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Tim Groseclose & Fox News host misrepresent 501(c)(3) definition

by rescuetruth on July 12th, 2011

I’m not sure where Mr. Groseclose and the Fox & Friends host get their information, but there are tons of ideological 501(c)(3) groups on the right, left, and in between.  501(c)(3) groups are not purely “charities” as the host would have you believe, although that is one possibility.  The IRS defines “exempt purposes” for IRS Code Section 501(c)(3) as follows:

The exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals.  The term charitable is used in its generally accepted legal sense and includes relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erecting or maintaining public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.

Like similar organizations, Media Matters likely falls under the educational category.  At one point in the interview, Mr. Groseclose likens Media Matters calling out Fox News and his book to Coca-Cola calling out Pepsi.  In other words, a media watchdog group watching the media is the same as two businessing competing in the free market.

Other well-known 501(c)(3) groups include:

The last among these five groups, the Family Research Institute, features web articles with titles ranging from “Gays in the Military = Traitors in Military” to “Does Incest Cause Homosexuality?”

Do I really need to go on?


From → Law, Media