Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has gone on the offensive against the media criticism group Media Matters for America and its website, referring to its “assassination” attempts on conservative figures and Fox reporters, and assailing its tax-exempt status. He called for the
IRS to “revoke its status immediately,” reports Mediaite.com
Former White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray, appearing on O’Reilly’s show, said an organization called the American Campaign Academy “run by Republican operatives” had been turned down for tax-exempt status by the IRS because of its obvious political slant, while on the other side of the spectrum, Media Matters is allowed to propagandize while not paying taxes.
O’Reilly points out that the group received its status under the President George W. Bush administration. Gray said it had presented itself at the time as an organization whose aim was “distributing materials that analyze media bias.” Eventually, though, it became “a war against [Fox News] and a media boot camp…. This is not what they said and not what they were given tax exempt status for.”
In recent months, press reports indicate that the liberal Media Matters has dropped any façade of being a non-partisan public interest organization serving as a media watchdog and announced they would solely focus on attacking Fox News and several conservative websites. The reports suggested the effort was seen as an attempt to shore up President Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012.
In order for its status to be revoked, said Gray, an individual or organization has to file a formal complaint with the IRS.
Gray claims there are ample grounds to question Media Matters' tax exempt status. In a recent Washington Times op-ed he wrote:
“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.”
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