Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Leftists are getting increasingly desperate in their attempts to undermine the reelection of President Bush. On Monday, at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, Moveon.org threw an awards show to honor the best anti-Bush advertisement. Only last week, the group apologized for comparisons between Mr. Bush and Adolf Hitler that were made on the site. According to the Drudge Report, comedian Margaret Cho clarified the apology at the awards show. “You know, I mean, George Bush is not Hitler. He would be if he applied himself,” she said. This is what passes for political discourse today, and the nation has billionaire George Soros to thank for some of the ugliness.

Two months ago, Mr. Soros found a new calling: defeating Mr. Bush in the November election. “It is the central focus of my life,” he said, “and I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is.” There is no doubt that he has done just that. Last year, Moveon.org received $5 million from the liberal billionaire.

The connection between Soros money and anti-Bush and anti-Republican rhetoric is not limited to the hysterical Web site. For example, the so-called Center for Public Integrity received more than $1.7 million from Mr. Soros over three years. The center’s reports obsessively zero in on connections between Republican politicians and major corporations. The center, which likes to style itself as a journalistic operation, should more precisely be categorized as an interest group. While criticizing the alleged influence peddling of others, the group takes Soros funding and attacks Soros enemies. By their own logic, the center’s own integrity is suspect.

One particular target of the Soros satellites is the Federal Communications Commission under Michael Powell and the Bush administration’s efforts to deregulate media. Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumers Reports magazine, has called Mr. Powell and his deregulation drive “out of touch,” “losing control” and with diminished “credibility both intellectually and politically.” Consumers Union also has received Soros money. The Consumer Federation of America has called the Powell FCC “nonsensical,” while the Center for Digital Democracy has said the chairman is “arrogant” and narrow-minded. Both organizations took Soros money.



Perhaps most flagrant is Andy Schwartzman, who runs the Media Access Project, another recipient of Soros largesse. Mr. Schwartzman was quoted in a Center for Public Integrity report criticizing the Powell FCC.

Mr. Soros has created his own world of pseudo-journalists and pseudo-experts the pseudo-journalists can quote — all paid for by him. It is not a coincidence that these groups target Mr. Bush or Republican policies. But it is the height of hypocrisy when any of them bemoan the corrupting influence of money in politics. Obviously, they apply different standards to themselves — on issues of funding and polite political discourse.

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