The liberal wealthy super-elites who control private tax-exempt foundations have discovered success in controlling politicians and bankrolling activist organizations ranging from open borders advocates to radical environmentalists. It is especially frightening, though, to witness a recent phenomenon whereby just one of these amoral financiers, George Soros, manipulates the media by stifling and smearing center-right political voices.
Mr. Soros infamously said “the main obstacle to a just and stable world is the United States.” Mr. Soros’ motivations, and that of the Open Society Institute and his other foundations, are hatred of Christianity and his notion that “fascists” and “right-wingers” must be counterbalanced by a more powerful left.
The billionaire George Bush-hater is perhaps best known for massive funding of MoveOn.org, a group that opposed the 2003 Iraq invasion and supported Sen. John Kerry for president in 2004. Its mission: create pressure upon the Democratic Party to move it more to the left. But Mr. Kerry was defeated, so new tactics were required by the left-wing elites to hasten the changing of America.
Mr. Soros and his colleagues at the Tides Foundation see themselves akin to a beekeeper. While all the bees in the hive — the news media — fly about in many directions, the left-wing financiers believe they have found a way to simply move the entire hive to the left.
That is where the Soros-funded, D.C.-based MediaMatters fits in.
According to the benign description on its federal 990 federal tax form, the 50-plus employees of the watchdog group work “to notify activists, journalists, pundits and the general public about instances of misinformation providing them with resources to rebut false claims and to take direct action against offending media.” At least two liberal bloggers, Oliver Willis and Duncan Black, are full-time employees. They are allied with other leftist bloggers to vilify those they want to silence or intimidate.
MediaMatters teamed with MoveOn a few years ago on a project which attacked the Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcasting Co. for preparing a television documentary on presidential candidate Kerry and his Vietnam war service. (MoveOn received millions from Mr. Soros, especially for its anti-Bush administration and pro-Kerry advertising.)
When conservatives like Rush Limbaugh or Fox News commentators address policy issues, MediaMatters disseminates everything from “fact sheet” refutations to complaints and outright smears. Even liberal media personalities get slammed if they report stories critical of liberals or Democrats.
The object of the group’s attacks are to ensure that journalists don’t follow up on story angles advantageous to the Republican agenda or the conservative cause. The result? The big three television networks, mainstream newspapers and the Associated Press are tending to view “conservative” sources as tainted or disreputable. (So when a conservative or Republican source breaks a news story that could potentially damage some liberal politician or cause, the mainstream media is hesitant to follow up. “That’s just a Fox news story,” is one typical MediaMatters complaint.)
Some journalists are citing MediaMatters in their reporting, including Bob Herbert of the New York Times, Joan Vennochi of the Boston Globe, Nick Madigan of the Baltimore Sun and Anne Marie Cox of Time. “The O’Reilly Factor” reported that Frank Rich of The New York Times and Rosie O’Donnell of ABC-TV have been parroting the group’s propaganda, and that Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post and CNN apologized for relying on some erroneous Web site information.
Yet few journalists dare to criticize the group or its bankrollers for fear of inviting attacks upon themselves.
Consider that the Open Society Institute has given over $17 million to the Tides Foundation between 2001 and 2005. Tides then shamelessly turns around and grants MediaMatters $3.3 million between 2003 to 2005 (the latest available years its tax returns are available). The leftist Center for American Progress receives grants from Tides and Mr. Soros and, you guessed it, funnels it into MediaMatters. And yet another group called the Democracy Alliance, funded by Mr. Soros and other limousine liberals, donates to MediaMatters.
The good news is that the mainstream print media’s circulation numbers continue to decline in all of the major urban markets across the country. The big three TV networks, though still influential with millions of viewers, are witnessing decreased viewership because Americans yearn for new information and different points of view. Conservative-oriented cable TV programs,talkradioand center-right Internet activists continue to draw more viewers and listeners away from the mainstream media beehive — despite Mr. Soros’ efforts.
Phil Kent is a communications consultant and author of “Foundations of Betrayal: How the Liberal Super-Rich Undermine America.”