Friday, July 8, 2011

Fox News Wages War On Media Matters

Keach Hagey wrote the following for Politico:
For seven years, Fox News has pushed back against the daily scrutiny and criticism leveled at it by Media Matters, the liberal watchdog group. But after founder David Brock said in March that his group’s new strategy amounted to a “war on Fox,” the network ratcheted up its response.

In the past 10 days, Fox has run more than 30 segments calling for the nonprofit group to be stripped of its tax-exempt status. Its Fox Nation website has even provided a link to pre-completed complaint forms against Media Matters to send to the Internal Revenue Service. (See also: Can Fox quash its fiercest critic? in The Arena)

While Fox News personalities like Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly have long grumbled about Media Matters, this attack on the group has been carried out across the channel’s news and opinion programs. It has included shows like “The O’Reilly Factor,” news coverage of the complaints to the IRS and even a psychological profile of Brock, a former conservative journalist who went over to the liberal side, on “Fox & Friends” that suggested he might be “full of self-hatred” because he was adopted.

“Media Matters is not a media investigative organization,” Fox News contributor and Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer said on “Special Report With Bret Baier” last week. “It’s a war on Fox. And you’re allowed to do that in a democracy. You can be as nasty as you want. The only thing is, don’t ask for a government subsidy.”

To get tax-free status, educational nonprofits have to support their claims with facts and refrain from directly engaging in politics — though they can be as ideological as they like. Fox argues that Media Matters has veered from that educational mission and should be stripped of its special status.
I find this interesting for two reasons.  The first reason is because Fox Asserts it is a "news" organization that is "fair and balanced" yet they are engaging in a smear campaign to take down perhaps their most vocal critic, and secondly, all Media Matters does is publish exact quotes of Fox News programs (as well as other prominent conservative pundits), and research those quotes pointing out flip-flops and flat-out lies.

If you consider the requirements to become a tax-free entity - support their claims with facts and refrain from directly engaging in politics - Media Matters fits the bill.  Sure they are ideological but they meticulously back up their claims and they do not directly engage in politics.  Fox on the other hand continuously fails to fact-check their "journalism" and consistently push false information.  Media Matters is simply educating people on the things Fox leaves out.

1 comment:

  1. From the above quoted article: "Marcus Owens, a partner at Caplin & Drysdale and former director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the IRS, said the law is on Media Matters’s side on both counts."

    Experts contend that Media Matters is right and Fox News is wrong, further proving Media Matters' point that Fox News is extremely partisan and operating to benefit Republicans...


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