For absurd reasons, MAGA cultists think FOX News supports The Satanic Temple
Who wants to tell them a charity gift-matching program is not a bombshell revelation?
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FOX News is under fire for allegedly donating money to The Satanic Temple, but the reality is far less interesting than the accusation. Conservatives are flipping out anyway, though, because that’s the only reaction they have available in their toolbox.
The claim was first made in the right-wing publication The Blaze and used the words “EXCLUSIVE” (in all caps) and “whistleblowers” and phrases like “behind closed doors,” as if they had just uncovered something truly nefarious.
They didn’t do anything like that.
Here’s the actual story: A lot of companies, in order to encourage charitable giving among staffers, will promise to match donations up to a certain amount. The details vary depending on the organization, but if you want to give money to a registered non-profit group, you just have to fill out some simple forms… and that’s all there is to it. It’s a win-win for everyone. The charity gets more money. The company gets to say it did a good deed while also getting a tax break (which, let’s be honest, is the real reason they do it).
According to the guidelines at FOX, at least as seen on a public document from 2019, the goal is to “give back to the communities in which we live and work and to cultivate an inclusive workplace that embraces a wide range of ideas and interests.” (I know, I know. Stifle your laughter.)
FOX’s policy offers to give up to $1,000 in matching gifts made by any full-time employee to any registered 501(c)(3) non-profit group “as defined by the program administrator Benevity.” That’s fine. That’s not unusual. You’ll find guidelines like this at just about every company of this size.
Interestingly enough, donations to groups that discriminate on the basis of gender or sexual orientation (or any other protected class) are not eligible for FOX’s gift-matching, which excludes a lot of conservative Christian ministries, including one that has the late evangelist Billy Graham’s name on it. Political and religious groups are also excluded, as are private charities.
The document also says FOX would consider faith-based groups in certain situations:
Note: FOX will consider matching gifts to programs operated by faith-based organizations if those programs: (a) are open to all individuals in the community regardless of religious belief; (b) serve a secular purpose, such as a food pantry or a homeless shelter; and (c) do not require individuals to join in religious worship to receive the services that the non-profit offers.
To be clear, none of this is newsworthy. These read like guidelines written by lawyers rather than, say, Sean Hannity. I have to repeat the fact that these are essentially the same guidelines that most large companies use if they participate in a gift-matching program.
It’s somewhat amusing because we’re talking about a company that openly champions right-wing bigotry and Christian Nationalism through its biggest TV channel. At its core, though, it’s still a corporation.
The only thing that so-called “whistleblowers” gave to The Blaze were screenshots from Benevity’s password-protected giving portal that showed how non-profit groups like The Trevor Project, Planned Parenthood, and The Satanic Temple were eligible for matching contributions… because they function like all other registered non-profits.
However, according to two current Fox News employees and one former Fox News producer, all three of whom spoke to TheBlaze on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from the company, these same groups have ostensibly been eligible for a charitable top-up from Fox.
One source provided screenshots confirming the allegations, and two sources provided corroborating testimony.
A Fox employee personally took Rikki Ratliff-Fellman, director of programming at Blaze Media, through the company portal and showed her some of the donation matches seen in the screenshots.
Ratliff-Fellman said, "I watched this source physically log in to their company portal at Myfox.okta.com to confirm the giving app and to see some of the questionable charities and the donation match option for myself to verify nothing was photoshopped."
That whole passage is absurd because the writer acts like this is some massive discovery… when it’s nothing more than a couple of employees sharing information that no one at FOX was ever trying to hide. It’s the equivalent of sharing an all-staff email from a company’s president with a reporter who doesn’t work there. People outside the organization wouldn’t normally see that—or care—but The Blaze wants you to think it’s a legitimate news outlet that gets big scoops so they’re pretending their article involved cloaks and daggers.
Anyway, yes, non-profits are eligible for gift matching at FOX, and that includes non-profits whose missions don’t align with FOX’s.
Guess what? MSNBC also participates in the same kind of program, promising to match “eligible charitable donations” up to $12,000, and it wouldn’t be surprising at all if right-wing charities were on that list. The New York Times isn’t about to share internal screenshots of MSNBC’s giving portal offering to match gifts to Turning Point USA because that wouldn’t be a story.
What’s weird in this case is that some FOX employees think something scandalous is occurring.
One current employee stressed, "Fox pretends to care about Christians, but some of the stuff they push internally suggests otherwise. Glory holes, trans surgeries for kids, and potential donations to Satan are a huge slap in the face to every Christian at the company, and we resent it," adding, "It offends me personally that this company acts like they support Christians and yet they’re literally willing to match $1,000 donation to the Satanic Temple."
Even Charisma, the insane Christian outlet, asked, “Will Fox News lose millions of more viewers in light of this report of favoring the Satanic Temple?” It would be hilarious if it did… but it won’t.
Here’s the thing: There’s no evidence whatsoever that FOX has ever given money to any of these groups, because there’s no reason to believe someone who works at FOX would donate to The Satanic Temple or Planned Parenthood.
It’s possible, sure, but it’s not very likely.
The Satanic Temple co-founder Lucien Greaves echoed that sentiment, telling Friendly Atheist, “It is unlikely that it has ever happened, and it is unlikely that we would ever know.”
With Blaze Media and Newsmax attempting to usurp FOX News, and with their willingness to employ conspiracy theories and purity spirals to do so, I feel that we are likely to see hard divisions start fracturing the American right. The best part about it is that I can go on Newsmax and tell them exactly the reality of the situation knowing that they will do nothing to correct it.
Greaves was referring to an interview he gave on the far-right Newsmax in which he said all of these things, knowing full well the truth wouldn’t matter to the channel’s viewers.
The Blaze says FOX has now changed its policy to exclude The Satanic Temple from gift matching, while the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is now eligible. Because the people who claim “cancel culture” is real are always the people doing the canceling.
Greaves told me that wouldn’t hurt his group one bit:
I'm not concerned about FOX excluding us from their eligible charities list.
Now, instead of not getting donations from FOX employees because they will not donate to us, we will not get donations from them because they can't donate to us.
If The Blaze actually wanted to break a news story, they would find proof of a FOX employee (in a position of significance) actually donating to any of these left-leaning groups. That would be an interesting piece! Instead, their entire “bombshell” article amounts to some people sharing screenshots involving an anodyne corporate policy with a right-wing propaganda outlet.
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