Topic: Media Research Center
In a Jan. 30 Media Research Center item, Kyle Drennen asserts that NBC's Matt Lauer "failed to correct the record with the fact that in 1999 the Internal Revenue Service completely vindicated Gingrich" on charges of using nonprofit money to promote a partisan agenda.
But as we've detailed, this argument conflicts with earlier claims by the MRC that a lack of charges being filed against someone does not equal complete vindication -- well, at least when that person's last name is Clinton.
The issue in the Gingrich IRS case was whether a college course Gingrich organized through the political group he controlled, GOPAC, used nonprofit funds to promote a partisan agenda, which is illegal. (The House Ethics Committee investigation looked at the same issue but focused on Gingrich personally, and that investigation resulted in Gingrich paying a $300,000 fine.) As Susie Madrak of Crooks & Liars points out, the IRS revoked the tax exemption of an organization that worked with GOPAC because its funds were clearly being used for partisan purposes -- then, a few years later, under the Bush administration, reversed itself after lobbying from a GOPAC official.
Will Drennen mention that aspect of the case to his readers? Probably not.