Media Matters for America, the rabid left-wing, anti-Trump blog, has been one of the president’s most hysterical critics when it comes to the administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
But that didn’t stop them from taking millions of dollars in federal aid earmarked for small businesses.
Records show that Media Matters, the progressive activist group founded by Clinton loyalist David Brock in 2004, received between $1 million and $2 million from the government’s Paycheck Protection Program. The loan represents a significant portion of the group’s annual income, which was listed as $11 million in 2017, according to tax records. Media Matters is bankrolled by the Democracy Alliance, one of the largest progressive donor groups in the country. The deep-pocketed philanthropy network has steered hundreds of millions of dollars to liberal groups since it was founded in 2005—and pledged to distribute $100 million in 2020 alone.
Their million-dollar loan was much larger than the average PPP loan. The average loan size for businesses during the first round of funding that ended in April was $200,000, according to reports. The average for the second round of funding, which ended in late May, was $114,000.
To be honest, the PPP program was a boondoggle. Millionaires, billionaires, members of Congress, members of the administration — all received taxpayer-funded bailouts from the PPP. There was so much free money floating around that anyone could just reach up and grab a million or two — no questions asked.
And that was the problem. The White House was in such a rush to get the money out the door and the guidelines were so hastily and carelessly drawn so that people and companies that had no business receiving a bailout got one. We could say it was a typical government operation, except there was nothing “typical” about the waste involved. Many small businesses that could have used that money went bankrupt.
The PPP was a response to the prospect of massive numbers of business failures that were possible during the lockdown. But that hasn’t stopped Media Matters from hypocritically criticizing the hand that fed them.
“[T]hough Trump is set to ask Congress for emergency funds to fight the novel coronavirus outbreak—after weeks of failing to do so—some public health officials say he won’t ask for enough to do the job,” Media Matters argued in late February, before receiving a PPP loan.
At least some of the Republican members of Congress who received millions in loans came by their loot honestly. They supported the president.
They include Rep. Mike Kelly, a Republican from Pennsylvania who owns namesake car dealerships, received three loans ranging up to $1 million, according to the data. His spokesman said in a statement that Kelly is not involved in day-to-day operations and “was not part of the discussions between the business and the PPP lender.”
Missouri Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler, whose family farm supply business also benefited from the program, defended her family’s loans back in April writing “our family businesses applied for and received PPP loans to ensure our employees could remain employed and the business could pay expenses. These loans are allowable for Members of Congress and were acquired in accordance to the provisions written into the CARES Act.”
The idea of any media company taking government money should be worrisome to anyone who cares about a free press. Media Matters doesn’t care about a free press — only a press that’s free for them. So perhaps if Biden is elected president they can apply to be an official White House mouthpiece — they will anyway.