Saturday, February 19, 2011

Huh. I didn't know that.

I just happened across a mention by Amanda Terkel of a $1 million donation by George Soros to Media Matters. This happened just a few months ago. This was the first time Soros has ever given money to Media Matters.


NYT Caucus blog, 20 Oct 2010:

In an accompanying statement, Mr. Soros, a billionaire who has a history of supporting liberal politicians and causes, accused Fox News hosts of “incendiary rhetoric” and said he hoped that his money would be used “in an effort to more widely publicize the challenge Fox News poses to civil and informed discourse in our democracy.”

For years, conservatives have accused Media Matters of being a front organization for Mr. Soros. In May, Mr. Beck referred to Media Matters as “the left-wing George Soros-funded media machine that is now referring to me as a jihadist.” In 2007, Fox’s Sean Hannity called it “Hillary Clinton’s George Soros-funded group Media Matters.”

Officials at Media Matters regularly deny that they have ever taken money from Mr. Soros, who repeats that denial in Wednesday’s statement, saying, “I have not to date been a funder” of the liberal organization.

Who would have thought the right-wingers we count on to give us accurate information about George Soros have been lying all this time?

If you pay any attention to conservative media, you're probably aware that Beck and Hannity have been far from alone in their assertions on this matter. But let's just note a few examples, for the record.

  • On 30 October 2006, the self-described "#1 Keith Olbermann blog in the world," whimpered, "Ultra-left, Soros-funded, Media Matters for America is attacking Olbermann Watch …"

  • On his 16 April 2007 radio show, Rush Limbaugh asserted that Media Matters received funding from Soros. After calling them "Stalinist" and before saying he was "not demeaning people on this program in any way."

  • From a 6 May 2007 News Day article re-posted on FreeRepublic: "On April 24, [Fox News host Bill] O’Reilly told viewers of 'The O’Reilly Factor' that Soros and several other wealthy radicals were helping to fund Media Matters …"

  • Also in April 2007 (coincidence?), Macsmind fired off a screed, beginning with an authoritative blockquote that amounted to "someone said Matt Drudge said." He moved from there to quote at length from a "report" from CNS, a Brent Bozell outfit, which itemized categorical denials by Media Matters that they had ever received money from Soros and concluded that this proved of course they were taking money from Soros. Macsmind then quotes David Horowitz, also to the effect of "no evidence whatsoever is proof that Soros hid his tracks well." Macsmind concludes, "So as it is with liberals it all depends on what you mean by 'funded'." He also has this line in quotes in his post title, as though someone else said it. Perhaps he has a multiple personality disorder? At any rate, connoisseurs will enjoy reading the whole thing.

  • Capital Research Center, an outfit run by ex-Reaganites and ex-Heritage Foundation employees, led off its July 2007 newsletter with the headline, "Media Matters for America: Soros-Funded Watchdog Attacks Conservatives."

  • On 6 October 2007, writing on the world's most inaccurately named website, Rick Moran referred to a 2004 National Review piece by Byron York, republished by NRO in 2007, in which York, a master of plausible deniability, made up for his dearth of evidence by dropping enough guilt-by-association hints for the Morans of the world to connect the dots. Moran seems to have been helped in this by Fox News's John Gibson, who among other mentions on 4 October 2007 said on the air, "I've talked about Brock and Media Matters getting Soros' support …" (Two days earlier, Gibson had said: "Here are the facts: Media Matters was started in offices provided by the Center for American Progress, a Soros-funded operation. It has since received Soros money. Facts, not lies.") Another of the misnamed horde followed up a day after Moran, referring to "Media Matters, a Soros-funded front group."

  • On 13 January 2008, after Patterico had pontificated about Soros, M. Scott Eiland harrumphed, "And has no problems with donating heavily to organizations run by self-confessed liars for hire (cough cough Media Matters cough cough)." (Okay, that was nutpicking, but once I Googled his name, how could I not? (Related.))

  • On 13 February 2008, Debbie Schlussel wrote, "I gotta love the Media Matters people, funded by George Soros, the former Jew …" In the post title, she chose a different way to follow the money: "Nazi-Funded Media Matters."

  • On 30 March 2009, Canada Free Press (slogan: "...Because without America there is no Free World; about: "Espousing Conservative viewpoints, cornerstone of which contain love of God, love of family, love of country …" (specific country not given)) went the Byron York route: "Media Matters for America, the George Soros-funded* organization …" Do what their readers wouldn't, and look for the other asterisk to enjoy the ass-covering disclaimers.

  • Another National Review employee, Mark Steyn, on 9 April 2010: "By the way, I understood Media Matters to be a George Soros-funded website." It's not clear why he chose the past tense, since he did not go on to say, for example, that he no longer believed that. He did complain about "[t]he Media Matters guy who used to to transcribe my 'lame jokes' from The Rush Limbaugh Show," and then went on to make another … well, you be the judge: "Which NRO Professor Emeritus of Racism and Homophobia do I have to kiss up to to get a little tenured credentialization around here?"

  • On 19 May 2010, Ben Domenech, back with the RedState Trike Force for some reason, began a post, "I find the George Soros-funded Media Matters for America outlet extremely entertaining …" There is no reason to believe he did not come up with that lede himself, amirite?

  • Joseph A. Klein, a columnist for David Horowitz's Frontpage magazine and author of the book Global Deception: The UN's Stealth Assault on America's Freedom, led off a 27 August 2010 blog piece with the phrase "Media Matters, the George Soros-funded attack machine …"

  • On 7 October 2010, radio host Mark Levin, yelling about Media Matters as a "criminal front group" on his Facebook page, began with this: "Who funds Media Matters? Well, we know the loathsome George Soros was Media Matters' sugar daddy." Denizen of his echo chamber Jeffrey Lord ran with it: "Media Matters, the left-wing media organization ginned up by George Soros and currently keeping its donors a secret …

In conclusion, thanks to George Soros, wingnuts can now claim to have been telling the truth all along!

By the way, the main point of that piece by Terkel (h/t: @Wolfrum) is a report that Angelo Carusone has been hired by Media Matters. Congratulations to him and them. Carusone is the founder of StopBeck, and has spearheaded an effort to get companies to stop sponsoring Glenn Beck's show. So far, over three hundred companies have agreed that this is a good thing to do.

StopBeck home page banner

(bullet pic. source)


Social Justice NPC Anti-Paladin™ said...

Soros donated to and Democracy Alliance who donate to Media Matters.

bjkeefe said...

No he didn't. The wingnuts you read kept saying that, and Soros and Media Matters both kept denying it (e.g., e.g.).

And you know why I believe the latter two? Because -- unlike Scaife and the Koch Bros and their ilk -- Soros has never seen any reason to hide where he gives his money otherwise, so why would he lie about just this one thing?