Leftist Funds Quietly Sabotage Objective Reporting
National Public Radio’s firing of Juan Williams highlights the latest scandal inside the newsrooms of what conservatives derisively call the “mainstream media” or MSM.
The same month that NPR fired Williams for revealing feelings of fear when avowed Muslims boarded his flight, the taxpayer-financed radio network got a whopping gift of $1.8 million from billionaire George Soros.
Soros made his fortune in rampant currency speculation, some of it to the detriment of the masses he claims to help. He is a committed left-winger who funds all sorts of anti-conservative activist organizations, among them Media Matters and Moveon.org. Moveon has compared President George W. Bush to Hitler and Gen. David Petraeus to a traitor. Most recently, it has tried to bring down a retail chain, Target, because the corporation gave money to a candidate who believes that marriage formalizes the union of one man and one woman.
Soros’ gift via his Open Society Foundation to the avowedly liberal NPR (in true Stalinist style its director suggested that Williams see a psychiatrist) came with a big string attached. The money is to be used to hire reporters to cover state legislatures: the places where policies closest to the people are made.
“A strong democracy requires a diverse, independent, and highly functioning watchdog press to help people hold the government and private sector accountable,” said Ann Beeson, executive director of U.S. Programs at the Open Society Foundations. “The dramatic decline in news coverage at the state level has left millions of people significantly less informed about what is happening in their own backyards. We are confident that NPR, its member stations, and partners can help fill that void with much needed in-depth and analytical reporting for communities of every size in every corner of the country.”
It does not take any imagination to picture what type of reporters they will be, though: young George Soroses remarking on how horrible Republicans are in Texas, New York, and California.
This direct leftist infiltration of the MSM is far more destructive than some of its other ploys, such as Pulitzer Prizes for bogus stories, or Dan Rather’s release of forged documents in an effort to bring down George Bush, or false election polls that show Democrats far out in front of conservative candidates. A Boston Globe poll, for example, had Sen. Scott Brown, a Massachusetts Republican, hopelessly behind only a few days before an election he handily won.
It might surprise readers to know that Barbara Streisand has infiltrated The Washington Post—not its editorial pages, but the news section. The Post has begun running stories researched by the Center for Public Integrity (CPI). In other cases, it has done “joint investigations” with the Center’s staff.
This month, The Post ran an A-section story from the Center, basically an election-season hit job on a smattering of conservatives who voted against President Obama’s massive stimulus bill and then took its money. It is not the first time a lawmaker who tried to nix a spending bill later fought to ensure that his district received some of the money.
It’s the kind of “gotcha” story the liberal media love to put out when Republicans are the target, but they rarely do so when the story involves liberals. A polling executive told me that he is still hunting for a MSM “gotcha” story against any congressional Democrat in a contested race. Don’t look for The Post to run a research story from the conservative Heritage Foundation on military cuts or Obamacare—at least not in its news pages.
Check out the Center for Public Integrity’s major donors. It includes such committed left-wing groups as The Ford Foundation, Newman’s Own Foundation, George Soros’ Open Society Institute, and the Streisand Foundation. CPI’s executive director is Bill Buzenberg, a veteran of NPR—the network that fired Juan Williams and that accepts left-wing money to hire reporters.
The same week that Soros’ foundation was celebrating its $1.8 million gift to NPR, CPI was boasting of an alliance with another liberal outfit. The Center indicated that it is absorbing the investigative reporters from The Huffington Post, run by avowed liberal Arianna Huffington. Her latest activism consists of promoting liberal Jon Stewart’s Oct. 30 “Rally to Restore Sanity.” Don’t look for conservative themes from The Huffington Post reporters shifting to CPI.
The Left is merging with the MSM in other ways, as well. Herbert Sandler, a billionaire investor who funds such hard-left groups as Moveon.org and the Center for American Progress, has started ProPublica, an online newspaper. ProPublica’s website swears allegiance to objective investigative reporting.
But is Sandler really subsidizing ProPublica to pursue honest journalism, or to promote his extensive liberal agenda in a more indirect, and only seemingly legitimate way? He has contributed large sums of money to Democratic candidates, leftist groups, and liberal causes. Does he really want his reporters to investigate the fraud of global warming, the aftereffects of Obamacare, the history of how Harry Reid accumulated his wealth, or the bogus statements of Joe Biden? I doubt it.
Way-out liberals are also forging partnerships with The New York Times, which hardly needs any nudging to the Left.
Wikileaks was supposed to be founded on the idea of providing whistleblowers a place to expose corruption in business and government. But director Julian Assange, with the release of thousands of classified field reports from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has revealed himself to be just another anti-American leftist.
His avowed goal is to end both wars. The Army enlisted man suspected of breaking the law by leaking the documents is described by Assange as a “political prisoner.” That kind of labeling is right out of the Left’s playbook.
With whom did Assange form an alliance to make sure the papers received wide distribution? The New York Times, of course. Not only did the newspaper run the documents, but it released a fluff story on Assange.
“The new trend is newspapers will say we don’t have enough resources for investigative reporting so we’re just going to run items from the Center for Public Integrity or items from ProPublica,” said Tim Graham, an analyst at the Media Research Center, which exposes liberal biases. “Most people presume The Washington Post is funded by its advertisers. [But with] these groups, there is no real attempt to explain who their backers are.”
Of the Post’s Center for Public Integrity story, Graham said, “I thought this particular story was very politicized. It was designed to embarrass the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. It was a highly politicized story on a Republican target.” He added, “These investigative journalism outfits are all liberal, Pulitzer-bait type groups.”
The MSM’s hug of more liberalism continues to drive conservative readers away. As was not the case 20 years ago, the public now has many news sources from which to choose, online and on Cable TV. Circulation numbers released this week showed that the MSM readership hemorrhage is continuing. The NYT dropped below 900,000. The Washington Post fell 6 percent. By this time next year, its daily circulation may be below 500,000.
Liberals might argue that conservative money is also infiltrating the mainstream media. It is not. Sure, The Daily Caller sprung up with that kind of money. But the MSM views it, as it does Fox News, as an outsider.
In contrast, Sandler’s news baby, ProPublica, was quickly embraced by the MSM, which sent him a dozen or so reporters. And last year, the Big Cheese of all MSM, the Pulitzer Committee, awarded ProPublica a prize for reporting on George Bush’s handling of Katrina—five years after the hurricane.