WASHINGTON — A stunning example of IRS political activity and liberal bias is sitting in plain view for all the world to see, following an investigation by WND.
The IRS has just stripped a small, obscure, conservative nonprofit of its tax-exempt status for two alleged rule violations a decade ago, while taking a hands-off approach to a famous leftist website that’s well-financed by billionaire George Soros and other liberals and has engaged in more egregious practices for years, and on a much vaster scale.
On Monday, USA Today published an IRS document confirming that in February the IRS revoked the tax-exempt status for the Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty, a small, conservative group founded in 1997 and based in Manassas, Va. The group had operated for years as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. The center advertises itself as “committed to fostering, promoting, and advocating the restoration of Liberty as the primary object of American society.”
To make its case against Patrick Henry, the IRS had to go as far back as 10 years ago to find a pair of items it considered unacceptable political activity by the nonprofit.
The IRS cited a 2004 column by the group’s president, former FBI agent Gary Aldrich, that was critical of John Kerry and a 2005 fundraising letter that criticized Hillary Clinton.
The liberal behemoth Media Matters is also a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. It claims on its website to be a “progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.”
Media Matters operates freely as a tax-exempt organization without any apparent interference from the IRS, while its website has literally thousands of highly partisan political articles on public display, virtually all of them advocating extremely liberal positions.
The IRS said it revoked Patrick Henry’s tax-exempt status because it “has shown a pattern of deliberate and consistent intervention in political campaigns” and made “repeated statements supporting or opposing various candidates by expressing its opinion of the respective candidate’s character and qualifications.”
However, even a cursory review reveals that Media Matters has for years published countless articles that blatantly attempt “intervention in political campaigns” and support or oppose candidates.
WND was able to quickly and easily demonstrate the organization’s political advocacy by merely searching the Media Matters website for the word “Romney” from Oct. 6, 2012, to Nov. 6, 2012, a period comprising just the one month before the 2012 presidential election.
WND found Media Matters had published 238 articles containing the word “Romney” in just that month, virtually all of them either supporting the incumbent, President Obama, or opposing the challenger, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
The 238 articles included such hyper-partisan headlines as:
- “Wall Street Journal Pretends Romney’s Tax Plan Adds Up”
- “NY Times Helps Romney Soft-Pedal His Stance On Abortion”
- “The Obama of Conservative Fantasy”
- “Will the Media Help Romney Surrogate Catapult Bogus Libya Hearings Into Big News?”
- “NY Times’ Brooks Acts As (Inaccurate) Mouthpiece for Romney-Ryan Medicare Plan”
- “Fox’s Doocy Pushes ‘Apology Tour’ Myth, Claiming Obama Apologized for ‘The Murder of Four of Our Americans’ In Libya”
- “NBC’s David Gregory Uncritically Airs Romney Unemployment Falsehood”
- “Fox’s Bolling Falsely Claims Romney Never Said ‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt'”
- “Fox Airs Misleading Fact Check of Romney Jeep Ad”
- “Hyping Benghazi Madness, Right-Wing Projects Its Darkest Obama Fantasies”
- “Fox Pushes Jobs Trutherism in Anticipation of October Jobs Report”
- “NY Times Gives ‘Moderate’ Romney A Pass on Abortion”
- “Will Right-Wing Media’s Hatred of Auto Bailout Cost GOP the Election?”
- “Right-Wing Media Defend Romney’s False Claim That Chrysler is Sending Jobs to China”
- “WSJ Op-Ed Pushes Falsehoods About Obama’s Navy Policies”
- “George Will Dismisses Romney’s Anti-Women’s Rights Stances”
- “Brit Hume Credits Fox’s Falsehood-Laden Libya Coverage for Getting Out the Facts About Benghazi”
- “Fox’s Hemmer Parrots Romney’s ’12 Million Jobs’ Lie”
- “Fair And Balanced? Fox News’ Hour-Long Attack on Obama’s ‘Green Agenda'”
- “Fox’s Kelly Excuses Actual Lie While Attacking Obama Campaign for Highlighting Romney Untruths”
- “Conservative Media Attack Obama Campaign, Media for Pointing Out Romney Debate Falsehoods”
- “Fox Echoes Falsehood That Obama is ‘Leading From Behind’ on Foreign Policy”
- “MSNBC’s Scarborough Revives ‘You Didn’t Build That’ Myth to Attack Obama”
- “CBS News Covers for Romney Campaign’s Tax Doublespeak”
- “Media Cite True Obama Statements to Claim ‘Both Candidates’ Lied During Debate”
- “Krugman: Media Commentators Have a Responsibility to Point Out and Debunk Romney’s ‘Flat-Out Untruths'”
Media Matters might claim to be following the IRS rules against engaging in partisan politics because it states it is criticizing the messenger, not the message, in its self-described mission of “correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.”
But a headline such as “Fox’s Hemmer Parrots Romney’s ’12 Million Jobs’ Lie” presupposes that Romney was lying. It is a tactic Media Matters uses routinely.
And it is not just during the run-up to an election that Media Matters publishes virulent attacks on conservatives.
Just Wednesday, Media Matters’ website featured these hyper-partisan headlines:
- “Celebrating Affirmative Action Ban Decision, Right-Wing Media Ride the Reverse Racism Unicorn”
- “Meet the Conspiracy Theorists Behind the New Benghazi Report Hyped By Fox”
- “Newest Birther Conspiracy Involves the CIA, a Secret DNA Test, Edward Snowden, and a Missing Nuclear Weapon”
- “How Conservatives Helped Dinesh D’Souza ‘Get His Story Out There'”
- “Health Care Experts Rip Ben Carson’s ‘Near Worthless’ Health Care Plan”
- “Right-Wing Media Continue Their Misinformation on Schuette, the Supreme Court’s Latest Awful Affirmative Action Decision”
- “Fox’s Tantaros: Supreme Court Rolling Back Civil Rights Laws is What ‘Martin Luther King Wished For'”
- “Fox Pushes False Claim That Obama’s Clemency Program is Unconstitutional and Unprecedented”
- “Fox’s O’Reilly: If ‘You Oppose Gay Marriage, You Could Get Hurt'”
- “All-White Fox Business Panel Agrees: Obama Administration Trying to Make America Look Racist”
- “Hannity: ‘I Don’t Apologize’ for Touting Cliven Bundy’s Standoff With Federal Agents”
- “REPORT: Eighty-Five Percent of Climate Change Guests Are Men”
- “Fox’s Varney: Economists Are ‘Flat Out Wrong’ About The Math Of Repealing Obamacare”
- “The Hypocrisy Of Peggy Noonan’s ‘Modest’ Attack On Hillary Clinton”
- “6 Things You Should Know About Conservative Media Darling Dr. Ben Carson”
- “Fox Interview of GOP Senate Candidate Features Campaign Ad & Obamacare Lies”
Media Matters’ blatant support of liberals and attacks on conservatives are not limited to the headlines. They are evidenced in the articles themselves.
A piece Wednesday titled “Fox Interview of GOP Senate Candidate Features Campaign Ad & Obamacare Lies” contained the following statements:
“Fox News gave Republican Senate candidate Rep. Tom Cotton (AK) the royal treatment, giving airtime to his latest campaign ad and inviting him on for a softball interview with host Eric Bolling, who failed to challenge Cotton on his faulty assertions that the Affordable Care Act is ‘failing’ for the people of Arkansas.
“The Fox host aired the entirety of the Senate candidate’s latest campaign ad, then proceeded to ask a series of open-ended questions, many loaded with an anti-Democratic premise.
“The GOP has already committed to a strategy of trying to win the Senate by demonizing Obamacare, and Fox News appears more than willing to aid and abet them with the smears and myths necessary to accomplish that feat in the face of the law’s success.
“Republican attack ads frequently find unpaid airtime in Fox broadcasts, and Fox has already kicked into high gear to help other Republican Senate candidates running in 2014.”
The IRS has come under intense scrutiny for inappropriately targeting conservative organizations, ever since former tax-exempt division chief Lois Lerner admitted the practice in May 2012.
But they agency has not been placed under any apparent restraints, with President Obama even insisting that there is not a “smidgeon” of corruption.
In fact, as WND has documented, the IRS is now trying to change the rules governing tax-exempt organizations so that controversial actions once considered against policy now become standard practice.
As WND also reported, the nation’s largest grassroots group, Tea Party Patriots, announced earlier this month it is suing the Obama administration to stop what it considers the use of the IRS as a political tool to discriminate against conservatives.
As for the latest revelation of IRS action against a conservative group, Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty President Gary Aldrich told USA Today he had no comment on the IRS decision to revoke his group’s tax-exempt status. He told WND he was remaining silent on the advice of his attorney.
The disparity in the IRS treatment between Aldrich’s group and Media Matters becomes even more pronounced once the size and strength of the liberal powerhouse is considered.
An investigation into tax returns and websites of foundations by the Daily Caller in February 2012 revealed the vast extent of wealthy liberals’ support for Media Matters.
The group had collected almost $29 million since 2003 from rich and powerful liberals, representing 54 percent of the money raised in its history.
The Daily Caller said: “The list of Media Matters’ foundation funders, 120 in all, reads like a Who’s Who of the American progressive movement, including the far-left Tides Foundation ($4,384,702), George Soros’ Open Society Institutes ($1,075,000), the Ford Foundation ($966,466), the Sandler Foundation ($400,000) — endowed by subprime mortgage lenders Herb and Marion Sandler, who once bankrolled the embattled ACORN organization — and the Schumann Fund for Media and Democracy ($600,000), managed by longtime PBS host Bill Moyers and his son.
“They also include the anti-George W. Bush organization MoveOn.org ($50,000), the Barbra Streisand Foundation ($85,000), the kids’ shoes-powered Stride Rite Charitable Foundation ($25,000), the Lear Family Foundation ($55,000) — endowed by the TV producer and People for the American Way founder Norman Lear — and the Joyce Foundation ($400,000), whose board of directors included Barack Obama from 1994 to 2002.”
The Daily Caller published a full list of donors to Media Matters.
WND discovered Media Matters apparently in bed with the Obama administration in its efforts to deceive Americans about Obamacare. In November 2013, Media Matters funded the group that reportedly crafted President Obama’s false claim that Americans can maintain their “choice” of doctors and insurance plans. The little-known Herndon Alliance has been behind the marketing of Obamacare since the inception of the legislation.
WND even discovered a personal connection between President Obama and Media Matters, reporting in February 2012 that President Obama served eight years on the board of a charity that is a top donor to Media Matters for America progressive activist organization.
Obama is also tied to numerous other top Media Matters donors and fundraisers, including a foundation run by the finance chairman of his 2008 presidential campaign, Penny Pritzker.
Hillary Clinton has claimed an even closer relationship to Media Matters.
In a video of her appearance at Yearly Kos in August 2007, she took pride in “institutions that I helped start and support, like Media Matters.”
Media Matters may now find it difficult to skirt one IRS rule.
Gateway Pundit reports Media Matters Chairman David Brock identifies himself on his Twitter profile as a “Democratic political activist.”
The publications asks whether the IRS will now strip Media Matters of its tax-exempt statues for being a Democratic Party front group.
Follow Garth Kant on Twitter @DCgarth