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Steve Doocy Suggests Media Matters Lied To The IRS

Reported by Priscilla - July 13, 2011 -

When Jon Stewart said that "conservative victimization is the true genius of what Fox News has accomplished," he just wasn't "whistling Dixie." (Which, I suspect, is the favorite song for many Fox fans). This morning's Fox & Friends was yet another example of this axiom in yet another installment of Fox & Friends' war on Media Matter's war on Fox News. Ailes "lackey" Steve Doocy provided a platform for a discussion about how a GOP funded group was denied 501 (c)(3) status and the evil, librul Media Matter wasn't. But in yet another example of Fox News misinformation, the point that this group appears to be clearly politically partisan, as opposed to Media Matters, was clearly lost on clearly partisan Steve Doocy. In yet another example of Fox personal attacks, Doocy disparaged MMFA president David Brock's credibility. And it goes with saying that this was yet another example of how Fox News opinion is so not "fair & balanced." But what made it even more interesting is that Fox "News" is doubling down on their attack by not just questioning Media Matters' tax status but implying that they lied to the IRS. Meanwhile, the Murdoch empire is under siege for sleazy and possible illegal activity. Go figure!

As the agitprop chyron read, "Tax Exemption Double Standard, Why Media Matters Got Status but ACA did not." Doocy pushed the ongoing Fox management meme: "While Media Matters is able to use its tax exempt status to fund its self declared war on Fox News because the IRS has granted the site tax exempt status, the left wing website is even using your money to run a media training boot camp to teach quote progressive thinking." The graphic behind was "tax paid propaganda." Mr. Happy then explained how, back in the 80's, the American Campaign Academy was denied tax exempt status for a training institute for conservatives "which sounds a lot like what Media Matters is doing right now."

Steve's guest was Jan Bering, a former General Counsel for the National Republican Campaign Committe. He described how the ACA was organized to train people to work in Republican campaigns. He noted that they were "honest" in telling the IRS that they were a school for "professional operatives." The agitprop chyron kept hitting the requisite message on the head: "Media Matters Tax Status, Why Was ACA Denied the Same Privilege?" He claimed that they should have a tax exemption because they are "educational." Naturally, the ever partisan Doocy said "exactly" and reinforced the requisite message: "Your organization was honest and forthcoming with the IRS and you were denied tax exempt status." He continued to push the propaganda with - wait for it - "you gotta wonder, though, whether Media Matters was truthful." The propaganda gets better - are ya ready for it - "Media Matters is headed up by David Brock, an admitted liar. He admits he lied about some people in some books." (Hmmm, when has Bill O'Reilly ever admitted his lies?) He asked Bering if he thought that Media Matters lied on their IRS application and if they admitted that they were going to go after just one media entity "and they would effectively be, uh, you know, uhuhgh," (spit it out, Steve) "I don't know how you would characterize what they do on the left, it sounds like what they're doing on the left is a lot like what you had proposed doing on the right.

Bering did admit that MMFA is not saying that they're helping Democratic candidates and that he doesn't know what the application said and whether - catch the subtle affirmation of the Fox propaganda - they said they were going to do something "that was devoted to tearing down one organization, Fox News." He suggested that the application should be reviewed. (Something "fair & balanced" Fox hasn't bothered doing?). Steve wanted to know if the tax exempt status should "get booted." Poor Doocy looked a little taken aback when Bering said that would be difficult. However, he perked up when Bering said the application could be reviewed for consistency with the law.

Comment: To give Bering his due, he didn't, as far as I could see, give Doocy as much ammunition as he was hoping for in the Fox war on Media Matters. But Doocy was able to promote the requisite propaganda message that Brock is a liar and that Media Matters possibly lied to the IRS. As usual, Doocy provided no counterpoint. According to Marcus Owen, a partner at Caplin & Drysdale and former director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the IRS, there would have to be proof that the Media Matters training has direct ties to Democratic organizations. The ACA was directly tied to the GOP, as noted in the IRS decision. This was not noted by Doocy. But that wasn't important to Doocy. What was important was that he did his duty, as a Fox & Friends host, to inject the daily dose of Fox venom into the media bloodstream.

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