Christian broadcaster faced IRS scrutiny.
The scandal that’s enveloped the IRS for targeting Tea Party and other conservative groups went further and also targeted conservative media outlets. That’s according to Family Talk Radio, which says its parent organization had an application for tax exempt status held up for more than a year. And it says IRS officials told them it was because of its political message.
The Colorado Springs-based ministry founded by James Dobson applied for 501(c)(4) status in September 2011. In addition to the paperwork, Family Talk also submitted copies of its radio show. After months of no action, their attorney was finally able to get an IRS agent on the phone in March. That’s when he said he was told that Family Talk would not receive tax exempt status because it was “not educational” and it was a “partisan right-wing group” that was “political” in nature.
Family Talk protested, asking the IRS to reconsider and threatening legal action. The IRS relented, issuing the tax-free status nine days later. “The only reason they relented,” show co-host Ryan Dobson says, “is we threatened litigation.”
National Religious Broadcasters president Frank Wright says he’s “alarmed” by what appears to be a targeting of Family Talk, saying it amounts to a de facto Fairness Doctrine policy. The FCC may’ve done away with it, he says, but adds, “This vampire seems alive and well at the IRS.”