The MSM's 'Media Matters' Blackout
The MSM is enjoying a very quiet laugh at the expense of one of their competitors: the Fox News Channel. They’re not saying a word about the all-encompassing, possibly illegal abuse Fox News is experiencing at the hands of the George Soros-funded (to the tune of $1M) Media Matters for America.
Media Matters was co-founded by current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, something which she proudly proclaims. Her fellow founder is David Brock, the fallen conservative journalist who thereafter drifted leftward. Media Matters is an alleged media “monitor,” describing itself on its website thusly:
Launched in May 2004, Media Matters for America put in place, for the first time, the means to systematically monitor a cross section of print, broadcast, cable, radio, and Internet media outlets for conservative misinformation (emphasis mine).
Around March of this year, Brock announced Media Matters was dramatically diminishing said “cross section” by openly declaring “war on Fox.” (The official announcement came just after Soros’ $1M check cleared.) The above link is to the only mainstream outlet I could find that mentions this story.
Brock says Media Matters will hound Fox News with “guerrilla warfare and sabotage.” For instance:
Media Matters, Brock said, is assembling opposition research files not only on Fox’s top executives but on a series of midlevel officials. It has hired an activist who has led a successful campaign to press advertisers to avoid Glenn Beck’s show. The group is assembling a legal team to help people who have clashed with Fox to file lawsuits for defamation, invasion of privacy, or other causes. And it has hired two experienced reporters, Joe Strupp and Alexander Zaitchik, to dig into Fox’s operation to help assemble a book on the network, due out in 2012 from Vintage/Anchor.
This isn’t “media analysis.” This is a multi-million dollar leftist PR hit squad. Brock is doing all of this because he claims Fox News has become the titular head of the Republican Party.
And herein lies a legal problem for Media Matters.
Media Matters is registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)3 organization. Esteemed attorney C. Boyden Grey explains what that means:
(T)hat is, an organization that can receive tax-deductible contributions to engage in educational activities. The more precise purpose was to counter alleged media bias and so to “identify occurrences of excessive bias in the American media, educate the public as to their existence, and to work with members of the media to reduce them.”
What (Media Matters for America) MMA actually is doing, however, moves far afield from identifying possible bias to mounting a campaign to undermine a major media outlet and to promote the Democratic Party and progressive causes associated with it. Mr. Brock himself has described this new strategy as “a war on Fox,” an effort “to disrupt [Rupert Murdoch‘s] commercial interests” and look for ways to turn regulators against News Corp.’s media outlets.
MMA’s activities should disallow its tax-exempt status in two fundamental ways. First, IRS rulings make clear that attacks on individuals, statement of positions that are unsupported by facts, and use of inflammatory language and other distortions will cost an organization its tax-free status. Second, in declaring “guerrilla warfare” on Fox as the “leader” and “mouthpiece” of the Republican Party and in developing a sophisticated Democratic-leaning media training boot camp, MMA has transformed itself into an aggressive advocate for Democratic and progressive causes and thus produced a second deviation from exempt educational activities.
Per Brock’s own words, if he views Fox News as the head of the Republican Party and has publicly dedicated his organization to going after it, than Media Matters has ceased to be an “educational” entity and has become a political one.