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  • La Reina Denied Conservative ClubIt’s almost not surprising anymore: another left-of-center media outlet has attacked YAF.

    Reporters don’t always mean to be biased, but either Adam Foxman, reporter for the Ventura County Star, didn’t do his homework or he purposefully wrote his piece with a slant. The article, “Conservative group criticizes La Reina High for rejecting student group,” is filled with blatant errors and unchecked statements.

    If you haven’t been following the La Reina controversy, here’s YAF’s press release: *La Reina High School to Student: No Conservative Club Allowed*

    Here’s the first and most glaring error the Star let slide:

    “Tamberg said no political student clubs are allowed—liberal or conservative—because federal law forbids nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations like the archdiocese from political activity.”

    The irony is the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Young America’s Foundation share the exact same tax status.

    Young Americans for Freedom is a project of Young America’s Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization—just like the archdiocese. YAF educates young people about the benefits of free enterprise, a limit government, a strong national defense, and traditional values—and these ideas are not partisan.

    The IRS says on its website that 501(c)3s, “may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.” Educating young people about conservative ideas is allowed, and that’s what YAF does.

    Historically, YAF has been at hundreds of catholic college and high school campuses, and never before have chapters or events been denied for this reason.

    YAF’s staff made it clear to the reporter that YAF is a nonpolitical nonprofit, yet Foxman let this premise go unchecked in his article. Considering it was the archdiocese’s main point, this mistake seems more than negligent.

    And, he forgot to point out a clear inconsistency. La Reina and the archdiocese weren’t on the same page. In the Star article, Tod Tamberg, spokesman for the archdiocese, said "We're not saying that politics has no place in the life of young people. We're just saying there is a place for that activity, and it's not on a school campus."

    Later, Foxman reported the La Reina Principal Shannon Gomez “said the Young [Americans for Freedom] chapter would clearly have a conservative point of view and there was no proposal for a liberal club to balance that.” The archdiocese said no clubs remotely related to public policy, and Gomez said clubs are acceptable if there’s balance. Which one is it?

    The fact remains that the Star gave credibility to Tamberg when he deserved none. Tamberg, “said the foundation's suggestion that the school's environmental and human rights clubs have a liberal bent is ‘plain wrong.’” Did the reporter ask if the Green Team gives free market solutions? Did the reporter ask if the Human Rights Campaign lobbies for wealth redistribution?

    Time and again, reporters fail to ask the right questions, report false information, and skew the facts. Sometimes, it’s done out of innocent naivety. Other times, reporters forget to check their biases and lead readers to improper conclusions.

    To judge this article yourself, feel free to read it (and leave comments) here: *VC Star*

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