Fox News Goes After Media Matters' Tax-Exempt Status

Fox News is going on the offensive against its nemesis, the liberal think tank Media Matters. Over the past ten days, the network has run more than 30 segments calling for Media Matters to be stripped of its non-profit tax status.


This level of coordinated activism by the network bolsters Media Matters' contention that Fox is a political organization. Ironically, Fox's complaint against Media Matters is the latter's claim that Fox is a mouthpiece for the Republican Party:

Its argument was first laid out in a June 22 column in the Washington Times by C. Boyden Gray, George H. W. Bush’s White House counsel, who cited two actions by Media Matters: its “unsupported” claims about Fox News being the voice of the Republican Party; and a “sophisticated Democratic-leaning media training boot camp” sponsored by the group that, in essence, Gray said, provided support to the Democratic Party.

“The declaration of war itself is a rhetorical device,” said Gray, a former Fox News consultant. “But when you go further and make allegations that are not substantiated, then it slips into ‘Wow, this looks like it’s for and in support of the Democratic party…It’s absurd to say that Fox is the Republican Party. There’s no factual basis for that.” [Politico]

Alleging that Fox is a mouthpiece for the GOP is an assertion of fact, or well-supported opinion. It's hardly an incursion into electoral politics.

In One of Fox's top anchors, Chris Wallace, has said repeatedly that his network will profit from the Republican presidential primaries because the network "owns" so many of the leading candidates.

"As I said on [Jon Stewart's show], because we own all of the people who are running for president, we're going to turn it into a 13-week series, like Dancing with the Stars or something," Wallace said last year on Imus in the Morning.

Indeed, according to a report by Media Matters, Fox gave GOP presidential hopefuls the equivalent of $55 million of free advertising over the course of 85 hours of friendly airtime to promote their political views. That's in addition to the paid commentator gigs that many candidates enjoy.

To learn more about Fox News and the GOP check out Tim Dickinson's Rolling Stone cover story, "How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Fear Factory."

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
Sponsored
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

James Patterson on writing: Plotting, research, and first drafts

The best-selling author tells us his methods.

Videos
  • James Patterson has sold 300 million copies of his 130 books, making him one of the most successful authors alive today.
  • He talks about how some writers can overdo it by adding too much research, or worse, straying from their outline for too long.
  • James' latest book, The President is Missing, co-written with former President Bill Clinton, is out now.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
Culture & Religion
  • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
  • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
  • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Keep reading Show less