Media Matters Flaunts Tax-Exempt Status While David Brock Admits Its True Objective
It’s hard to argue that the past six months hasn’t been a patently-embarrassing time to be in journalism: The Rolling Stone/UVA fiasco, the Brian Williams disaster, the George Stephanopoulos controversy. Trust in media has plunged to yet another all-time low as a result.
But say this about Rolling Stone, NBC and ABC: At least each pays their fair share in taxes. The same can’t be said about Media Matters for America, which enjoys thumbing its nose at logic and ethics by not paying a dime. Why? Because somehow it’s founder, David Brock, arranged a sweetheart deal with the IRS to be a tax-exempt organization. And by not ponying up its fair share, Brock allows himself to be paid about $300,000 per year while objective-thought-challenged writers like Eric Boehlert takes home a nice six-figure salary as well while fancying himself as a Senior Fellow, which certainly makes himself feel more important on the cocktail circuit and stuff.
So does Media Matters deserve to be exempt from paying taxes? Let’s look at the exemption requirement first and you can decide from there (guaranteed to be the easiest decision you make all day):
To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.
That last part about “not participating in any campaign activity for or against political candidates” is where the comedy really begins…especially when Brock — not the brightest light on the porch — writes a rambling op-ed yesterday on Sid Blumenthal‘s closed-door testimony to Trey Gowdy’s Benghazi committee last week that includes language like this:
By refusing to release the transcript, the Republicans want to hide the true nature of the Blumenthal deposition: Their partisan attempt to both chill Blumenthal’s right to freely express his own political views and more broadly to intimidate our organizations — organizations that have led the way in exposing the fraudulence of the Benghazi investigation itself. (Not to mention our role in specifically defending Hillary Clinton from the Republicans’ unfair attacks on the subject),”
So for those keeping score at home:
IRS says organizations like Media Matters: “…may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.”
But Brock admits Media Matters has a “role in specifically defending Hillary Clinton from the Republicans’ unfair attacks on the subject.” On his Twitter account, he describes himself as a “Democratic Political Activist.”
At last check, Hillary Clinton is running for president.
As for Blumenthal, he was a paid consultant for Media Matters (which has plenty of money to play with apparently) back when Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State and is a close friend of Brock’s (hence the op-ed/love letter).
So does Media Matters deserve to be shielded from paying any taxes? You can share your final decision on that in the friendly comments section below.
In a related story, here’s how Brock describes the MMA mission on his original application to the IRS:
Media Matters for America (MMA) believes that news reporting and analysis by the American media, with its eye on profit margin and preservation of the status quo, has become biased. It is common for news and commentary by the press to present viewpoints that tend to overly promote corporate interests, the rights of the wealthy, and a conservative, Christian-influenced ideology.
Yup. When in doubt, blame the Christians. And while you’re at it, blame the rich while making yourself rich in the process. And the most hilarious part? The IRS actually approved the application, which shows there’s no bias within that entity or anything…
We’ll see plenty of Brock and Boehlert on MSNBC as the campaign season rolls on. Their role will not be of journalists or talking heads, but as mere extensions of the Clinton campaign, as paid spokespeople. And all the while, the IRS will continue to collect exactly zero from the publication they represent, just like it doesn’t with conservative activist James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, which is no different (except in size and influence) and shouldn’t get a free ride, either.
Media Matters calls for taxing the rich more all the time. It’s the blatant hypocrisy that’s rich. One set of rules for them. Another set for everyone else. Joke situation. Joke publication.
Just another reason to mistrust the media.
But hey, at least Brian Williams, Jann Wenner and George Stephanopolous pay their fair share, right?
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