CBS Fight a Litmus Test for Conservatives - 1985-03-31
The takeover bid by Fairness in Media, an ad hoc committee run by the political allies of Helms, was launched in January. Since then, CBS has hired a battery of top-dollar law firms with the goal of discrediting the North Carolina-based political machine in an attempt to uncover what it claims are improper political fund-raising and other activities that violate federal law.
As part of this effort, CBS already has linked officials of the Helms organization and its main lawyer in the takeover battle to a controversial tax-exempt foundation, The Pioneer Fund. The fund has financed research into "racial betterment" by scientists seeking to prove that blacks are genetically inferior to whites.
The decision by Helms to expand his activities beyond the arena of politics into the corporate takeover battleground grows out of a deep, long-standing animosity among conservatives toward major media outlets. Acquiring a large-circulation newspaper or a network "is something that has been a dream of conservatives for years," according to Howard Phillips, chairman of the Conservative Caucus and an ally to Fairness in Media.