George Soros is a superhero along the lines of Batman and Superman? That's the comparison correspondent John Berman made on Thursday's "Good Morning America." The ABC journalist was reporting on a closed door meeting of billionaires that included liberals such as Soros, Ted Turner and Oprah Winfrey. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss charitable giving, leading ABC to feature a graphic with Turner as Superman and Winfrey as Wonder Woman. [audio for download here]
And while well known arch-liberal Soros, financier of groups such as Moveon.org, wasn't featured in the silly illustration, he was discussed in the piece, with no mention of his hard-left positions. (Billionaire/Mayor Michael Bloomberg was relegated to being portrayed as a lesser hero, Aquaman.) Soros, who once compared the Bush administration to Nazis, was simply referred to this way: "Together with others in the meeting, including George Soros, Ted Turner, David Rockefeller, they're worth more than $125 billion."
Berman even linked the meeting to the '70s/early 80s cartoon series "The Super Friends." He gushed, "Behind closed doors on this New York campus, a secret gathering of some of the world's most powerful people. Gates, Buffett, Bloomberg, Winfrey. It was like- well, it was like, 'The Super Friends.'"
With no mention of the liberal agenda of some of the participants, most specifically Soros, Berman concluded, "The new super-men and wonder woman. The super-rich friends. Not fighting bad guys, but fighting for good, nonetheless."
A transcript of the May 21 segment, which aired at 7:36am, follows:
DIANE SAWYER: We're going to tell you now about what happened with a club so exclusive, that just a handful of Americans need apply. Where the price of admission is $1 billion and a philanthropic heart. And that meets the pricey requirements recently held in a secret meeting, a private meeting in New York City. ABC's John Berman has the scoop on who was there and what was going on.
ABC GRAPHIC: Secret Billionaires' Club: The World's Richest In Big Meeting
JOHN BERMAN: Behind closed doors on this New York campus, a secret gathering of some of the world's most powerful people. Gates, Buffett, Bloomberg, Winfrey. It was like- well, it was like, "The Super Friends."
[Clip from "The Super Friends."]
ANNOUNCER: In the great hall of the Justice League, there are assembled some of the world's greatest heroes.
BERMAN: Together with others in the meeting, including George Soros, Ted Turner, David Rockefeller, they're worth more than $125 billion.
MATTHEW MILLER (Senior editor, Forbes magazine): To have been in the room and see this meeting of the minds really would have been a fascinating thing.
BERMAN: That much money. That much power around one table. It begs the question, what were they doing? What were they scheming? Total world domination? This group, together for six hours, was talking about charity, education, emergency relief, global health.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (Mayor, NYC): All my friends are philanthropic or they probably wouldn't be my friends.
BERMAN: An official at the Gates foundation told ABCNews.com, "The overwhelming reason for the meeting was need. That was the issue that galvanized everyone to participate." Together, they had given away $70 billion since 1996. And with the sagging economy, their help could be just what struggling charities need.
MILLER: Charities are hurting. And somebody has to speak for all these charities. And if they want philanthropy to be robust in the future in the United States, these are the people you want to be talking about it.
[Video onscreen of various billionaires super imposed as Superheroes, such as Batman, Superman. Etc.]
BERMAN: The new super-men and wonder woman. The super-rich friends. Not fighting bad guys, but fighting for good, nonetheless. For "Good Morning America," John Berman, ABC News, New York.
SAWYER: Yes. Apparently one of the things they discussed is what each of them knows about what really works and what doesn't work. So, they concentrate their resources.