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The Fox News Vendetta Against Media Matters Via Their Tax Exempt Status Continues

Reported by Ellen - July 5, 2011 -

As Democrat Jehmu Greene suggested during Fox News Watch’s double segment attacking Media Matters’ tax exempt status (complete with a suggestion that viewers could file their own complaints), if Fox really cares about partisanship in non-profit organizations, it needs to look beyond just Media Matters – which just so happens to have Fox News squarely in its sights, particularly with a “Drop Fox” program aimed at the network’s advertisers. Instead, Fox News' attack on Media Matters' status quacks like a self-serving vendetta.

In one of the segments on Saturday's show (7/2/11), attorney C. Boyden Gray was shown saying, "When you start to accuse Fox News of being the spokesman for the Republican Party, which is demonstrably false. There’s no basis for that. Brock or Media Matters makes no effort to substantiate any of that."

Not only has Media Matters made that effort, it’s been pretty well substantiated by us and by them as well as Rolling Stone Magazine, by New York Magazine and by the documentary Outfoxed – to name a few.

“Take a look at the story count,” host Jon Scott said incriminatingly. “When you look at the number of stories Media Matters for America which is supposed to be, you know, taking a look at media misinformation, they filed 2,670 stories about Fox News vs. 66 against – uh, regarding CNN and 48 regarding MSNBC.”

Scott asked panelist Judith Miller (a Fox News contributor), “Judy, is there a little bit of a balance problem there?” Of course, it’s Fox who’s the one always bragging about being balanced, not Media Matters. In fact, their mission statement makes it perfectly clear otherwise: Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. Maybe, just maybe, all those posts about Fox says something about their bias. It was a point that seemed to escape the entire panel, including Greene, also a Fox News contributor.

And while we're speaking of a balance problem, how about all the generous air time "fair and balanced" Fox gave to potential Republican presidential candidates?

Unfortunately, that did not come up either. Greene's only effort to hold Fox’s feet to the fire was to repeatedly say that if Fox wants to go after Media Matters, there needs to be a broader conversation. It was a good point, but hardly the only one to be made.

Meanwhile, Miller laughed derisively and called it “the worst kept secret in America” that Media Matters had moved from an “educational institution” to outright attacking Fox. “It’s been out there since March and where is the rest of the media?”

As I’ve previously written, I won’t pretend to know what activities are proper for a 501(c)(3) organization. But I do know that partisan activism by a news network – especially one that calls itself “fair and balanced” – doesn’t pass the smell test even before it starts pointing a hypocritical finger of activism at anybody else. Especially on a program that purports – as Fox News Watch does – to analyze the media

I so would have loved someone to remind Fox of a recent Fox Nation headline (which also boasts about being fair and balanced), Obama Launches Sickening Class War Assault Against Republicans or even how Fox has egged on its audience to file a complaint against Media Matters.

But sadly, the elephant in the room sat there without comment.

Video via Mediaite.

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