offensive ravings by prescribing advise to Brock that he…

“…take those steps necessary to uncover those demons from the past he has denied, for they are now quite visible to those of us who have the proper lens to see them, and they will not be denied forever.”

So while Ablow began by declaring that he wouldn’t “hazard a diagnosis” of Brock, by the time he finished he had delivered not only a diagnosis, but a prescription as well – a prescription replete with demons who will not be denied. Frightening, isn’t it?

This article is just another episode of Fox News’ week-long campaign to smear Brock and Media Matters. It is their attempt at a preventative first strike in advance of the book Media Matters is releasing next week: The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network into a Propaganda Machine

Fox News has launched a massive effort to counter what they must fear is an effective, critical examination of the network and its principles. They have already aired more than a dozen stories so far on their most popular programs, including the O’Reilly Factor and Hannity. Friday morning’s broadcast of Fox & Friends featured a Steve Doocy interview of Tucker Carlson. Doocy could not even mention Brock’s name without appending a pejorative. For instance, “David Brock, an admitted drug user…” or “David Brock, an admitted liar…” And take a look at the on-screen graphics they used

Fox News - Media Matters

Note that the subject of this interview was an alleged expose of the donors to Media Matters. So it was a financial story that had nothing to do with Brock’s mental status. But even from a financial perspective, the story was a bust. Apparently Doocy was astonished by the shocking revelation that a liberal media watchdog group was supported by liberal donors. It must have taken a pretty sharp reporter to uncover that scoop. But the really good news was disclosed by Doocy himself when he revealed at the end of the segment that…

“Finally, this has been such an explosive series that you’ve had at the Daily Caller, exposing what these people at Media Matters are doing, and yet, aside from a few blogs and the Fox News Channel, it really hasn’t gotten much traction in the mainstream media, which floors me.”

Poor Steve and Tucker. Nobody likes their hollow and brazenly biased smear campaign enough to help them to disseminate it. They must be awfully depressed. Maybe they could schedule some time with Dr. Ablow to try to get to the root of their depression. Actually, it wouldn’t require much of a commitment in time because of Ablow’s unique ability to diagnose patients without even having to meet with them.


14 thoughts on “The Psycho Analyst: Fox News Quack Analyzes Media Matters Founder

  1. American Psychiatric Association: same institution that brought us Charles Krauthammer….

  2. I can’t wait for Brock’s book to come out. When it does there will be more Fox coverage and analysis, that you can be sure of, and it will be more of the same described in this post. The problem Fox has, as always, is they do not have the truth on their side. Eventhough that doesn’t matter to their foxbot audience, it does matter to critical thinking Americans. The gig is up. Fox is a joke and a laughing stock in the world of journalism and people looking for reliable sources of information. They have no credibility and their reaction to the upcoming Brock expose’ proves it, without a doubt.

  3. As someone who works with mentally ill people and psychiatrists all the time, I have two things to add:

    First of all, there isn’t anything in the quotes you have from Ablow that suggest a diagnosis. A diagnosis would be something like “Schizoaffective Disorder” or “Bipolar Disorder, Mixed Episodes, Recurrent.” Those are real diagnoses given by real psychiatrists with real degrees. What Ablow is doing is nothing out of the ordinary for someone employed by Faux News. He is basically making crap up about someone he doesn’t know and passing it off with an air of authority because he has “Dr.” in front of his name. I know a guy named Phil who does the same thing…

    And the other thing I wanted to add was that it is absolutely infuriating, maddening, and disgusting, the way that people use “mental ward” and having spent time in a psychiatric hospital as an example of a personal failing. Just because someone has a mental illness doesn’t mean that they are emotionally bankrupt or currently unstable. People say “oh, he was in the nuthouse” as a way to discredit someone in some way. Whether or not the target of such a statement has actually been hospitalized, the effects of sentences such as that heavily stimgmatizes people who actually have spent time in psychiatric hospitals. If people went to a psychiatric facility it means that they GOT HELP. People don’t understand that the very act of going to a psychiatrist, therapist, or hospital for a mental health issue is a GOOD THING. If David Brock truly is mentally ill, I hope he was able to get the help he needed (I’m not saying I believe he is). “Dr.” Ablow is an abhorrent individual who deserves to be ignored for his insinuations and general douchiness.

    • Thanks for that perspective. You actually touched on an angle I intended to include in the article but then it slipped my mind. The way they refer to Brock as “mentally ill” is not far off from calling him a retard. They present no evidence of the claim, they are merely using it as an insult the way a child would on a playground. And if they really want to suggest that anyone who has received mental health treatment, or is a former drug user, is damaged goods and incapable of succeeding at anything else, they had better be prepared for that door to be opened to many Republicans as well.

      • Exactly. I laugh when I think of my mom who worked for a senator during the Regan years, and she would joke about being at a to-do where Bush II was in a room somewhere doing blow.

        I love that they can’t come up with anything substantive to attempt to undermine Mr. Brock and his book. It makes me happy that all Media Matters has to do is re-post unedited footage of Faux News for for Faux News to start messing themselves. That in and of itself is pretty damning. Media Matters could easily change their name to “S*** Fox News Says,” and it would still be the exact same website.

        I will definitely buy Mr. Brock’s book now that you informed me of its existence because all the other news networks are too busy talking about more appealing distractions like Jeremy Lin and… you know… Iran and the European debt crisis. Faux News is doing Media Matters a favor by spending so much time on this. I can’t wait to get the book now.

  4. Talk about crazy, just from the several excerpts above, I diagnose this ablow character as exhibiting the symptom of self-conscious overblown drivel.

    A sailboat adrift, in danger of capsizing, looks for the strongest wind to keep it moving.

    A sailor does not “look for a wind”, the wind is either there or it is not, not to mention that a sailboat doesn’t look for anything at all, because it doesn’t have eyesight.

    And nobody looks for and picks and chooses a strong wind, “I need a strong wind, I’ll take that one” said the Captain. “No” his First Mate says, “Take that wind instead, it looks much stronger.”

    A sailboat adrift, in danger of capsizing, looks for the strongest wind to keep it moving.

    And since when is any sailboat “in danger of capsizing”, simply because it is adrift?

    Adrift means untethered from lines or anchor, and therefore floating wherever the current or wind will take it, it doesn’t mean “in danger of capsizing”, it’s high seas or strong winds (if you have too much sail) that might capsize a sailboat.

    That was all I needed to read from this ablow guy, in order to know he’s seriously afflicted with an overbearing desire to sound wise and insightful, and this affliction manifests itself in overblown self-conscious drivel.

  5. This malicious campaign of News Corp’s Fox News Channel and their lineup of hacks, against Media Matters’ David Brock, it suddenly occurs to me that maybe they’re trying to either intimidate him from appearing on those morning network shows to promote his book (doesn’t every author do that), or they’re trying to “poison that well” so to speak, by perhaps inspiring some morning talk show host to ask David Brock about this, thereby distracting from the book and making it all about the author (and of course that’s the dirty work that FNC’s hacks are doing). And if that’s the case, then I say Mr. Brock should be prepared to cite this campaign of FNC’s as being typical of what they do, that Mr. Brock should not only note this, he should be prepared to say something insightful and even funny about it. And now that I think about it, never mind that any interviewer might bring this matter up, Mr. Brock should bring it up himself! He should want to bring it up, not only as evidence of what FNC does, but he should bring it up to say he wished he could have included a chapter in his book about this slanderous and malicious campaign against him. It could have been the conclusion to the book, as conclusive evidence of what News Corp is and what Fox News Channel does… except of course those character assassins waited for the book to go to press, before they engaged in this current and low campaign. That’s part of what assassins do, they choose just the right and exactly calculated moment, to fire their shot.

    • I agree that Fox likely wants to inject these personal issues into any discussion of the book as a distraction from the substances that is embarrassing to Fox. And I also agree that Brock should be prepared for that if he does the book tour thing.

      However, I don’t think that he should EVER bring it up himself. That is playing into their hands. They don’t want the real topics in the book to be talked about, but that’s what Brock should be focused on. At most he should have a couple of funny retorts to dismiss the distraction if it comes up and then get back on topic. Maybe he could also have examples of right-wingers who have histories of drug use or sought therapy – again, only to dismiss it and return to the content of the book. By remaining calm, demonstrating a sense of humor, and committing to an honest and factual discussion, Brock can appear to be the reasonable person, particularly in comparison to the Fox whack jobs that are executing this highly charged personal assault.

  6. I think they hate him the most because he was once their guy – before he came to his senses and repented. Meanwhile, Carlson should never laugh on-air. Ever.

  7. I decided to see what Media Matters is all about so I went to their website and it appears to be an anti-fox news website like this one. So I’m not sure why anyone would expect anything else from Fox news given the anti fox slant. I never paid much attention to Media matters, so I don’t know if this is what it was always about or if this is a more recent development.

    • Really? A “fair and balanced” news network resulting in slanderous ad hominem (with no proof to back tht up)against a site which “seems anti Fox”? I’d have thought that FOX would be more grown up and ethical than that /sarc, however you don’t see the problem with it, as according to your words, “I’m not sure why anyone would expect anything else from Fox news given the anti fox slant”.

      By the way, this anti-FOX slant you’re talking about? Well I’ll admit it’s there, however the articles that are about FOX raise legitimate concerns about their ethicality and integrity (arther their LACK thereof) and provide facts and figure to back that up. The same can’t be said however about waht FOX is posting about MMFA.

      • I’ll just add to that the fact that Media Matters is an acknowledged liberal organization. Their mission statement says that they aim to expose conservative misinformation in the media. Fox, on the other hand pretends to be a “news” enterprise and they laughably claim to be fair and balanced.

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