Bill O’Reilly thinks Media Matters has got to go and while he’s looking into some secret legal action, he all but commanded Fox News viewers to file complaints with the IRS to have Media Matters’ tax exempt status revoked.
The O’Reilly Factor has a new Friday night segment, called “Varney’s Villains.” For its premier episode, O’Reilly and Fox Business host Stuart Varney chose “hate site” Media Matters to “pound into pudding,” as O’Reilly joked.
“They’re a hate-filled propaganda machine,” Varney told O’Reilly, without a hint of irony. He went on to explain that the organization is “technically a 501(c)(3) corporation,” meaning, “they get a tax break.”
“They’re not supposed to engage overtly in politics all the time,” Varney continued. He also claimed, “They’re allowed to put out propaganda. But it must not be - it must be insubstantial.”
“That’s all they do is propaganda,” O’Reilly claimed. “So, there’s no way that the IRS can’t know that this is a political unit, alright, devoted to harming conservatives and traditional Americans.” Apparently, we were supposed to take it on faith that Media Matters is engaging in “substantial” politicking - other than stating that the head of Media Matters also heads an "elect Hillary Clinton outfit."
O’Reilly provided not a single example of how Media Matters might be in violation of IRS rules, not even an example of how it engages in politics rather than its mission of "comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media." After all, that would mean he'd have to reveal just how effectively the openly liberal organization exposes conservative BS.
Nevertheless, O'Reilly hinted unmistakably that he thinks the viewers - you know, the ones O'Reilly always claims to be looking out for - should pitch in and do their fair share to help take down Media Matters just on his say so.
O’REILLY: So this is a con, and this is obviously, this is not a group that deserves this tax-free status. What can someone do, alright, to make the IRS revoke it?
VARNEY: Okay, an individual could file one of these forms with the IRS. It’s form 13909. (A close up of the form appeared on the screen.) It’s the tax-exempt organization complaint referral form. Simple form. Fill it out, complain, say what your beef is with Media Matters, and you can complain. That’s how you do it.
O’REILLY: Can you formally sue them?
VARNEY: I presume you could.
O’REILLY: Say another group—because there are a lot of conservative, traditional groups—they could sue the IRS and say this is against the law.
VARNEY: I don’t know about suing the IRS. I think they could complain to the IRS and say why don’t you investigate.
But that wasn’t enough for O’Reilly. “What if they don’t do anything about it, because you know how politicized the IRS is,” he continued. So, he’s got a secret Plan B. “I think there might be some legal action that can be taken but we’ll look into it,” O’Reilly said solemnly.
Then, just to make sure nobody at home missed an opportunity to sic the IRS on Media Matters, O’Reilly asked again, “And where can you get that form to make that complaint?”
If you ask me, Media Matters seemed much more O’Reilly’s villain than Varney’s. Watch it below, from the October 9 The O’Reilly Factor, via Media Matters, and let me know what you think.
Yes, Bill. And while we are at it, please have your viewers file complaints to have the Catholic Church’s tax exempt status revoked as well, because, as we know, they are a political entity and therefore need to be classified as such.
This should work! I mean, BillDoe did so much damage to the tourist industry in France by keeping all of the dumb-ass white trash old ’Murkan people from visiting there …. wait a minute… did France thank BillDoe for that?
The right-wing equivalent, Newsbusters? I’m sure it’s purely coincidental fair and balanced Fox News features the founder and other personalities for softball treatment.
I wonder what Media Matters skewered Bill with to create his latest fit? Or did he have some time to spare from cleaning up the messes of Republican candidates?
One of the reasons O’Reilly hates Media Matters is because they must be telling facts and rightwingers hate those pesky things
I didn’t watch the clip but I did a search for the form and it’s going to be kind of interesting to see how many of the complaints get tossed because of items 3, 4 and 5.
Item 3 on the complaint form has a list of check-off boxes with types of violations.
Item 4 asks for DETAILS of said violation.
Item 5 asks for the complainant’s name, including address and telephone number (though a box is provided for the fraidy-cats who are “concerned” about retaliation if their name is made public and the instructions allow for “Anonymous” as a submitter).
Of course, unless Billdo or Varnish gave out Media Matters EIN number, the complaint will largely be worthless. That’s item #2 on the form. (And the instructions only allow for a “state nonprofit corporation registration number, if available” as an alternative. But, the form doesn’t say it can be skipped or have “unknown” listed.)
I also just went to MediaMatters website, and one comment was just perfect.
From Disqus commenter, HZ81:
“Remember, although MMFA is a useless, powerless, irrelevant outrageous propaganda hate site, here’s a whole segment devoted to trying to shut them down in vain.
“Thin-skinned Bill O’Williams and his Hobbit are too funny. Please go after them more!”