Brock grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey and later in Dallas. His adopted father, a marketing executive, was so right-wing that he left the Catholic Church in the ’60s because he felt it had become too liberal. Once Brock began attending Berkeley, in the early ’80s, he came out of the closet. Ideologically, though, he was turned off by the politically-correct orthodoxy of the campus and the times, and found he got a thrill out of pushing people’s buttons by taking contrarian views. He soon fell in with the embattled minority of Berkeley Young Republicans, embracing with particular zeal the Reagan administration’s fervent anti-Communism.
As a journalist, Brock had long admired Upton Sinclair, and now Brock hoped to employ similar muckraking techniques to further conservative causes. He moved to Washington after college and began writing for The Washington Times, the far-right newspaper founded by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon; later, Brock graduated to The American Spectator, a monthly magazine funded in the ’90s by right-wing billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife largely to dig up dirt on the Clintons.
By the 2004 presidential campaign, Brock had begun actively working for the other team. After years of fumbling, progressives were finally beginning to find their voice online, through liberal blogs like Daily Kos and advocacy groups like MoveOn.org. In this atmosphere, Brock launched his own website, Media Matters for America, devoted to monitoring conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.more » « less