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Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Media’s Media Matters Blackout

from Seton Motley's blog

The Jurassic Press - a.k.a. the old school, anything-but-mainstream news media - is enjoying a very quiet laugh at the expense of one of their competitors - the Fox News Channel.

Quiet - as in 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 $1 million) hack-outfit Media Matters for America.

Fox News is arguably the Jurassic Press’ only competitor - in the sense that it is just about the only news outlet not hopelessly Leftist in perspective and presentation.

Not at all coincidentally, Fox News is also about the only news outlet currently adding to its audience - while the amused and bemused many are hemorrhaging viewers, readers and listeners.

So the media’s news-free zone here is at least in part self-serving. After all, Media Matters is doing what they cannot - beat Fox News.

Not in the ratings, but with a multi-million dollar dishonest-rhetoric bat.

Media Matters was co-founded by current Barack Obama Administration Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton - something which she proudly proclaims.

Her fellow founder? David Brock, the fallen conservative journalist who thereafter drifted Leftward. And he runs the show.

Media Matters is an alleged media “monitor” that describes 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....

Note the bolded phrase (emphasis ours) - “a cross section.”

In or about March, Brock announced Media Matters was dramatically diminishing said cross section - by openly declaring “war on Fox.” (The official announcement came just after Soros’ $1 million check cleared - we’re sure that was merely a coincidence.)

The above link is to the only Jurassic Press outlet we could find that mentions this story at all. (All hail Politico’s Ben Smith - the Bruce Willis of Huge Journalism.)

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 hit squad.


Brock is doing all of this because, he claims, Fox News has become the titular head of the Republican Party.

And herein is a probable legal problem for Media Matters.

Media Matters is registered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a 501(c)3 organization. I will let esteemed attorney C. Boyden Grey explain 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.

Again, a Leftist hit squad - in apparent violation of their tax-exempt status.

Per Brock’s own words. If he views Fox News as the head of the Republican Party - and he’s publicly dedicated his organization to going after it - than Media Matters has ceased to be an “educational” entity, and has become a political one.

And that seemingly places Media Matters in violation of their tax-exempt charter. Their very existence should be under serious investigation.

By President Obama’s IRS. Please don’t halt respiratory activity in the waiting for that to occur.

Being liberal means never having to say you’re sorry. Or having to adhere to the law the way the rest of us here on Planet Earth do.

Racialist shakedown artist Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition - another tax-exempt joint - looks to be a serial violator of IRS law. But as Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly pointed out way back in 2001, that has hardly mattered.

(I)n 1998, the Rainbow Push Coalition cited 1.2 million dollars in travel expenses. But no receipts were provided in the Illinois tax return. You try that.

In 1982, the IRS reviewed Jackson's nonprofit status. About one million dollars was unaccounted for. Jackson was ordered to repay about seven hundred thousand to the government. It took him years to do it. The IRS did not charge him interest or a penalty. You try to get that deal.

Jesse Jackson is a millionaire but does not have a full-time job. He gets paid to speak and apparently has a steady income flow. He provided his mistress with $40,000 in moving expenses, a $365,000 house and $10,000 a month in child support. Was any of that tax-exempt money? Enquiring minds would like to know.

The government seems to be afraid of Jesse Jackson. He has not been audited since 1982, even though he was a million light. The press is afraid of Jackson, as well. The New York Times played the mistress story on page 26.

The media and the government afraid of Jackson? Maybe. Are they of like-Huge Government mind and therefore far less likely to investigate? Methinks yes.


David Brock and his Media Matters officially declared war on Fox News about four months ago - and as we said, our search revealed only the one story since on the Web. The Jurassic Press is dumb.

And deaf. And blind. And utterly incurious. The Washington Post reported on all of this last December - but completely by accident, and they completely missed the story for the trees.

Entitled “Outfoxed by Fox News? No way,” it begins:

It takes only an instant for a visitor to Media Matters for America's headquarters in downtown Washington to sense its mission, if not its methods. A few steps into its modern offices, which resemble a newspaper newsroom, a pair of prominently displayed signs spell out the basics: "Fox Keeps Fear Alive," reads one; "Restore Sanity, Fight Fox," reads its companion.

Fighting Fox is what Media Matters does, relentlessly and obsessively. In the six years since its founding, the watchdog group has evolved from an all-purpose scourge of theconservative media into Fox News Channel's veritable shadow and constant irritant. From well before sunrise to long after it each day, teams of young researchers sift through video clips and transcripts of programs hosted by Fox stars such as Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly to find dubious facts, logical contradictions and poisonous - at least to Media Matters' liberal sensibilities - rhetoric.

(Emphasis ours.)

It’s very easy to miss the story - malevolently or benignly - when you’re both sympathetic to and fond of the person and entity on which you’re reporting.


Let us juxtapose this gigantic Jurassic Press mess with the very recently breaking story of Fox News Channel owner - and thusly Leftist bete noir - Rupert Murdoch’s problems with his British paper News of the World. Which he’s now shut down after it came to light that they had hacked telephones in pursuit of stories.

Like the Media Matters prospective illegality, this too is a bigstory - and it deserves coverage. Which it has gotten - in heaps and buckets.

Because the Jurassic Press doesn’t miss the story when they are unsympathetic to and unfond of the person and entity on which they are reporting.

The media has for months missed the fact that the government should probably yank Media Matters’ tax-exempt status.

But they are lightning fast to point out potential government action against Murdoch and Fox News. On ABC’s This Week this week, “journalist” (and a person in whose organization Murdoch once invested) Stephen Brill helpfully suggested:

Well, there is an issue here in the United States.... News Corps has a lot of FCC licenses. There is still a clause in the federal communications law that requires that you have to be of good character to have such a license. And I was reading last night just in the approval that they gave to Comcast to take over NBC, there was actually some guy who challenged the character of Comcast, because when they installed a cable system somewhere they had hurt his building and hadn't paid for it. And this became a big legal proceeding, actually.

So, here, I am reasonably certain that someone, you know, maybe someone from the political left or whoever, is going to make a big deal of, you know, whether they are fit to have their FCC licenses under the current management.

And there slinks David Brock and Media Matters - ready to vociferously take Brill’s absurd suggestion.

Yet another opportunity for Leftist hacks to improperly and irresponsibly slam their opponents with the massive hammer of government - and it’s the Jurassic Press pointing out the opening.

But Leftist hacks are in apparent violation of the law - and government action is actually warranted - and the media is deafeningly silent.

Just another day in America’s pseudo-“news” rooms.

Seton Motley
Less Government