My former New York Sun colleague Ben Smith has an interesting dispatch about Media Matters, a non-profit group that claims to be spending more than $10 million a year and to have 90 employees devoted largely to a campaign against the Fox News channel. There's a reference to a $1 million gift to the group from George Soros, but I wish Mr. Smith had gone a little further into probing the funding of Media Matters.
The group's most recent IRS Form 990, for example, filed in November 2010, lists as a director Rachel Pritzker Hunter. Campaign finance records show a Rachel Hunter, while identifying her occupation as "not employed/homemaker," gave $1 million to a pro-Obama political group in Ohio in advance of the 2008 election.
And Penny Pritzker "serves on the President's Council for Jobs and Competitiveness which advises the Obama Administration on economic growth and job creation. For the past two years, Ms. Pritzker served on the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board which evaluated economic policy. She was National Finance Chair of the Barack Obama for President campaign and co-chair of the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee." The Pritzkers are a large and sometimes feuding family, but if there's some kind of family connection between a director of a group launching a $10 million a year "war" on Fox News and the national finance chair of the Barack Obama for President campaign, it would be interesting to know about it. Maybe Rachel Pritzker Hunter and Penny Pritzker have never met, are not related, and just happen to have the same name. I don't know. But I do know that if some relative of the national finance chair of the George W. Bush campaign were a board member of a $10 million a year, 90 employee "war" on the New York Times, the press would be all over it as some kind of White House effort to intimidate or retaliate against a free and independent press.