Media Matters for America has made no bones about its stance on social and political issues. While the organization claims that it is continuously "monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media," its targets, at least according to official Internal Revenue Service documents, are specific: businesses, wealthy Americans and right-leaning Christians.
In the group's tax-exempt application, which was requested and acquired by The Daily Caller, progressive non-profit made its intentions clear.
"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," reads the application. "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."
In terms of the more general charge that the media are widely conservative, this contradicts nearly every study conducted on media messaging. Overwhelmingly, outlets, newspapers -- practically every form of the press -- has been found to have a leftist slant (at least in the eyes of the American public).
"The majority of Americans (60%) also continue to perceive bias, with 47% saying the media are too liberal and 13% saying they are too conservative," Gallup reported back in 2011. "The percentage of Americans who say the media are 'just about right' edged up to 36% this year but remains in the range Gallup has found historically."
So, on what information was Media Matters predicating its conservative bias charges? Moreover, the mention of Christianity is also an eyebrow-raiser, mostly because it seems to showcase a concerted effort to counter faith influence in the public sphere.
Here is the telling tax documentation:
Considering the group's last target in its tax forms -- "conservative, Christian-influenced ideology" -- one cannot help but wonder how Media Matters has been tackling and approaching faith and Christianity in America. The DC's Vince Coglianese reports:
Media Matters has made no secret of its adherence to progressive principles, but flagging Christianity as having undue influence in media is the latest revelation about the group’s treatment of religion.
The Democratic-aligned ARCA Foundation specifically supplied Media Matters with a $50,000 grant in 2006 “to support a Religious Broadcasting Project to expand the monitoring and fact checking of religious broadcasts,” TheDC reported in February.
A present-day search of the Media Matters website for the terms “religion” and “Christianity” yields a steady stream of anti-Christian criticism and posts aimed at dismissing Christians’ religious concern over President Obama’s contraception mandate.
Another search revealed a large number of articles critical of perceived “Islamophobia.”
Currently, Media Matters is continuing to advance the theory that the Republican Party is waging a "War on Women." The current headline on the site (see the screen shot below) focuses on Rush Limbaugh and allegations that he is sexist.
Nowhere is the organization covering religious liberty and it has actually done everything within its power to dismiss claims that the Obama administration has infringed upon the rights of churches.
Considering what we now know about the group's stated goals during its inception, such treatment of the subject matter now makes perfect sense.
(H/T: The Daily Caller)