As the 2014 midterm elections approached, the media were quick to criticize conservative donors like the Koch brothers for backing issues important to them. But journalists largely ignored the incredible financial power being used to promote the liberal agenda.
Five top donors – Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, Pierre Omidyar, Tom Steyer and George Soros’s own son, Jonathan – are major funders of the left. Together, they have contributed at least $2.7 billion since 2000 to groups pushing abortion, gun control, climate change alarmism and liberal candidates.
That’s not how major media depicted them. Broadcast networks applauded when billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer promised $100 million to influence environmental policy. CBS News praised Steyer for “giving back” and ABC News called the billionaire an “everyman.”
Steyer wasn’t alone. Buffett has donated more than $1.2 billion to the abortion industry, with contributions stretching back until at least 1989. Yet, since 2001, ABC, CBS and NBC have only mentioned Buffett’s abortion funding once, out of 545 stories about him or interviews with him. And when former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg promised to devote $50 million to limit American gun rights, the networks praised his efforts as “grassroots” and as a way to “combat gun violence.”
All five donors were also actively involved with media. Collectively they either supported or owned 88 separate media outlets. Those organizations had a combined print circulation of 3.6 million and a digital circulation several times larger.
The Media Research Center’s Business and Media Institute thoroughly researched these five top liberal donors. The findings included:
- 46 Newspapers in Swing States, 88 Total Media Outlets: Soros and his allies learned long ago that those who control the media control the national conversation. Buffett made headlines, in more ways than one, when he began buying up 75 small and mid-sized newspapers throughout the country. Bloomberg and Omidyar also own small media empires in their own right, while Steyer and the younger Soros have poured millions into liberal media outlets including Mother Jones, Media Matters and Think Progress.
- $2.7 Billion to Push Liberal Causes: Tom Steyer promised to spend $100 million to “make climate change a top-tier issue” in the 2014 election, and donated at least $20 million to political campaigns in 2012 alone. Buffett gave more than $1.2 billion to pro-abortion groups. Bloomberg pledged $50 million to campaign against gun rights and Omidyar donated a whopping $286 million to his favorite liberal causes. Meanwhile, George Soros’ son, Jonathan, is funneling millions through his Friends of Democracy PAC to unseat conservative politicians.
- No Negative Network Coverage: Although ABC, CBS and NBC have mentioned Buffett in 545 stories since January 2001, the three broadcast networks only once alluded to his connection with abortion during their morning and evening news shows. These same three networks praised Bloomberg for his $50 million “grassroots” effort to fight the NRA, and dubbed Steyer and Jonathan Soros an antidote to the “secretive” Koch brothers. Omidyar hasn’t even been mentioned by the networks since 2011.
Recommendations for Journalists
The Business and Media Institute has the following recommendations for journalists who are reporting on political organizations, donors and funding.
- Follow the Money: Liberal billionaires funded a wide range of political organizations and media groups. These groups were then considered authorities by major media outlets, including ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN. Instead, reporters should challenge the biases of these groups.
- Treat Public Figures Equally: Media outlets are quick to report on funding by Charles and David Koch to conservative organizations, but they often completely ignore the wide range of funding by liberal donors. Among them, these five liberal donors are worth more than $109 billion dollars, and they aren’t alone.
- Dig Into Backgrounds of Both Sides: The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics states that journalists should “Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.” It is incumbent upon journalists to analyze the background and funding sources for groups and individuals on both ends of the political spectrum.
Check out the full report here: http://www.mrc.org/special-reports/soros-clones-5-liberal-mega-donors-nearly-dangerous-george-soros