Mike Ciandella is a staff writer and analyst for the Media Research Center's Business and Media Institute. He also helps to manage The Soros Project, BMI's ongoing research effort into the influence of liberal donors.

Latest from Mike Ciandella
September 17, 2014, 12:46 PM EDT

Facts, people. They’re not that hard.

Naomi Klein, the best-selling author and columnist taken too seriously by American media, decried conservative groups for opposing “wealth redistribution.” Klein argued that North America and Europe need to pay reparations to poorer nations for causing climate change. Her new book, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate,” used flawed facts, exaggerations and misrepresentations to promote her brand of climate-change alarmism.

September 16, 2014, 10:53 AM EDT

Legal battles against state governor’s with higher political aspirations keep cropping up. But looking deeper into attacks on Republican governors from Texas, Wisconsin and Louisiana reveals George Soros’ checkbook was behind it all – but the news media aren’t about to point that out.

The group that first filed an indictment charge against Texas Gov. Rick Perry was funded by Soros, the liberal billionaire, but the trail of his money didn’t end there. Both the recall election for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and an even less successful recall attempt for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal were rooted in Soros-funded groups. Among them, these three potential Republican presidential candidates were targeted by groups receiving more than $6.3 million from Soros.

September 10, 2014, 3:37 PM EDT

In John Oliver’s perfect world, for-profit colleges don’t exist, and the government pays off everyone’s student loans. After lambasting for-profit colleges extensively, Oliver got to the heart of his argument: the government should foot the bill for all student loans.

September 4, 2014, 10:43 AM EDT

In 2011, Steven Donziger, an activist lawyer won a multi-billion dollar lawsuit against Chevron environmental damage in Ecuador. But a U.S. district court ruled it a “fraud” in 2014, once it was apparent that Donziger’s own case was polluted and the award “obtained by corrupt means.”

Now, new evidence released as part of Chevron’s counter-suit reveals that not only did Donziger unethically win his court case in Ecuador, but the Vanity Fair reporter who ran a hit job on Chevron had worked closely with Donziger to make sure that the “facts” favored his position.

September 2, 2014, 4:24 PM EDT

The same year that former Vice President Al Gore predicted that the Arctic sea ice could be completely gone, Arctic ice reached its highest level in two years, according to a report by the Danish Meteorological Institute

According to that report, which was cited by the Daily Mail (UK) on Aug. 30, “[t]he Arctic ice cap has expanded for the second year in a row.” The U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) confirmed this trend, but didn’t go into as much detail as the Danish Meteorological Institute.

August 26, 2014, 10:03 AM EDT

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.

August 21, 2014, 10:29 AM EDT

President Barack Obama has come out strongly against corporations moving their addresses overseas in an attempt to pay lower taxes – while several of his own donors saved money by employing this very tactic, known as “inversion.” Yet, ABC, CBS and NBC have completely ignored that hypocrisy since the president addressed the issue on July 24.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz told Bloomberg News that even though Obama called such tactics “unpatriotic,” the president would keep cash from donors benefiting from tax inversion.

(video after break)

August 18, 2014, 12:59 PM EDT

Update, August 19: On ABC “World News with Diane Sawyer” on Aug. 18, Senior National Correspondent Jim Avila included a soundbite from Texans for Public Justice Director Craig McDonald in his story. McDonald was merely introduced as a “critic,” with no ideological label, and Avila never verbally said the name of his group. The Soros connection and the group’s involvement in Perry’s indictment charges were not addressed. NBC and CBS still have not mentioned the group.

Sometimes it seems like there isn’t a single political issue that a Soros-funded group isn’t involved in. Texans for Public Justice, one of the groups behind Rick Perry’s indictment charges, is part of a “progressive” coalition that has received $500,000 from liberal billionaire George Soros. 

August 15, 2014, 12:33 PM EDT

How’s this for timing? The Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss, on the two-year-anniversary of the FRC shooting, launched its own attack on FRC – with the help of a study released by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the same group that inspired that shooter. 

Here’s a quick recap: on August 15, 2012, a gunman entered the lobby of the Family Research Council in Washington D.C, planning to kill everyone inside the building and then smear Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in their faces (at the time, Chick-Fil-A was under fire for comments that its CEO, Dan Cathy, had made in support of traditional marriage). The gunman’s plot was only foiled by the quick thinking of the building manager, Leo Johnson, who ended up taking a bullet in the arm in the process. 

August 14, 2014, 12:34 PM EDT

Liberal media outlets often champion higher taxes, or at the very least lash out at businesses for finding ways to lower their tax bills. However, USA Today offered an editorial on Aug. 14, doing the very opposite: calling for lower corporate taxes. 

In the “our view” section of the paper’s opinion page, USA Today’s editorial declared “To deter ‘inversions,’ overhaul corporate taxes.” 

August 13, 2014, 5:32 PM EDT

A new report suggested that liberal billionaire Tom Steyer’s hedge fund profited from a $1 billion San Francisco light rail project pushed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Steyer was also a big supporter of Pelosi.

Despite being quick to criticize conservative political donors, the morning and evening news shows on ABC, CBS and NBC have all ignored the allegation since the Washington Free Beacon broke the story Aug. 12.

August 7, 2014, 2:28 PM EDT

Money may not buy happiness, but it certainly buys access. Liberal billionaires George Soros and Tom Steyer met with John Podesta, the counselor to the president, to advise him on environmental policy.

Despite repeatedly hyping liberal fears about conservative donors influencing politics, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN and major newspapers all ignored the meeting. Soros’ spokesperson and advisor Michael Vachon, who was also in attendance, told E&E News that the men “discussed a variety of topics,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.

August 6, 2014, 1:12 PM EDT

Liberal journalists are fine with media moguls – unless the mogul happens to not be a fellow liberal. When word got out in July that 21st Century Fox owner Rupert Murdoch had made an offer to purchase Time Warner, the parent company for Warner Brothers, HBO and CNN, the media panicked.

Liberal loudmouths Bill Maher, who has a show on HBO and would be impacted by a Murdoch buy, and Jane Fonda, the actress and ex-wife of CNN’s founder, both expressed outrage. Maher called it “a terrible price to pay.” Vox.com, the self-proclaimed news platform started by former Washington Post wonder boy Ezra Klein, also criticized the proposed deal and tastelessly attacked Murdoch himself.

(video after break)

July 15, 2014, 4:43 PM EDT

“Green billionaire” Tom Steyer has gone “clean.” He’s apparently kicked his coal habit – for all of 15 days. Up until June 30, 2014, Steyer was still making money off of fossil fuel investments through Farallon Capital Management (which he founded).

Yet, to the media Steyer “has become the environmental hero he set out to be.” ABC World News with Diane Sawyer on April 3 portrayed Steyer as the left’s answer to the “secretive” libertarian Koch brothers. While Andrea Mitchell on NBC “Nightly News” on Jan. 31 let Steyer’s criticisms of the Keystone Pipeline stand uncontested. The Washington Post dubbed him a hero, the left’s “own billionaire donor to counter the powerful Koch brothers on the right.” Tom Steyer had pledged $100 million to Democratic candidates this election cycle, to ensure that the Keystone Pipeline doesn’t get approved.

July 9, 2014, 1:52 PM EDT

Media Research Center VP for Business and Culture, Dan Gainor, appeared on Fox Business' "Varney & Co." to discuss the BBC's decision to censor climate change skeptics.

On July 5, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) announced it was training journalists to ignore skeptical views on man-made climate change. Rather than condemn the BBC, American media outlets like The Huffington Post, Salon and even the Washington Post have praised the BBC for this censorship.

(video after break)

June 25, 2014, 11:39 AM EDT

It’s a day that both conservatives and liberals never thought would happen. An MSNBC host on June 23 actually took time out of his program to thank one of that network’s favorite bogeymen: David Koch.

Although he softened the blow by insisting that he still held to Sen. Harry Reid’s criticism of David Koch and his brother Charles (Harry Reid called the two “un-American,” and accused them of leading a “cult”), Lawrence O’Donnell, host of MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” had to admit that he was thankful for how much the conservative donor has given to hospitals.

(video after break)

May 14, 2014, 5:16 PM EDT

Talk radio host Mark Levin discussed CMI's report on Warren Buffett's funding of the abortion industry.

Levin noted that "this guy is held up as this great public figure, even though he's a private, corporate titan. Tens of billions of dollars. $1.2 billion dollars, one man? And he's this great guy, he knows all about the economy -- he doesn't know anything. He's just another stupid billionaire."

(audio after break)

May 14, 2014, 9:14 AM EDT

CMI's special report which revealed that Warren Buffett had donated more than $1.2 billion to pro-abortion groups, including Planned Parenthood, was discussed on Fox News' "The Five."

A partial transcript of the interview follows:

(video after break)

May 13, 2014, 8:50 AM EDT

They say the key to successful investing is diversification. But Berkshire Hathaway Chairman & CEO Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor known as the  “Oracle of Omaha,” is a one-issue man -- and that issue is abortion.

Through the foundation he financed with more than $3 billion of his own money, Buffett donated $1,230,585,161 to abortion groups worldwide from 2001 to 2012. These groups, including Planned Parenthood, NARAL and the Population Council, either campaign for pro-abortion legislation, perform abortions themselves, or helped develop the controversial abortion drug RU-486. Buffett gave an additional $21 million to these groups between 1989 and 1996. (Tax forms between 1997 and 2000 are not available.)

April 24, 2014, 10:16 AM EDT

"Politics so often felt dirty to me – all the lobbyists and the cozy dealings and the special favors for those who could buy access. But as I stood in the lobby outside Ted Kennedy's office, I felt as if I'd been washed clean," media favorite Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said in her book.

That quote sums up the message of Warren’s new book “A Fighting Chance.”

Published by Metropolitan Books, Warren’s autobiography “A Fighting Chance” was released on April 22. In it, she tells of her struggles as a child and young adult – and attacks conservatives, conservative media and anyone wealthy along the way. It also documents her planning political moves with the AFL-CIO, Ted Kennedy, Barney Frank and a Who’s Who of the left.