Matthew Sheffield


Matthew Sheffield is the editor and publisher of Flux and host of “Theory of Change,” a video podcast airing on the site. Prior to starting Flux, Matthew worked at The Hill where he created and analyzed public opinion polls on a variety of policy areas and news topics. His surveys and analyses have been cited by many major news outlets and political groups.

Earlier, Matthew was a staff reporter at Salon where he wrote about numerous topics, including technology policy, elections, the media industry, and the rise of extremist movements in the United States. In his reporting, he exposed a secret network of salacious blogs set up for Fox News founder Roger Ailes that targeted women who worked for the network. He also exposed a security vulnerability in Google’s AMP standard.

Before joining Salon, Matthew ran a marketing and technology company which catered to Republican campaigns, conservative organizations, and publications. During this time, he served as the first online managing editor of the Washington Examiner and as the co-founder and executive editor of NewsBusters. He also produced two television shows and provided web development and hosting services to numerous clients.

His initial right-leaning project was RatherBiased.com, a blog launched in 2000 that was critical of the former CBS anchor Dan Rather which the Pew Research Center said was most responsible for the explosion of the 2004 “Memogate” scandal that ended Rather’s CBS tenure.

Matthew left right-wing media in 2015 after working on a manuscript for a book to help conservatives better understand politics. In researching the topic, he realized that right-wing elites were not interested in religious pluralism, and that they often used cultural complaints to distract from harmful policies.

His introduction to far-right politics grew out of his childhood in a prophetic Mormon family. During his youth, Matthew and his 7 siblings lived in cars, tents, trailer parks, and a few regular houses in several U.S. states. He is currently working on a memoir of these years, the first chapter of which is available at Flux.

Matthew and his work have been profiled and cited by many media outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, NBC, and CNN.

 

Content by Matthew Sheffield

How right-wing media became the glue that holds the Republican party together

Historian Nicole Hemmer discusses how reactionary media have radicalized millions of Americans since the 1940s


Low-quality pundits are getting rich telling people what they want to hear, inside the economics and psychology of how it works

‘Decoding the Gurus’ co-host Matthew Browne on how the tools of acquiring knowledge are being used to destroy it


Right-wing comedy isn’t funny, but it sure is effective

Authors Matt Sienkiewicz and Nick Marx discuss their new book about why lefties need to take right-wing comedy seriously


Will progressive and moderate Christians stand up against extremists politicizing their faith?

Singer and podcaster Malynda Hale talks about why progressive and moderate Christians need to defend the faith from within


How Pentecostal Christianity is taking over the world of religion, and why it matters

Author Elle Hardy discusses her book about the history of Pentecostalism and how it’s displacing other faiths across the globe


For decades, Republican consultants spent big to promote leftist candidates, now they’ve started creating fake ones

Instead of trying to build a majority, the American right has decided to divide and conquer


Latino evangelicals are reshaping American politics, politicians and parties should take notice

Sociology professor Gerardo Martí discusses how the rapid growth of evangelical faith among Latinos seems to be eroding a traditional Democratic constituency


How far-right media manipulated a father — and a nation

Jen Senko discusses her book and film, ‘The Brainwashing of My Dad,’ and how to help people escape from conspiracist media


Centrist elites have stalled political change and made room for the reactionary right

Luke Savage discusses his new book, ‘The Dead Center: Reflections on Liberalism and Democracy After The End Of History’


How much do political party elites know about their own voters?

Pollster and demographer Daniel Cox discusses why cultural issues often dominate U.S. politics, and how much surveys can actually tell us about public opinion


Do Joe Biden and his team realize who they’re dealing with?

Salon.com columnist Heather Digby Parton discusses how Democratic leaders seem to think flowery speeches are sufficient against hardcore reactionaries


The January 6th Capitol attack was the inevitable product of the Christian Right’s hatred of America

Journalist and researcher Bruce Wilson discusses how religious hatred for a ‘fallen nation’ fueled a presidential coup attempt


Charlie Kirk and Turning Point USA are building a reactionary cult for young people, does anyone on the center-left care?

Rhetoric professor Matthew Boedy describes how a far-right group is radicalizing young Christians, and how little center-left groups are doing in response


Media elites have missed the damage caused by free trade, and how millions felt betrayed by Democrats

Journalist Farah Stockman discusses her new book on the meaning of work, and how educated elites have ignored the problems of others


The John Birch Society and the birth of the far-right rage machine

American politics is arguably the product of Robert Welch, a far-right activist who was mostly ignored by conventional journalists and historians


America’s polarization is ultimately an epistemic problem

Former libertarian writer and policy wonk Will Wilkinson discusses how many far-right Christians and secular libertarians have decided that facts are optional and evidence does not matter


Technology alone cannot solve the problems of social media

David Adams, founder and publisher of OSNews, discusses the cyclical nature of technology and the implications of computing’s return to the network


How the ‘Steele Dossier’ confused the public and ended up helping Donald Trump

Journalist and author Barry Meier discusses how private spy agencies manipulate the media and intimidate whistleblowers for wealthy clients


The disinformation economy isn’t invincible, meet two women working to end it

Nandini Jammi and Claire Atkin of Check My Ads want to make publishing lies unprofitable, while also helping advertisers protect their brands


Trump supporters will make it difficult for the GOP to copy Glenn Youngkin

Never Trump commentator Jim Swift on why Trump and his fans won’t allow the Virginia gubernatorial candidate’s strategy to be copied


White nationalists and jihadists are starting to realize they have a lot in common

Extremism researcher Moustafa Ayad talks about how religious extremists from across the world are starting to come together, and what that means for the rest of us


Far-right Christians think they’re living in a Bible story, and that you are as well

Literature professor Christopher Douglas discusses the modern-day rewriting of Biblical apocalyptic literature as a justification for political extremism


Why is Republican obstruction assumed to be a fact of American politics?

Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent talks in-depth about trying to push Democrats to discuss Republican extremism, and how Donald Trump himself was harmed by it


Political extremism is a twisted mirror of elite failure

Author Nimmi Gowrinathan on the motivations of female militants and the origins of violent extremism


How Linux and open-source software took the computing world by storm

Programmer and entrepreneur Miguel de Icaza talks about how Linux went from a college student’s hobby to powering most of the world’s computers, and his own story as a free software developer


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