A document the National Education Association filed with the U.S. Department of Labor in 2011 indicates that the teachers union donated $100,000 to Media Matters For America nearly two years ago, describing it as a payment for “public relations costs.” In the months that followed, Media Matters’ online coverage of teachers unions increased, focusing largely on attacking the Fox News Channel and other media outlets it considers “conservative” in nature.Don't want to upset the apple cart too much, after all...
NEA spokesman Steven Grant told TheDC that “the Media Matters support is not reported as chargeable for agency fee purposes.” But his union’s non-member fee payers have not yet seen the legally required statement of expenses covering the 2010-2011 school year.
That paperwork is due during the 2012-2013 year, said National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorney Milton Chappell, and it shouldn’t include the Media Matters contribution. “The United States Supreme Court has held that both political and public relations expenses are nonchargeable to nonmembers,” Chappell said.
Grant told TheDC via email that “the National Education Association (NEA) supports Media Matters for America and its work to monitor, analyze, and correct misinformation and misleading coverage of public education and other issues important to NEA members.”
He did not answer when asked if any other nonprofit organizations provide his union with public relations services in exchange for financial support. He also declined to state what specific services Media Matters has provided to the NEA in exchange for the $100,000 first disclosed in “Shadowbosses.”
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Somebody's got to do it: