Fox News’ purported “news” shows have continued to help spread a debunked conspiracy theory about the Black Lives Movement and the fundraising platform ActBlue, falsely accusing BLM of serving as a fundraising front for the Democratic Party.
As Media Matters’ Alex Kaplan has explained, as have fact-checking organizations such as PolitiFact and FactCheck, ActBlue is not a fundraising operation but a payment processor used by many progressive organizations (including Black Lives Matter) and candidates to list their causes and receive donations. (There is also a counterpart Republican-aligned payment processor and campaign listing, called WinRed.)
However, guests appearing on the “news” side of Fox’s programming (as opposed to the “opinion” shows) have continued to push the falsehood that donations to Black Lives Matter will be used by ActBlue to fund Democrats. In fact, donations to BLM made via ActBlue simply go to BLM. (And a donation to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, just to illustrate this principle, made through ActBlue will then go to the Biden campaign.)
On the July 6 edition of The Story with Martha MacCallum, former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik claimed: “If you go to the Black Lives organization website, and you donate money, it goes to ActBlue. And if you look — ActBlue is a [501(c)(3)] that, basically, gives tens of millions of dollars to the Democratic Party. Where's that money going? Back to the communities where they oversee these cities that, you know, there's this systemic slaughter of Blacks.”
Guest anchor Trace Gallagher did not correct the point.
On the July 10 edition of The Story with Martha MacCallum, Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) appeared in order to discuss the public dispute between herself and the players on the WNBA team she owns, the Atlanta Dream, over her opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Look, I grew up playing sports. All of us around the country wanted our sports during the pandemic,” Loeffler said. “They have the power to unite us like nothing else, and in fact, you know, this is the opportunity. But this political platform, Black Lives Matter, is funded through ActBlue, which raises money for liberal organizations and Democrats.”
Again, guest anchor Gallagher did not correct Loeffler on this simple point.
And on Tuesday’s edition of America’s Newsroom, former White House political director Matt Schlapp made accusations of “collusion” between the BLM movement, ActBlue, and the various Democratic campaigns that fundraise via the platform.
Just like Gallagher before her, co-anchor Sandra Smith did not explain that Schlapp was wrong in his accusation.
On the opinion side of Fox’s programming, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade lobbed this same conspiracy theory in a somewhat disjointed manner, while attacking calls to defund and replace police departments (and mistakenly calling ActBlue “True Blue”):
As cartoonish as this talk might seem, it’s actually no different from what viewers hear on Fox’s “straight news” programming.