Media Matters is a far-left organization that labels itself as a non-profit but works as a far-left hit machine. It has connections to George Soros and its purpose appears to be to harm conservative Americans and take them out of business. But there is much more to this sketchy entity.
In 2019 Forbes discussed the various distinctions between non-profits:
The United States Internal Revenue Code (IRS) states that nonprofits are generally referred to as “501(c)” organizations. There are more than 30 types of nonprofits under that code that qualify for exemption of some form from federal income taxes. The two most basic types are 501(c)(3) charitable organizations and 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations. There are key distinctions between the two types of entities.
• The 501(c)(3) nonprofits (also known as “charitable organizations”) are what we often think of. They are the charities of those in need reach out to for help, and the public supports them with tax-deductible donations.
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These 501(c)(3) nonprofits are prohibited from “participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”
• The 501(c)(4) organizations account for social welfare, civic leagues and local associations. These organizations promote community welfare, education, charitable or recreational goals.
Since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision, “social welfare” organizations have become a popular means for electoral involvement, often because of the privacy afforded to financial supporters.
Because “social welfare” groups may engage in limited political activity, contributions are not tax-deductible. And while (c)(4) organizations have become a popular method for campaign activity, politics cannot be the entity’s primary purpose.
Impermissible political activity by nonprofits carries risk on multiple levels. Not only could an entity’s tax-exempt status be jeopardized, but conduct thats constitute an impermissible campaign contribution that may carry civil and criminal liability.
Per the regulation, in addition to what’s noted above the following also applies:
On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.
The first obvious question mark about Media Matters is that according to Media Bias Fact Check Media Matters is a 501(c)(3) with a ‘high-rated far-left bias’. Aren’t these same biases non-compliant with the regulation for non-profit status?
Media Matters is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization funded through donations and sponsors. According to Sourcewatch, they are funded by wealthy liberals. According to the right-leaning Influence Watch, “Media Matters was founded with $2 million in funding from wealthy progressives funneled through the Tides Foundation with additional funding from MoveOn.org and the New Democrat Network. The left-of-center donor group known as Democracy Alliance endorsed the group in 2004, resulting in donations. In 2010, George Soros gave the group $1 million. MMA has also received substantial funding from labor unions, most notably the National Education Association (NEA). Finally, they are affiliated with the American Bridge 21st Century Super PAC.
In 2021 the IRS was notified of actions by Media Matters that were outside of the IRS code. The Federalist reported:
The Iowa-based conservative watchdog group Patriots Foundation filed a new complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Monday against Media Matters for America (MMFA) arguing the tax-exempt group has violated its agency agreement with illegal electioneering.
Founded in 2004, the leftist non-profit was given 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status under IRS code which prohibits explicit campaign activity on behalf of any candidate or candidate’s party. In a supplemental complaint added to an existing referral over last year’s election, however, the Patriots Foundation argues the group’s interference in the California recall race violates IRS terms for tax exemption.
“MMFA has, from inception, operated as a thinly veiled partisan political organization supporting Democratic candidates for office and engaging in other improper activities,” the group wrote, outlining four parameters groups must follow in order to maintain their 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. They include avoidance of unnecessary references to any election; avoidance of unnecessary references to individuals’ candidacies; objective, factual analysis of candidates when they are referenced; and avoidance of candidate characterizations which may endorse or oppose them in the race. In a Media Matters article headlined, “Larry Elder is running to be California governor. Here’s just some of his toxic record as a radio host and right-wing pundit,” the Patriots Foundation explained, “each of these assurances have been abandoned.”
According to the article, Media Matters was also called out in 2016 with its bias toward the Hillary campaign. Check out MediaMatters.org any time at any day and look for non-biased reporting in any of the articles that it presents. You’ll be very lucky if you find any non-biased reports at all.
The second most obvious question about Media Matters is why is it that this firm that spends all day long monitoring and critically assessing conservative politicians and entities, can not timely file its tax returns with authorities. Media Matters is behind in filing its tax returns with many states.
Per a review of New York’s charities database, Media Matters for America hasn’t filed its tax return with the state since the 2019 year-end.
The third item of contention with Media Matters is that it filed for and received COVID-19 funds through PPP loans.
Although COVID probably had no effect on its business and might have even helped it, Media Matters applied for and received $1.2 million from the US government. We learned from this that if there is money available, Media Matters – the nonprofit – is going for it.
However, according to the SBA, nonprofits are not eligible to qualify for a PPP loans.
Charitable, religious, or other non-profit or eleemosynary institutions, government-owned corporations, consumer and marketing cooperatives, and churches and organizations promoting religious objectives are not eligible.
There is much more to this obviously biased entity that claims to be a non-biased nonprofit and that benefits from tax that only non-profits receive benefits. Much more.
Brace yourself for our upcoming report.