(Note: Berg's complaint has been dismissed, but he is appealing in both the Third Circuit and the Supreme Court. See here for current status of his appeals.)
Mr. Berg's supporters frequently assert that you must discount the findings from FactCheck.org because that organization is "in the tank" for Obama and/or that organization is funded by the Annenberg Challenge which is the organization on whose board Obama sat for a number of years.
For example, Mr. Berg himself recently stated publicly, in a recorded video, that "Factcheck.org is owned by Annenberg of Chicago. Annenberg of Chicago is an organization that Obama sat on the board for a number of years ...." See this video (at 3:58).
This claim by Berg is simply - verifiably - untrue, as shown below.
Clarification: This post is intended solely to address the factually inaccurate claim that Factcheck.org is owned or controlled by the organization upon which Obama served as a Board Member. It does not address perceived "bias" in reporting on various stories. As always, bias is "in the eye of the beholder" - i.e., subject to opinion. This post is intended to address facts.
Here are the (verifiable) facts.
1. Factcheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania ("APPC") (Source: http://www.factcheck.org/about)
Obama has never been ““heavily associated with” or "served on the board of" the APPC. (Neither Berg, nor his supportes have asserted otherwise.)
2. The APPC was established by publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg in 1994 “to create a community of scholars within the University of Pennsylvania that would address public policy issues at the local, state and federal levels.” (Source: http://www.factcheck.org/about)
Obama has never been “heavily associated with” Walter (or Leonore) Annenberg. (Neither Berg, nor his supportes have asserted otherwise.)
3. Walter and Leonore Annenberg, also established The Annenberg Foundation, which funds the APPC and issues grants on a wide variety of issues, worth 100s of millions of dollars. (Source: http://www.annenbergfoundation.org)
Obama has never been “heavily associated with” or "served on the board of" The Annenberg Foundation. (Neither Berg, nor his supportes have asserted otherwise.)
4. Mrs. Leonore Annenberg -- the surviving member of the couple who started The Annenberg Foundation -- has endorsed John McCain for president. (Source: http://www.newsmax.com/kessler/ambassador_mccain_/2008/10/05/137538.html)
Obama has never been “heavily associated with” Mrs. Leonore Annenberg who has, in fact, endorsed McCain. (Neither Berg, nor his supportes have asserted otherwise.)
5. The Annenberg Foundation, which funds the APPC and issues grants on a wide variety of issues, worth 100s of millions of dollars, funded the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. (Source: http://www.annenbergfoundation.org/usr_doc/Retrospective.pdf at page 8; http://www.annenberginstitute.org/challenge/sites/chicago.html)
Sen. Obama served on the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. (Source: See footnote sources cited in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Annenberg_Challenge)
Therefore, the “connection” between Obama and Factcheck.org is as follows:
In the 1990s, Obama served on the board of an organization that received funding from a foundation, which
(a) was established and funded by a couple, the surviving member of whom has expressly, publicly, endorsed McCain; and
(b) now provides 100s of millions of dollars of grants to a wide variety of public interest organizations, including the organization (APPC) that runs Fact.check.org.
Therefore, Berg's attempts to discredit Factcheck.org by asserting that it is owned by the Chicago Annenberg Challenge are demonstrably inaccurate.