What did you do in the Culture War, Daddy?

Brooklyn Bad Boy in da house, bitches

Today we take up, once again, the " surprisingly fresh face of conservatism" that is Jason Mattera.

When not accepting tainted scholarship money (explained in a most delightful way… I’ll be getting to that later) Jason makes his living, such as it is, as an actual living young person at the Young America’s Foundation which is an offshoot of the Young American’s for Freedom. As has been noted before, there’s not a whole lot of young going on at those organizations and, to all appearances, it just looks like a bunch of guys living the Mark Foley dream.

But never mind that…

As documented before, Jason isn’t fighting over there because someone (that would be Jason) has to fight the Much Much More Existentialist Battle for the Soul of the Universe here at home. I speak, of course, of The Culture War.

So, you may ask, howse he doin’?

Let step though it all.

The College Years.

As a student at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, Mattera first received national attention in September 2003 when, as editor of a student newsletter for college Republicans titled The Hawk’s Right Eye, he wrote a bullying and venomous attack on the mother of a college student who was beaten and murdered for being gay. Judy Shepard, whose son Matthew was beaten to death in Wyoming, had given a talk at the Roger Williams campus about the murder of her son and had called on students to practice tolerance and respect. Mattera’s column accused her of "preying on students’ emotions and naivety" [sic] so that she could become "a mascot for the homosexual agenda." [1] (Pdf) The same issue published a lurid description of the homosexual rape of a young boy and threw in a joke about "pedophiles nationwide" who "condemned the FDA’s food pyramid as ‘bigoted’ and ‘hateful’ because ‘anus’ and ‘penis’ were not listed as separate food groups."

I strongly urge you to go read Jason’s editorial if only to savor tasty little nuggets like these:

Shepard’s unpolished speech was sagaciously designed first to prey on students’ emotion and naivety, and when the students’ hearts were softened, she then became a mascot for the homosexual agenda.

However, most RWU students believe that beating someone to death, regardless of their sexuality, is wrong and prohibited by law.

Not that Jason has anything against homosexuals, in fact, he rather coy when it cames to sexuality. For that we go to…

Conor Clarke goes to the 2006 Conservative Student Conference and meets Jason the Organizer:

I went to the conference, as a reporter for The Washington Monthly, to engage with conservative ideas and continue the research on college organizing that I had been doing all summer. I also agreed to blog on the event for campusprogress.org. But it was not to be. Two events and three posts after Custer’s opening remarks, I was approached by YAF’s spokesman, Jason Mattera, on my way to see Newt Gingrich. “Who do you work for?” Mattera demanded, with a touch of petulance. “The Washington Monthly,” I told him. “Are you writing for anyone else?” “I’m blogging for Campus Progress.”

And that did the trick. “There’s the elevator,” Mattera pointed. “I can have one of my interns push the down button.” But it didn’t end there. What happened to the vaunted marketplace of ideas, I asked. The openness and exchange?

You don’t get the sense, talking to Mattera, that he’s really an “ideas” guy. In fact, like a teenager who lords over his little brother, he seems to revel in power for its own sake—blissfully uninterested in arguments, and completely at ease with force. Indeed, the first justification that escaped Mattera’s lips was this: “Because I said so.” Following hot on the heels of hours of speeches in which conservatives insisted, repeatedly and emphatically, that they have the arguments and ideas to knock collegiate liberalism flat, this gem was delivered without the slightest hint of irony. It didn’t seem to occur to Mattera that “Because I said so” isn’t an especially good argument—or that, in fact, it’s not really an argument at all. (But this is not the first time Mattera has excluded reporters from the YAF conference. When a CampusProgress.org reporter, Julie Siegel, requested press credentials to cover it Mattera denied her, and said he would deny The Nation—the oldest weekly magazine in the country—as well.)

And then, like a thunderbolt, Mattera comes up with this: “You misrepresented yourself.” Hmmm, really? When? Could it have been when I originally asked for press credentials? No: I was, and am, reporting for The Washington Monthly. (Mattera knows and doesn’t deny this: I interviewed him three weeks ago.) So was it when Campus Progress asked me to blog? If so, Mattera would have to insist that any journalist who works for one publication but writes for several is required to give a running disclosure of all future work possibilities. And if that’s the case—if Mattera has stumbled upon some brave new world of journalistic ethics—he would do well to inform the thousands upon thousands of freelance journalists presently at work in the country.

Mattera, however, lacks the courage of those convictions. How should YAF respond, I asked him, if I were reporting for The Monthly and blogging for The National Review? The point of the thought experiment never seems to connect, because Mattera’s response is once again glib and irony-free. “You know what?” he says. “If you were with The National Review, I’d get you a seat right up front and have one of my interns give you a nice massage, and grab you a cup of Sunkist.” (Just who are these interns, forced to fetch drinks, push elevator buttons and give massages?) On Mattera’s intellectual horizon, however, the contradiction never dawns. So is the closeout ideological? “Sure, whatever,” he says.

Some people might call that censorship. And so, it turns out, would Mattera. “Alright,” he admits with a laugh. “It’s censorship.” Well that settles that. (Unless, of course, Mattera denies everything he said, as he implied he would during our conversation.)


For Mattera, alas, hypocrisy isn’t enough. “I would give you my business card,” he quips as I turn to leave. “But you would probably just hit on me.” I look back, baffled. “Oh come on,” he says with a faux-apologetic grin. “What you liberals need is a sense of humor.”

What a tease. It’s not as good as "I won’t bite…unless you want me too." but it’ll do.

Later Jason explains teh ghey to us:

GIBSON: Joining me now, Fox News political analyst Rich Lowry, the editor of the National Review, and Jason Mattera, a spokesman for Young America’s Foundation. He was at the CPAC convention when Coulter spoke on Friday. So, Jason, you first. Did you find Coulter’s remark shocking and deplorable and something she ought to be condemned for?

MATTERA: No, I was one of the people who laughed right away, because I understood her point, and many people who did understand her point. She was making a joke not about homosexuality, or calling John Edwards a fag. What she was doing was pointing out that political correctness stifles speech. In the case of Isaiah Washington in Grey’s Anatomy, he used the word, and he was told in order to keep his job he had to go to rehab. That was the brunt of the joke. She wasn’t — in fact, she said it was a joke, and it would be mean to the homosexual community if she was comparing them to John Edwards.


GIBSON: Let me put this on the screen, "Coulter and the ‘F’ Word." And the question, was it worse that Maher wishing Cheney was dead? Jason?

MATTERA: No, of course not. In fact, I would like to also point out she was basically calling John Edwards a wuss, that he was a girlie-man, and that if he were elected president he would probably embolden Al Qaeda to attack us. He’s not a real man. And many at CPAC held that sentiment. I mean, it’s grassroots — many — I want to point this out, too. There were thousands of college students there, and she knows how to — communication 101 principle — she knows how to communicate a message to an audience, especially to college students, and she got rousing — rousing applause and rousing standing ovations throughout the event.

Speaking of "communication 101" (Jason has a degree in Communications in case you hadn’t noticed) , what about that scholarship?

Meet Jason The Anthropologist:

In 2004, Mattera appeared on CNN to promote a whites-only scholarship in protest of affirmative action. Mattera complained to anchor Daryn Kagan about scholarships “just for students of color.” He said, "There’s a group of students on campus, a large group of students on campus who are handicapped and they’re at a disadvantage. And they’re at a disadvantage because of their Caucasian descent."

But later in the same interview, Mattera admitted that he had taken a scholarship from the Hispanic College Fund, a fund restricted to minorities. When Kagan asked why, if he was so offended by scholarships based on race, he had not given the money back, Mattera answered, “Well, Hispanic is not a race. Hispanic is — you can’t tell me what color Hispanic is. It’s white, blank, Indian, Asian, Hispanic. It’s not a race-based scholarship.”

Lastly, here is Jason honoring former US Marine Adam Kokesh, on Fox:

Last night’s Hannity & Colmes panel featured the unbalanced combination of two conservatives plus one liberal. The liberal was Adam Kokesh (who seems to be the same Adam Kokesh who made news a while back when he lost his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps after being caught protesting the Iraq war in fatigues). Kokesh, now a student at George Washington University, was on the show representing “Students for Conservato-Fascism Awareness” a group formed in opposition to David Horowitz’ Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week designed for a college campus near you.

Kokesh was an excellent guest who knew better than to let the hosts set the agenda and even threw in a dig at FOX News while he was at it. Perhaps that’s why, even with two against one, the conservative guests couldn’t manage to be polite to him.

The third guest, conservative Sergio Gor, chided Kokesh for interrupting in Part 1 of the discussion. Then, in Part 2 (shown below), Gor rudely interrupted Kokesh. Mattera laughed heartily at Gor’s rudeness.

Then Mattera made his ill-chosen attack: “Adam’s obviously not the brightest bulb,” he said.

To his credit, guest host Lowry quickly interrupted. “Jason, Jason, Jason… nothing personal. No, no, no, no, you’re not doing your cause any favors. You’re not doing your cause any favors talking that way.”

Mattera later had the nerve to complain to Alan Colmes about other people calling names, saying, “This is something intellectually depleted people do.”

You have to admit, Jason uses his tongue prettier’n a twenty dollar whore… or any other member of the wingnut welfare gravy train

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Yeah. Like I would tell you....