Over the past few months, the antics of liberal advocacy group Media Matters have been chronicled and in some cases have received accolades from the media.
One such report was a March 22 story by The Washington Post on the organization’s boot camp for wonks. But does Media Matters’ political involvement violate the terms for its tax-exempt status?
Baier posed the question to the panel on Tuesday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel. Media Matters has been engaged in a war on Baier’s network. And according to Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, it’s clear that the organization isn’t a “charitable or educational organization” as it is described, but rather a political group.
“Well, it’s obviously is not [a charitable or educational organization,” Krauthammer said. “But is it still within the interpretation of the law? So on the legality of this, I think the strongest argument against them, against Media Matters is that as we heard in the James Rosen report, 12 years ago the IRS ruled that a Republican-run academy to train people to be pundits and speak against the Democrats on the air was ruled non-charitable, and thus not eligible for any charitable exertions.”
“I think you can strongly argue that Media Matters which ran as a post head reported exactly the same kind of camp, training academy for its liberal advocacy would be subject to exactly the same ruling,” he continued. “So legally speaking I think it would be denied charitable status.”
Krauthammer didn’t say Media Matters should be prevented from engaging in its advocacy, but instead said they shouldn’t be subsidized by the government by not having to pay taxes.
“As a matter of sort of not law, but the Democratic practice, Media Matters is obviously not a media investigative organization that looks at everything,” Krauthammer said. “It’s in a war on Fox. And you’re allowed to do that in a democracy. You can be nasty as you want. The only thing is don’t ask for a government subsidy. Nobody wants to stop them or to shut Media Matters down. It’s a question of whether your tax money and mine ought to be supporting it.”