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Tucker Carlson slams ‘Soros-funded’ Media Matters for America
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Media Matters for America, the left-wing group that is trying to get Tucker Carlson fired, has a history of receiving financial backing from progressive billionaire George Soros.
Carlson slammed the “Soros-funded” organization on his show this week after Media Matters published audio clips from over a decade ago in which Carlson made offensive comments about women, Iraqis, and other groups, leading to a boycott campaign against the pundit that has cost him several advertisers.
Soros-funded group on the attack
After the media watchdog group published old tapes of Carlson making comments that some called racist and sexist, the Fox pundit blasted the “Soros-funded” group in a monologue Tuesday night.
“Media Matters is a George Soros-funded lobbying organization, whose sole mission is to punish critics of the Democratic party,” Carlson said.
Media Matters president Angelo Carusone, who has himself come under scrutiny for past bigoted comments, responded with a claim of his own: “Carlson claimed George Soros funds us. That is actually not true. Just typical Soros conspiracy talk from Fox. We are a modest nonprofit and rely on donations from many many people.”
But as it turns out, the group has received backing from Soros in the past to perform the exact kind of “work” Carusone and his cronies do. In 2010, Soros donated $1 million to Media Matters to help the group hold Fox News “accountable.”
“Media Matters is one of the few groups that attempts to hold Fox News accountable for the false and misleading information they so often broadcast,” Soros said at the time. “I am supporting Media Matters in an effort to more widely publicize the challenge Fox News poses to civil and informed discourse in our democracy.”
Both Soros and Media Matters have long denied having any connection outside his 2010 donation, but Soros donated five times to the group between 2010 and 2014. Media Matters has also received funding from groups that receive or have received funding from Soros, including the Tides Foundation, MoveOn.Org, Democracy Alliance, and the Center for American Progress, which played a role in the founding of Media Matters in 2004.
Grudge against Fox, Carlson
Soros has long been accused of funding Media Matters partly because the organization engages in the kind of “grassroots” (billionaire funded), “spontaneous” (coordinated) activism associated with the various left-wing groups that Soros supports.
The group has waged an almost personal war against Fox over the years, targeting pundits like Bill O’Reilly, Laura Ingraham, and Glenn Beck with pressure campaigns. Media Matters founder and Clinton ally David Brock has a grudge against the network described in his book, The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network into a Propaganda Machine. In 2004, he published The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy before launching Media Matters.
Indeed, Media Matters’ current campaign against Carlson might be a bit more personal. A series of exposés written by Carlson at the Daily Caller in 2012 detailed the organization’s methods, which involved keeping a list of targets and even hiring private investigators to dig into the private lives of Fox hosts.
Carlson’s reports highlighted the intimate relationship that Media Matters shares with the Democratic party. The group reportedly held weekly strategy calls with the Obama White House, making it a virtual extension of the Democratic Party’s media arm, despite its tax-exempt status. Carlson attacked the organization’s “illegal” political activity on his show Tuesday night.
“In its original tax application to the IRS, Media Matters claimed that the American news media were dominated by a pro-Christian bias that needed them to balance it. Despite the obvious absurdity of that claim, the group received non-profit status,” he said. “It has been violating the terms of that status flagrantly ever since. For example, during the Obama administration, Media Matters held weekly strategy discussions with the White House about how to hurt its political enemies.
“This is a violation of federal tax law,” Carlson added. “Tax-exempt nonprofits cannot function as an arm of a political party. Media Matters clearly does.”
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