Bias Rating: RIGHT
Factual Reporting: MIXED
Country: USA (44/180 Press Freedom)
Media Type: Organization/Foundation
Traffic/Popularity: Medium Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: MEDIUM CREDIBILITY
Launched in 1964 by Frank S. Meyer, William F Buckley Jr, and Robert E. Bauman, the American Conservative Union is a conservative grassroots lobbying organization that advocates for conservative policies and is known for hosting the annual Conservative Political Action Conference known as CPAC since 1974. ACU is based in Alexandria, Virginia. The American Conservative Union’s former chairman was David Keene. His ex-wife Diana Hubbard Carr (former administrative director) was “sentenced to a year in jail for embezzling more than $300,000 from the ACU.”
Currently, Matt Schlapp is the Chairman of the American Conservative Union. Matt Schlapp is a former Koch Industries Executive Director of Federal Affairs. Schlapp had lobbied the Bush White House for Koch Industries, and he is the owner of lobbying firm Cove Strategies. Schlapp’s wife, Mercedes Schlapp, is co-founder of Cove Strategies and worked as director of strategic communications for the Trump Administration. The ACU Political Action Committee is the ACU’s “political arm,” and the ACU Foundation (ACUF) is the education arm of ACU. Finally, the former 2016 Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina served as ACUF Chairman in 2013.
Funded by / Ownership
Analysis / Bias
The former ACU‘s board members consist of climate change deniers and lobbyists such as Fred L. Smith, Jr., president and founder of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, author of “Global Warming and Other Eco Myths: How the Environmental Movement Uses False Science to Scare Us to Death.” Further, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquist, and Joe Bast of the Heartland Institute, works with the ACU to promote climate change skepticism, such as “The Grover Norquist Show: The Real Science and Politics Behind Global Warming.”
During 2020-2021 the ACU promoted election fraud misinformation such as this “As an example of voter fraud, “we have literally 9,000 people who voted in this election (in Nevada) who don’t live in Nevada.” Matt Schlapp made this claim as a guest on Fox News that Politifact rates as pants on fire. Further, Matt Schlapp has made false claims regarding the Coronavirus.
Editorially, The American Conservative Union promotes a conservative agenda such as this ACU Encourages State Lawmakers to Stand up to Biden’s Left-Wing DOJ and ACU Calls on Lockheed Martin to End Divisive “Critical Race Theory” Training. Finally, they strongly support former President Trump Former President Donald J. Trump to Speak at CPAC in Dallas, Texas. In general, the ACU is right-biased and promotes conservative propaganda and misinformation, especially on topics involving science.
Failed Fact Checks
- As an example of voter fraud, “we have literally 9,000 people who voted in this election (in Nevada) who don’t live in Nevada.” – Pants on Fire
- The Trump administration’s policy of separating families is “the same way Barack Obama did it.” – False
- Of $60 billion Congress approved in response to Hurricane Sandy, “only 10 percent was for disaster relief.” – False
- Matt Schlapp Makes Several False Claims About Coronavirus in TV Appearance – False
Overall, we rate The American Conservative Union (ACU) Right Biased based on editorial positions aligned with the conservative right. We also rate them borderline questionable and Mixed for factual reporting due to rejecting the consensus of science on climate change and the coronavirus, as well as several failed fact checks. (M. Huitsing 7/17/2021)