by Cliff Kincaid
October 27, 2004
Soros may be the biggest political fat cat of
How many times have we heard or read stories about Vice President Dick
Cheney's old firm, Halliburton, and its alleged influence over
the government? A public company with more than 100,000 employees,
Halliburton had revenues of $13 billion in 2001.
However, George Soros
is a human Halliburton who will be in a position if John Kerry is
elected president to pull the strings. He is reportedly worth $7.2 billion.
But his role in buying the White House for John Kerry has received generally
Soros, we're told, is a "philanthropist"
committed to "democracy." The Republican Party, by contrast, is supposed to
be run by fat cats and Big Business, such as those at Halliburton.
Soros may be the biggest political fat cat of all time. Convicted in France
of insider trading, Soros specializes in weakening or collapsing the
currencies of entire nations for his own selfish interests. He is known as
the man who broke the Bank of England. His power is such that his statements
alone can cause currencies to go up or down.
Other people suffer so he can get rich. But
journalists don't want to examine the questionable means by which he
achieved his wealth because they share his goal of electing Kerry and the
Democrats. Curiously, once he made his fortune he became a global socialist,
endorsing global taxes on the very means he employed to get rich –
international currency speculation and manipulation.
The media consistently ignore the fact that this so-called "philanthropist"
has had several brushes with the law as he has laid siege to national
economies and currencies.
Hard-working U.S. businessmen understand how Soros
has made his money. In protesting a Soros appearance hosted by the
University of Toledo, Edwin J. Nagle III, president and CEO of the
Nagle Companies, highlighted "the immoral and unethical means by which
he achieved his wealth."
"I certainly didn't see included in his bio
the stories on how he collapsed whole country's currencies for his own
self interests so that many may suffer."
Here, Soros signed a consent decree in United
States District Court, in a Securities and Exchange Commission case
involving stock manipulation, and was fined $75,000 by the Commodity Futures
Trading Commission for holding positions "in excess of speculative limits."
Stories about Soros rarely, if ever, mention any of his legal problems.
Despite his vision of an "open society," he operates an unregulated "hedge
fund," open only to the super-rich, and is currently fighting a proposal
from the Bush-appointed chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission
to regulate and monitor these offshore entities. House Speaker Dennis
Hastert said on national television that no one really knows where the
Soros money comes from.
Soros has categorically denied receiving money from drug cartels or any form
of criminal activity. The fact remains, however, that at least some of his
financial operations have been based offshore, in banking and financial
centers that are widely reported to be considered conducive to
money-laundering. The Soros fund is based in the Netherlands Antilles, a
self-governing federation of five Caribbean islands.
A CIA factbook describes the
region as "a transshipment point for South American drugs bound for the US
and Europe; money-laundering center."
Soros reportedly purchased a major stake in one of Colombia's biggest banks,
at a time when the Drug Enforcement Administration, in its study, "Colombian
Economic Reform: The Impact on Drug Money Laundering within the Colombian
Economy," was documenting how major drug kingpins were taking advantage of
the liberalization of the economy to put illicit drug revenue into
The report stated:
"U.S. and Colombian Government authorities
have evidence of drug proceeds being deposited in every major bank in
Colombia... A Colombian source indicated that many banks and businesses
are owned covertly by principal members of the Cali cartel."
His complex web of financial interests,
companies and foundations makes Halliburton look like a Mom & Pop operation.
The charge we read in the press is that Halliburton gets government
contracts and makes money from the Iraq war. Far less attention has been
paid to the fact that the company has lost 54 employees as a result of that
war. Nobody in the press mentions that Soros profits from the Kosovo war,
which he supported as a preemptive strike against Yugoslavia, because he
runs an investment fund that now does business there.
Even though he pays big bucks to advertise his
opposition to the Bush policy of democracy-building in Iraq, reporters still
describe him as someone with a reputation for building democracy abroad.
However, his position on Iraq may be a diversion from the real reason he
wants to get rid of Bush – his longstanding desire to adopt a national
"retreat and defeat" approach to the drug problem.
Soros' long-time goal has been to subvert the national anti-drug policy of
the U.S. Government, to move away from the use of national and global law
enforcement resources against the drug trade. He calls this "harm
reduction," meaning that criminal activity associated with the use of drugs
will supposedly be reduced if the government takes over the drug trade and
provides drugs and drug paraphernalia, including needles, to addicts.
But law enforcement would still be required to
keep drugs out of the hands of children. If this is not the case, then Soros
intends to allow substances such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin to be
distributed to children.
If Soros is able to capture the White House and implement his drug policy
nationally, millions more people could be led to experiment with dangerous
psychoactive substances and damage themselves, their families, and society.
Even marijuana, depicted by the media as a "soft" drug, has extremely
In the new book, "Marijuana
and Madness," one of the editors, Prof. Robin Murray of
Britain's Institute of Psychiatry, cites studies and evidence from
around the world, some of it going back 40 years, linking the use of
marijuana to mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and psychosis.
In a recent article about his growing financial and political clout, the
Washington Post sanitized Soros by claiming that he,
"funded efforts to reform campaign laws,
decriminalize marijuana and change [the] criminal justice system."
All of that is misleading, if not false. His
"reform" of campaign laws left a loophole that will enable him to set a
record "for the most money donated by an individual in an election cycle,"
to quote the Post itself.
So where are the investigative stories into
Soros and his agenda?
A key part of the Soros agenda - his proposed surrender in the war on drugs
- has been carefully concealed from the American people during this
campaign. The war on Islamic terrorism is front and center, to be sure, but
the war on drugs is still of major concern to millions of Americans,
especially parents fearful of the influence of Hollywood and the drug
A Soros role in formulating national drug policy is worthy of special press
attention because his pro-drug legalization campaign has been considered at
odds with the vast majority of Republicans and Democrats who share the view
that legalization would make the drug problem far worse.
In the current campaign, however, a major transformation has taken place.
Soros is said to have "privatized" or replaced the Democratic Party by
subsidizing many different liberal-left organizations that comprise its
political base and creating new ones, the "527" organizations.
Among the candidates who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination,
Soros financially supported John Kerry, Wesley Clark, Senator
Bob Graham, and Howard Dean. He has been praised by Senator
Hillary Clinton and contributed to her Senate campaign and political
He has also contributed to the political
campaigns of Democratic Senators Tom Daschle, Carl Levin, John Corzine, Mary
Landrieu, Debbie Stabenow, Charles Schumer, Joseph Biden, Patrick Leahy,
Paul Sarbanes, Thomas Harkin, and Barbara Boxer.
In 2002, Soros funded Al Gore for
president and contributed $153,000 in "soft money" to the Democratic
Soros, who is also very close to Bill
Clinton, was described by Clinton's Deputy Secretary of State Strobe
Talbott as a "national treasure."
It is significant that Soros and two of his sons have contributed $2000 each
to Brad Carson, the Democratic Senate candidate in Oklahoma. His Republican
opponent, Dr. Tom Coburn, was a member of the U.S. House for six years,
where he developed a reputation as a leading opponent of efforts to legalize
marijuana and fund needle exchange programs that facilitate illicit drug
Coburn exposed Soros-style "harm reduction" as a
backdoor approach to legalization of illicit drugs.
Coburn was also a strong supporter of drug
testing and even fought to require drug testing of members of Congress.
Coburn and his staff voluntarily underwent drug testing. If elected to the
Senate, say his supporters, Coburn would be the chamber's leading voice for
protecting children from the dangers of drug abuse and a scientific voice of
reason against the Soros-supported movement that seeks to legalize drugs.
It's no wonder that Soros and his sons have
targeted Coburn for defeat.
Soros has also contributed to Barack Obama, running for the Senate as a
Democrat from Illinois. CNSNews.com reports that,
"Not only did Soros donate to Obama's
campaign, but four other family members - Jennifer, sons Jonathan and
Robert and wife Susan - did as well. Because of a special provision
campaign finance laws, the Soroses were able to give a collective
$60,000 to Obama during his primary challenge."
Soros was described by the New Yorker as close
to Harold Ickes, a former Clinton deputy chief of staff who runs the
Media Fund, one of many Soros-supported "527" groups. Soros described him as
a "real pro."
Away from the scrutiny or even the notice of the establishment press, Soros
has emerged as a counter-culture hero.
The drug culture magazine, Heads, calls him "Daddy Weedbucks," ran an
excerpt from his book, Soros on Soros, and declared that "he drops the bucks
exactly where they're needed." The September-October issue of the drug
culture magazine High Times recognizes the stakes, noting that there are
"ten reasons to get rid of Bush" and that one is that there will be "No
legalization of pot" under Bush. The implication of the article was that the
situation would change under Kerry.
None of this is being reported, however, by the major media.
His partner, Peter Lewis, whitewashed by the Post as "one of the
country's 10 most generous philanthropists," was actually arrested in New
Zealand for "importing" drugs, including hashish and marijuana.
The Human Halliburton
The media call him a billionaire "philanthropist" who "promotes democracy"
and "democratic institutions" abroad. He has been invited to address the
National Press Club on October 28, 2004, just before the election.
But admitted marijuana user George Soros,
who says he tried marijuana "and enjoyed it," doesn't just "give" money
away. He spends money for a purpose because he wants to remake America and
the world. He is depicted in a recent lengthy New Yorker article by
Jane Mayer as well-intentioned, not that concerned about money, the
victim of scurrilous attacks, and someone who simply wants his "ideas" to
This is typical of the fawning coverage of
Soros. Mayer made a brief reference to his collaborator, Peter B. Lewis,
and his funding of "efforts to decriminalize marijuana," but she failed to
explore how Soros is himself committed to legalizing dangerous drugs. Mayer
did disclose that a meeting was held in August, after the Democratic Party
convention, of what critics call a "billionaire conspiracy" to defeat Bush.
Soros and Lewis were among the participants in
the meeting, which was supposed to be kept private.
Soros' strong opposition to President Bush's effort to create democratic
institutions in Iraq contradicts his alleged support for democracy. But the
media don't point this out because they oppose Bush's Iraq policy. Mayer,
who interviewed the billionaire at length, suggests that Soros may be
"looking for influence [in a Kerry Administration] to get out of Iraq" but
that to pursue such an objective in exchange for his financial support to
the candidate might be deemed "not appropriate" by some observers.
It would be unwise for the public to dismiss the idea that he would not
demand implementation of his other "ideas," including drug legalization.
Sometimes described as an atheist or agnostic, Soros has announced a vision
of a secular "open society." However, his agenda of drug legalization has
remained largely hidden from public view during the current campaign.
While Soros may not want to openly talk about what he would expect out of a
Kerry Administration, his allies have obviously been giving it much thought.
At the 2004 conference of the National Organization for the Reform of
Marijuana Laws (NORML), Ethan Nadelmann of the
Soros-funded Drug Policy Alliance was asked about his association with
Soros and the billionaire's attempt to put John Kerry in the White House.
The questioner asked,
"Are we going to get some Supreme Court
justices out this?" Nadelmann modestly answered, "We will see," and
cautioned that it may be difficult to deliver "all the goods."
This is critical because the U.S. Supreme Court
is already considering the matter of the several U.S. states that have laws
on the books permitting some form of "medical marijuana" use, a violation of
federal law, and could return to the subject in the future. The Court is
expected to rule by June 2005 on a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
decision, challenged by the Bush administration, that bars federal agents
from interfering with the growing and use of marijuana by two women in
Hollywood has already been captured by the illegal drug lobby.
At the 2004 NORML conference, Allen St. Pierre of the NORML
Foundation described how various U.S. television programs "have
previewed marijuana in a way ultimately positive."
He named them as ER, Chicago Hope, the Practice,
Sybil, Murphy Brown, Sports Night, Becker, West Wing, Roseanne, Sex in the
City, Six Feet Under, Whoopi, Montel, That 70s Show, and the Larry David
"These shows are seen by tens of millions of
people," he said. "So that's what it's so crucial that we're able to
capture - and to demonstrate the change in - culture."
The challenge for the drug culture is now to
capture the U.S. Government. Soros is their front man.
Bloomberg.com quoted Strobe Talbott, U.S. deputy secretary of
state from 1994 to 2001, as saying,
"Whenever George Soros called and asked to
meet, I would move heaven and earth to do so. I treated him like the
foreign minister of another country because of all that he had done."
Even under the Bush Administration, Soros has
been considered an important and influential figure.
He gave a September 16, 2003, speech at the
State Department on "America in the Global Community: Building Long-Term
So think about the clout he would have if he almost single-handedly buys the
White House for John Kerry and plays a role in the election of several new
Rather than investigate the source of the Soros money, Washington Post
columnist Harold Meyerson has praised Soros for engineering the
"privatization" of the Democratic Party through funding of the "527"
political groups and bypassing what he calls an incompetent Democratic Party
apparatus. At the far-left "Take Back America" forum in June, Soros was
photographed greeting Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who introduced
him to the group.
She told the crowd that,
"we need people like George Soros, who is
fearless and willing to step up when it counts."
He stepped up with his money.
However, Meyerson and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman have
attacked House Speaker Dennis Hastert for raising questions about where
Soros gets his money.
A professed believer in democracy, Soros has used the "527" loophole in a
campaign finance law that he promoted to restrict the political activities
of "special interests." He has set a record "for the most money donated by
an individual in an election cycle." Those "special interests" turned out to
be other people - not him. He has since poured millions of dollars into
anti-Bush groups and voter registration drives, some marked by alleged
fraud, for the Democratic Party.
His commitment to democracy is never questioned.
Typical of the pro-Soros media coverage was a
USA Today story on June 1 that gave Soros credit for freeing millions of
people from communism and "supporting democracy." The story ignored his
insider trading conviction. While Soros provided some funding to
anti-communist groups during the Cold War, his career has been designed to
make money and extend his influence over nations and people. Communism was a
threat because it was not hospitable to his investments.
An excellent example of how he operates is Kosovo. As indicated earlier, it
is relevant to note that, after the Soros-supported war on Kosovo, a
province of Yugoslavia, a Soros fund announced in 2000 that it was investing
$150 million -- with loan guarantees from the U.S. Overseas Private
Investment Corporation -- in the Balkans.
It was called the "Southeast Europe Equity
Fund." By 2002, the OPIC-supported size of the investment had risen to $200
million and OPIC announced that Soros Investment Capital, Ltd. Fund
Yugoslavia had acquired a controlling stake in Eksimbanka, a private
commercial bank in Serbia, and had financed the start-up of Serbia Broadband
Networks, the leading cable television and broadband services company in
What's more, his "open society" doesn't extend to himself. He unregulated
"hedge funds," open only to the super rich, are beyond public scrutiny or
the interest of the press. In a curious chapter of his career, he reportedly
invested in an energy company run by George W. Bush, in an unsuccessful
attempt to buy influence with the Bush family.
As noted, in another curious development, the global capitalist has become a
global socialist advocating a global tax, known as the Tobin Tax, on the
means by which he exploited the global capitalist system and became rich –
international currency speculation and manipulation.
Soros has declared that the Tobin Tax is
a "valid suggestion" for raising international revenue and that opposition
to implementing the tax can be overcome.
What has not been reported is that Thomas
Palley, the director of the Globalization Reform Project at Soros'
Open Society Institute, was a featured speaker at a January 2003 event
in Washington, D.C. to discuss how to implement the tax.
"He made his money the old-fashioned way, on
Wall Street," wrote Post columnist Harold Meyerson.
In fact, he made his money through investment
techniques that are not available to ordinary investors, and his financial
interventions can affect nations and their economies.
Soros claims that the "527" organizations he funds "file detailed and
frequent reports with government regulators." On the January 9 NOW With Bill
Moyers program on PBS, Charles Lewis of the Soros-funded Center for Public
Integrity argued that while Soros was funding 527 groups, Soros was
disclosing these contributions and that the money could be tracked.
Again, that begs the question of where he gets his money.
His use of that loophole -- in a law that he promoted to restrict the
influence of outside "special interests" on political campaigns -- is
suspicious and curious on its face. Equally curious, Soros claims that the
Bush Administration's reaction to 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq caused him
to spend millions of dollars through these "527" organizations to defeat
Bush. However, Soros favored the Clinton Administration's preemptive attack
on Yugoslavia, in the absence of any threat to the U.S. and without U.S.
While Soros runs around the country talking about defeating Bush, mostly
because of his Iraq policy, he is using his money to target other candidates
who have prosecuted the war on drugs.
The pro-Soros national media have refused to examine the implications of a
ruling by New York State Supreme Court Justice Bernard Malone.
He ruled that it was improper for the Soros-backed Working Families Party
to get involvement in a Democratic primary for District Attorney and he
referred the case to local prosecutors and New York Attorney General Eliot
Spitzer for a possible criminal investigation.
Thanks to the money provided by Soros, David
Soares defeated incumbent District Attorney Paul Clyne in the Democratic
primary. At the time of Clyne's defeat, Ethan Nadelmann of the Soros-funded
Drug Policy Alliance Network said he was proud that his group had
"contributed to this race" and that "what happened in Albany" has "national
That suggested to some that Soros, if he is
successful in putting John Kerry in the White House, would change the
nation's anti-drug policy.
The Criminals Lobby
Soros, who lives in New York, has also contributed $150,000 to a California
ballot measure, proposition 66, to overturn the three-strikes law, which
mandates prison terms of 25-years-to-life for defendants convicted of a
third felony. The ballot measure is opposed by the state's district
attorneys and law enforcement agencies.
In other unsavory connections, a Soros grant was given to Linda Evans,
who was pardoned by Bill Clinton for her involvement in the Weather
Underground terrorist group. The Weather Underground was involved
in the 1981 Brinks robbery, in which three murders were committed, and a
series of bombings, including the bombing of the U.S. Capitol in November
The Baltimore, Maryland, branch of the OSI on May 12 hosted Bernardine
Dohrn, another former member of the Weather Underground who once
expressed solidarity with mass murderer Charles Manson, at a forum on
criminal justice issues. Speaking to a Weather Underground "war council" in
Michigan in 1969, Dohrn gave a three-fingered "fork salute" to Manson.
As noted by Ami Naramor of The
"Calling Manson's victims the 'Tate Eight,'
Dohrn gloated over the fact that actress Sharon Tate, who was pregnant
at the time, had been stabbed with a fork in her womb. 'Dig it. First
they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them,
they even shoved a fork into a victim's stomach! Wild!'"
Dohrn, now an associate professor and director
at Northwestern University's Children and Justice Center, was a member of
the advisory committee of the "children's rights watch" project of Human
Rights Watch, funded by Soros.
Not coincidentally, the drug culture has embraced the Weather Underground.
High Times magazine has called David Gilbert, a Weather Underground member
now in prison, an "anti-imperialist political prisoner" and has hailed his
book, No Surrender. High Times says Gilbert works behind bars for
"prisoners' rights" – a favorite cause of Soros.
The latest development is creation of "Cannabis Consumers," a bizarre
organization of out-of-the-closet illegal pot smokers, formed to celebrate
and glorify the drug. Director Mikki Norris, who says her group received a
grant from the Soros-funded Drug Policy Alliance, says, "we honor George
The Soros-supported Drug Policy Alliance supports "marijuana clubs"
currently dispensing the drug, supposedly on "medical" grounds. The federal
government has tried to close down these clubs - a policy that could change if
Soros gains access to and influence over the White House. Several states
have passed "medical marijuana" initiatives, funded by Soros, attempting to
provide the drug under the cover of treating illnesses.
But the American people have been kept in the
dark about whether the Soros campaign to weaken drug laws would be embraced
and implemented on a national basis by a Kerry Administration.
One of the few reporters to question the Soros agenda is John Berlau
of Insight magazine, who asked whether Soros would benefit
financially from his huge expenditures on political activity.
Michael Vachon, the spokesman for
Soros Fund Management in New York City, said,
"I have no faith in the ability or desire of
Insight magazine to portray George Soros' activities in an unbiased
Pressed, he said,
"There's no relationship between the policy
prescriptions George Soros recommends and his own financial holdings. He
doesn't make policy recommendations to increase his own personal wealth.
That's not what motivates him."
There can be no doubt, however, that if the
Soros plan for drug legalization goes forward, there would have to be an
official infrastructure in place to finance drug production and distribution
and handle the enormous profits that will be made from legalization.
Legalization will not eliminate drug profits, it will only transfer some of
them to government and "legitimate" industries. Soros could be poised to
invest in those industries and companies.
He is laying the groundwork for the creation of a system under which
government and corporations would legalize, dispense and advertise hard
drugs, much like tobacco or alcohol, and supply addicts with needles and
drug paraphernalia. In effect, Soros appears to be financing drug
legalization for the purpose of creating a new market for federal payments
to underwrite drug purchases for addicts.
Soros appears to favor an indoor version of
"Needle Park," where addicts come to government offices to inject or smoke
their drugs at taxpayer expense.
His position is also reflected in his funding of the ACLU, which itself
favors the legalization of all drugs - even heroin and crack cocaine - and
opposes virtually all measures taken to curtail drug use. In another example
of its extremist approach, the group has rejected funds from the Ford and
Rockefeller Foundations, and participation in the Combined Federal Campaign,
because acceptance of the money would require adopting measures to make sure
it does not employ terrorists or support terrorist activity.
Soros hired Aryeh Neier as president of his Open Society Institute
(OSI) in 1993. Neier worked for the ACLU for 15 years, including
eight as national director.
Typically, Soros and his cronies present the current "war on drugs" as
draconian, a huge waste of money and a threat to civil liberties.
Legalization is then presented, usually couched in terms of reducing the
harm associated with illegal use and procurement of drugs. The audience is
never presented with a third option - eradication of drug crops at home and
abroad, an intensified military/intelligence effort against drug lords
abroad, tougher sentences for users and dealers, and more drug testing.
In 1995, Soros made a major contribution to the Council on Foreign
Relations, which two years later, under the leadership of Mathea Falco,
released a comprehensive report on U.S. international drug control strategy,
entitled, Rethinking International Drug Control.
However, A.M. Rosenthal of the New
York Times, who participated in the task force that drafted the report,
declined to endorse it, saying that it,
"is so negative in substance and tone about
United States efforts to stem drug use, production and distribution that
it amounts to an invitation to drop those efforts…"
Soros clearly has his sights set on global
policy on drugs. Soros was a signer of a 1998 letter to U.N.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan urging a radical revamping of global anti-drug
policies. Another signer was Morton H. Halperin, a former Department
of Defense and National Security Council Official.
In a typical laudatory article about Soros, USA Today author Rick Hampson
made a brief reference to his belief in "liberalized drug laws." Nothing was
said, however, about how Soros has managed to liberalize or weaken those
laws across the country, and how he has his sights set on national anti-drug
The National District Attorneys Association says
that since 1996,
"incremental changes in state drug laws have
continued at an alarming rate across our nation" and they are designed
to "ultimately legalize drugs."
Soros was identified in this report as one of
the wealthy individuals behind this "very well financed" drug legalization
movement that is "highly adept at manipulating the media."
In an October 18 Newsweek story, "Can a Billionaire Beat Bush?" writer
Marcus Mabry said that Soros will "be there" even if Bush wins, ready to
"build a new left…" Soros and other " wealthy progressives," he says, "will
set about assembling the infrastructure," including think tanks,
foundations, and civic groups, of this "new left."
But Soros has already done this. The late left-wing writer, Walt Contreras
Sheasby, noted that the Soros influence "is one of those hushed secrets
inside the left…" and that he has subsidized "many of the activist groups,
luminaries and publications of the American left…"
Mabry completely ignored his pro-drug legalization agenda and erroneously
claimed that his involvement in this year's presidential campaign is "his
first significant involvement in American electoral politics." Mabry ignored
Soros's funding of at least 19 initiatives to weaken drug laws.
Journalists carefully conceal their own conflicts of interest. On the
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) NOW With Bill Moyers
program on January 9 of this year, Moyers interviewed Charles Lewis of the
Center for Public Integrity about the big money supporting the presidential
candidates. But little time and attention was paid to how Soros was trying
to buy the White House and pouring millions of dollars into groups such as
MoveOn.org to bring this about.
Moyers, former press secretary to President
Lyndon Johnson, failed to tell his viewers that he is on the board of Soros'
Open Society Institute and that it has funneled $1.7 million into Lewis and
his Center for Public Integrity.
Moyers had conducted and aired an interview with
Soros on September 12, 2003, where he declared,
"The Republican Party has been captured by a
bunch of extremists…"
Soros was presented as an opponent of unchecked
capitalism and a supporter of democracy and nation-building abroad.
The power of the Soros-supported media network was demonstrated in
mid-October when a controversy emerged over Sinclair Broadcasting airing
parts of Stolen Honor, a film raising questions about the detrimental impact
of John Kerry's 1971 anti-war testimony on U.S. Vietnam POWs being held by
the communists. Kerry had branded U.S. soldiers as war criminals, and POWs
interviewed in Stolen Honor said this resulted in more torture to them.
The Democratic Party, the Kerry campaign, and
various groups denounced Sinclair for planning to air Stolen Honor.
MediaChannel.org, Common Cause, the Alliance for Better Campaigns, Media
Access Project, Media for Democracy, and the Office of Communication of the
United Church of Christ held an anti-Sinclair news conference. They
denounced Sinclair for allegedly abusing the public airwaves by planning to
All of these organizations - except for the
possible exception of the Office of Communication of the United Church of
Christ - are funded by Soros.
Media Matters, a left-wing media watchdog group that was also pressuring
Sinclair to abandon plans to air the testimony of the former POWs, was
"developed" with help from the Center for American Progress, funded by
The attack on Sinclair had the effect of diverting attention away from the
extensive and controversial media connections of Soros, his foundations, and
the organizations they subsidize, and legitimate questions about the
Soros-supported candidate John Kerry. These groups – and the many prominent
journalists who serve on their boards – make Sinclair look penny ante.
Pro-Soros media coverage dates back many years and continues to the present
day, as detailed in this report. In 1996, Dan Rather's CBS Evening News
highlighted him as a philanthropist and humanitarian, someone who had made a
fortune but was now making a difference. The story by correspondent Anthony
Mason ignored his commitment to legalization of drugs.
That same year, Judith Miller of the New York Times wrote that he was
"bringing his philanthropy home." While she made a brief reference to his
drug legalization agenda, the headline over the piece said he was committed
to "social justice." His close adviser, Aryeh Neier, a longtime ACLU
official, was described merely as a "human rights advocate."
On the far left, The Nation magazine and its Nation Institute have been
supported by OSI. The magazine published a generally flattering piece about
the Soros-funded Center for American Progress.
In 1994 Soros received the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award at an
International Press Freedom Awards dinner, sponsored by the Committee to
Protect Journalists. Five years earlier, OSI gave 4 grants, totaling
$220,000, to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Benjamin was senior
executive producer at CBS News and served briefly as chair of the Committee
to Protect Journalists before his death in 1988.
The Soros media connections include:
An investor in the Times Mirror Company,
Soros funded the Project on Media Ownership, headed by Professor
Mark Crispin Miller at New York University. Whose purpose was expose
"media concentration." A total of $300,000 over several years came
from George Soros' Open Society Institute (OSI). In
1999, a survey commissioned by the Project on Media Ownership and
the Benton Foundation and paid for by OSI found that seventy-nine
percent of adults would favor a law requiring commercial
broadcasters to pay 5 percent of their revenues into a fund for
Eric Alterman of The Nation has hailed
Soros for spending millions on "education campaigns with America
Coming Together, voter mobilization drives with MoveOn.org and
research activities with the Center for American Progress
(CAP)--where I am a senior fellow…" Alterman says his own magazine,
The Nation, is viewed as out of the mainstream in part because of
"the continued appearance in its pages of a long-time Stalinist
communist, Alexander Cockburn, whose unabashed hatred for both
America and Israel ... tarnish the reputation of its otherwise
serious contributors." Alterman's mentor, I.F. Stone, was a paid
agent of the KGB and a Stalinist.
In the Los Angeles Times Book Review,
Orville Schell said that Soros had written a "succinct and
well-reasoned book," The Bubble of American Supremacy, which ought
"to provide a welcome template for how the candidates might begin to
think their way through to a more coherent view of America's place
in the world." Soros had spoken on March 3 at the Goldman Forum on
the Press and Foreign Affairs, sponsored by UC Berkeley's Graduate
School of Journalism. The event was a conversation between Soros and
Journalism Dean Orville Schell.
OSI gave $60,000 to the Independent
Media Institute , whose executive director, Don Hazen, is a former
publisher of Mother Jones. Hazen has called Soros a "progressive
philanthropist." A story carried by the Independent Media Institute
on its AlterNet project says Soros "believes in democracy, positive
international relations and effective strategies to reduce poverty,
among other things."
OSI gave a $75,000 grant to the Center
for Investigative Reporting. The group's board of advisers includes
OSI gave $246,528 to the Center for
Public Integrity, headed by former CBS News producer Charles Lewis,
"to support the continuing expansion of the International Consortium
of Investigative Journalists." A total of $1 million went for "the
Global Access Project." In total, it is estimated that the group has
received $1.7 from Soros.
OSI gave $200,000 to the Fund for
Investigative Journalism. This group, too, features prominent
journalists on its board.
OSI's "Network Media Program" gave
$22,157 to Investigative Reporters & Editors.
Soros Foundations have provided $160,000
to MediaChannel.org, a so-called "media issues supersite, featuring
criticism, breaking news, and investigative reporting from hundreds
of organizations worldwide." The executive editor is Danny Schecter,
a former news program producer and investigative reporter at CNN and
ABC. It was created by Globalvision News Network, whose board
includes "Senior executives from the world's leading media firms."
OSI has contributed $70,000 toward the
far-left Independent Media Center, or Indymedia, known as an
"independent newsgathering collective," whose servers were seized by
a federal law enforcement agency on October 7. The action was
apparently related to an investigation into international terrorism,
kidnapping or money laundering.
OSI provided $600,000 to the Media
Access Project, a so-called telecommunications public interest law
firm critical of conservative influence in the major media.
OSI provide $30,000 to the Media
Awareness Project, a "worldwide network dedicated to drug policy
reform" and promoting "balanced media coverage" of the drug issue.
OSI provided $200,000 to the Association
for Progressive Communications, "an international network…working
for peace, human rights, development and protection of the
Considering all of the money that Soros or his
organizations have provided to news organizations, it should be no surprise
to learn that journalists love him.
His web site advises visitors to "read about
George Soros from The New York Times, USA Today, Time Magazine, et al.," all
of which are reprinted on the site and highly favorable. His new web site
features several complimentary statements about Soros from articles in the
press and media figures.
Either the media fear his wealth and power, they favor his positions on the
issues, or they want access to his money.
The people have a right to know.