Tucker Carlson called for an IRS investigation into Media Matters for America on Tuesday saying that as a non-profit, its political activity was in violation of its 501 (c) (3) status.
“In an e-mail from January 5 of 2016, Hillary staff discussed working with Media Matters to counter a Vanity Fair piece on Huma Abedin, quote, ‘We have Media Matters and core surrogates lined up which we can expand on tomorrow,’” Carlson said. “This isn’t just unethical, it is illegal.”
“Under IRS Regulations 501 (c) (3), nonprofits are totally prohibited from participating in campaigns of political candidates. Media Matters broke the law. The group has never been punished for this, though it is widely known,” Carlson continued. “Media Matters retains its tax exempt status. That means that you and every other taxpayer is subsidizing attacks on our own First Amendment. Why is this? How can this be happening? Maybe someone should call the IRS tomorrow morning and find out.”
Reps for Media Matters and the IRS did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap.
Carlson and Fox News have been on a warpath ever since the liberal watchdog group posted excerpts from multiple radio interviews Carlson gave between 2006 and 2011 in which he made disparaging remarks towards women and called Iraqis “semiliterate primitive monkeys.”
“Media Matters is a George Soros-funded lobbying organization whose sole mission is to punish critics of the Democratic Party,” Carlson derided. “Media Matters often uses propaganda from the Southern Poverty Law Center to bully corporations, news executives, and tech companies into punishing people it doesn’t like. Not surprisingly, the media love Media Matters.”
In the segment, the Fox News also went after mainstream media journalists who have worked with the organization, citing the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent and BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith by name as people willing to do Media Matters bidding.
Reps for Sargent and Smith did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap. Carlson also repeated his past attacks on CNN senior media reporter Brian Stelter, again calling him a eunuch. CNN has repeatedly declined to respond to the insult.
Since Media Matters dropped audio from Carlson’s frequent appearances on the radio show of Florida shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge, the host and his network have faced renewed outrage and calls for him to be terminated. At least two advertisers have dropped his show since the Media Matters drop.
In a statement Sunday, Carlson refused to apologize for the “naughty” language, saying anyone upset was welcome to come on his show and have it out with him.
“Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago,” Carlson said. “Rather than express the usual ritual contrition, how about this: I’m on television every weeknight live for an hour,” Carlson continued. “If you want to know what I think, you can watch. Anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on and explain why.”
On Monday, Carlson doubled down on air, informing viewers that he would never “bow” to online outrage mobs and said Fox News stood resolutely behind him.
“Fox News is behind us, as they have been since the very first day. Toughness is a rare quality at a TV network, and we are grateful for that,” Carlson said. “We will never bow to the mob, ever, no matter what.”
The network confirmed Tuesday evening that Carlson was expected to remain on air for the rest of the week.