Tucker Carlson's online rag, The Daily Caller, is doing a series of hit pieces on Media Matters for America. Based on anonymous sources and conspiracy-minded dreck, the whole series is a hot mess. Today's feature piece is an attempt to discredit Media Matter's non-profit tax status, with the dramatic sounding headline of Media Matters tax-exempt status may face new scrutiny from Congress. They may face congressional scrutiny! Maybe!
My favorite part of the whole mess is when The Daily Caller claims that Media Matter's criticism of Fox News as not just an arm, but a leadership element, of the Republican Party amounts to Media Matters engaging in partisan, political activities which are prohibited by their 501(c)3 status:
Because Brock has referred to Fox News as a political organization and the “de facto” leader of the GOP, Gray and other critics have argued that Media Matters is engaged in the kind of direct political activity forbidden by IRS regulations.The Daily Caller is trying so hard to kick-start a Republican Congressional investigation into Media Matter's tax status that they seem to have just conceded Media Matter's core criticism of Fox News, namely that it is a Republican propaganda outlet. Otherwise, how could it be a violation of Media Matters' tax status to criticize Fox unless it really is a "political organization"? I see a congressional investigation coming all right, but not the one the Daily Caller wants. (And of course, if the Daily Caller is now claiming that Media Matters is a political organization for simply claiming Fox plays politics, doesn't that, under the same logic, mean the Daily Caller is violating its tax status by claiming Media Matters play politics? Maybe we ought to have an investigation of that too.)
Politics is serious business, and progressives should be concerned that a major piece of progressive infrastructure is under concerted attack from the right. But if this sort of nonsense from The Daily Caller doesn't make you laugh out loud, you're missing one hell of a performance.