We've highlighted how CNSNews.com is heavily promoting the idea of conservative Republican Jim Jordan as House speaker (or minority leader should the Democrats retake control of the House). Now it's clear that it's an effort backed by the entire Media Research Center, which runs CNS.
A Sept. 12 CNS article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman touts how "Recent surveys by five conservative grassroots organizations show that their members overwhelmingly support Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, as the next Speaker of the House should the Republican Party retain its majority in the November midterm elections." Two of those polls are MRC-linked groups: MRC Action, the political action divsion of the MRC that Chapman describes as "the grassroots army of the Media Research Center," and ForAmerica, whose chairman is MRC chief Brent Bozell and which is run by Bozell's son David. (The article did disclose most of this.)
That's not the only Jordan-fluffing CNS has been doing of late:
- An Aug. 29 article by Susan Jones portrays Jordan in Trump-fanboy mode (and Jones once again in Trump fangirl mode), touting how Trump has had "an amazing year and a half."
- A Sept. 13 article by Emily Ward details a Facebook Live conversation between Bozell and Jordan, in which Jordan signs onto the MRC's narrative of "conservative censorship" by social-media companies.
None of these articles, by the way, mentioned allegations that Jordan knew about sexual abuse of athletes by a team doctor but did nothing about it. They clearly don't want to hurt Jordan's chances by reporting facts.
Speaking of which, the MRC itself ran to Jordan's defense over the accusations. An Aug. 10 item by Alec Sears complained that some media outlets didn't report that one Jordan accuser "recanted" his accusations. Sears himself didn't report that Jordan's allies have reportedly been running a pressure campaign to get his accusers to recant.
And in an Aug. 17 item, Kyle Drennen took offense to reporting on an ad by a Democratic political action committee that "compared Republican Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan to disgraced Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, who helped cover up child sexual abuse for years." Drennen didn't rebut the claims but instead played whataboutism, whining that the reporting lacked "acknowledgment of the numerous scandals Democrats have been embroiled in over the past two decades."
While ForAmerica operates under different nonprofit tax codes that allow them to engage in more political activity (501(c)4, specifically), it's unclear whether MRC Action is under a different tax status than the 501(c)3 status of the rest of the MRC, which restricts political activity -- and defending Jordan and promoting his efforts to be House speaker, as CNS and the main MRC are doing, are nothing if not political.
The MRC ought to make sure that Bozell's political ambitions aren't jeopardizing its tax status.