Oh dear. Media Matters has apparently done something terrible to annoy Bill O'Reilly and Stuart Varney to the point where they're foaming at the mouth and calling Media Matters a "hate group," a pejorative O'Reilly has used against the organization in the past.
It began gently enough, with them agreeing that Media Matters is really just a "far-left propaganda machine." And then they ramped it up, suggesting that their tax-exempt status should be taken away because...hurt fee-fees.
Fox News has been after Media Matters for years. At one time, they had a page up on their website with a petition inviting viewers to sign to have their tax-exempt status revoked.
Media Matters is the left-side equivalent to the right-wing's Media Research Center. No one is calling for MRC's head on a platter, so what's got Bill-O's panties in a bunch?
The transcript follows for those who want to avoid the bellicose Bill and Stu show, via...Media Matters.
Bill bloviates. Media Matters transcribes. Any hate on their site is the sole work of commentators at Fox News and other right-wing sites.
BILL O'REILLY: The first villain that Stuart has analyzed for us is Media Matters, which is just an outrageous propaganda website, a hate site, and they have been for years. And they're tax-exempt. How can that possibly happen?
STUART VARNEY: Ok, they are a propaganda machine. That's all they do.
O'REILLY: Far left propaganda machine.
VARNEY: Absolutely. They're a hate-filled propaganda machine. They are technically a 501(c)(3) corporation. Ok, that means, they get a tax break. They're not supposed to engage overtly in politics all the time. But that's exactly what they do. They're supposed to get a tax break and they do get a tax break. But they're allowed to propaganda, they're allowed to put out propaganda. But it must not be-- it must be insubstantial.
O'REILLY: Ok, that's all they do is propaganda. And the guy who runs it also runs a re-elect-- an elect Hillary Clinton outfit. So, there's no way that the IRS can't know that this is a political unit, alright, devoted to harming conservatives and traditional Americans. Now what kind of a tax break do they get?
VARNEY: Well, if you donate money to Media Matters, it is a tax deduction to you. Because it's like you're giving money to charity.
O'REILLY: That's outrageous.
VARNEY: They don't pay money, they don't pay tax on the money that comes to them. They don't pay federal income tax.
O'REILLY: Free money for them.
VARNEY: It's free money on both sides of the fence.
O'REILLY: So this is a con, and this is obviously, this is not a group that deserves this tax free status. What can someone do to make the IRS revoke it?
VARNEY: Okay, an individual could file one of these forms with the IRS. It's form 13909. It's the tax-exempt organization complaint referral form. Simple form. Fill it out, complain, say what your beef is with Media Matters, and you can complain. That's how you do it.
O'REILLY: Can you formally sue them?
VARNEY: I presume you could.
O'REILLY: Say another group -- because there are a lot of conservative, traditional groups -- they could sue the IRS and say this is against the law.
VARNEY: I don't know about suing the IRS. I think they could complain to the IRS and say why don't you investigate.