The Washington Post

Gray petitions against Media Matters

Via this petition to the IRS, C. Boyden Gray, White House counsel in the first Bush administration, alleges that a nonprofit watchdog of the conservative media, Media Matters for America, has engaged in a “pattern of unlawful conduct.” The outfit, he argues, has taken on a partisan mission and should no longer be entited to its tax-exempt status.

When asked on Fox News about this “unlawful conduct,” Gray appeared to distance himself from his own document: “It’s not unlawful. It’s just not charitable. They’re free to do what they want to do with non-tax-free money but I don’t think they can have the government subsidize what they’re doing and that’s what the letter challenges.”

In carrying out its stated mission of policing right-wing outlets, Media Matters works nearly around the clock monitoring the work of Fox News. During his interview with Fox, Gray went out of his way to dismiss any notion of a conflict of interest: “I’ve never been paid by this network but I admire what it does,” he said.

A 2005 Washington Post article quoted a Fox News spokesperson as saying that Gray is “a contributor. We pay contributors for strong opinions.” Another Fox spokesperson confirmed Gray’s contributorship, but noted that it lasted only five months back in 2005.

The Gray petition attacks Media Matters for allegedly seeking to “disrupt” the commercial interests of News Corp., Fox’s parent company, and for allegedly targeting “Fox News because of its alleged support for the Republican Party — and it often attacks the Republican Party directly.”

Media Matters Executive Vice President Ari Rabin-Havt scoffs at the petition: “C. Boyden Gray is Koch-affiliated, former Fox News contributor whose flights of fancy have already been discredited by actual experts in tax law.”

Show Comments
Washington Post Subscriptions

Get 2 months of digital access to The Washington Post for just 99¢.

A limited time offer for Apple Pay users.

Buy with
Cancel anytime

$9.99/month after the two month trial period. Sales tax may apply.
By subscribing you agree to our Terms of Service, Digital Products Terms of Sale & Privacy Policy.

Get 2 months of digital access to The Washington Post for just 99¢.

Most Read
Read stories based on reporting for “Trump Revealed,” a broad, comprehensive biography of the life of the president-elect.


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing