Accuracy in Media

In attempting to explain how lobbyists get U.S. foreign aid for Egypt, journalist Pratap Chatterjee of the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress writes that Tony Podesta, “the brother of a former White House chief of staff,” joined with Toby Moffett, a former Democratic Congressman, and Bob Livingston, a former Republican Congressman, to create a lobbying organization, the PLM Group, to represent Egypt in Washington.

He wrote, “The Livingston Group made the largest number of contacts with the U.S. government for the Egyptians to make sure that this money continued to flow, but they were not the only ones. Tony Podesta, the brother of a former White House chief of staff, and Toby Moffett, a former Democratic Congressman, joined forces with Livingston to create the PLM Group to represent Egypt in Washington, according to foreign-agent records at the Justice Department.”

The reference to that “former White House chief of staff” was meant to suggest that Tony Podesta has real clout and influence, especially in Democratic Party circles. But who is that “former White House chief of staff?” And why wasn’t he named?

What Chatterjee did not want to openly acknowledge, for obvious reasons, is that this unnamed brother of lobbyist Tony Podesta is none other than John Podesta, his boss at the Center for American Progress (CAP). John Podesta, former Clinton chief of staff, is the President and CEO of CAP.

Politico reported that Tony and John Podesta started Podesta Associates in the late 1980s and that it was later renamed the Podesta Group. So John Podesta was in on this money-making scheme from the start. Soros subsequently asked John Podesta to run the Center for American Progress, whose foreign policy expert, Brian Katulis, has been arguing on MSNBC that the U.S. ought to pull the plug on the Hosni Mubarak government in Egypt and deal with the Muslim Brotherhood.

In other words, the Podesta brothers are on both sides of this international crisis.

Chatterjee, who also contributes to the British Guardian, echoes the views of many on the left. He is upset that the lobbyists making over $1 million a year from Egypt succeeded in getting military training and tear gas shells supplied to the Egyptian military. That tear gas provided to what he calls Egypt’s “military-industrial complex” has been used against pro-democracy protesters in Egypt.

Chatterjee is right in the middle of this, having joined the Center for American Progress in September 2010 as a Visiting Fellow. His writing has won an award from “Project Censored,” but he engaged in some news manipulation of his own by omitting the name of John Podesta from his column on influence peddling. It’s a matter of not biting the hand that feeds you.

Before he opened fire on lobbying for the Egyptian government, Chatterjee was on his assigned mission, attacking Republicans for considering cuts in the federal budget. One article asserted that federal workers were not overpaid. Another article attacked Republicans for proposing a federal hiring freeze.

Now, however, he has taken a carefully guarded look at lobbying interests that involve his boss. But as the curious omission of the name of John Podesta suggests, however, don’t expect to see any follow-up investigations into the activities of the Podesta Group from Chatterjee. The author of Halliburton’s Army, published by Nation Books, Chatterjee cannot be counted on to write a follow-up on the “Soros Army.”

As we have argued, Soros’s multibillion dollar international business and influence network makes Halliburton look like a Mom ‘n Pop operation.

Interestingly, it turns out that the Podesta Group has some journalists of its own on its payroll, including:

  • John Ward Anderson, a former foreign correspondent with The Washington Post and contributing editor of Politico.
  • David Marin, said to be an “award-winning journalist” with “extensive relationships with the national, regional and trade press.”

Speaking of curious omissions, John Podesta’s bio at the website of the Center for American Progress makes no mention of his role in forming Podesta Associates with his brother. Strangely, his bio at the site of the Center for American Progress Action Fund does include this information.

Speaking of biographies, one for Chatterjee says that he has served as a board and staff member with many “activist groups,” including Project Underground. The latter was “a Berkeley, CA-based human rights and environmental group” devoted to “supporting the human rights of communities resisting mining and oil exploitation.” It folded in 2000 but had been attacking Republicans and even Al Gore as pawns of Big Oil. (Gore had extensive ties to Occidental Petroleum). In 2009, all of this was forgotten as Gore appeared with John Podesta and Senator Harry Reid at a CAP-sponsored “Clean Energy Summit.”

Politico has since reported that the lobbyists in the Podesta Group and the Livingston Group had lobbied on the issue of a Senate resolution calling for free elections in Egypt. The story didn’t mention that a former Politico editor, John Ward Anderson, now works for the Podesta Group.

Anderson’s wife, Molly Moore, who also was a reporter for the Post, left the paper for Sanderson Strategies Group, “a communications company” also active politically.

This curious network of special interests is standard for Washington, D.C. For that reason, we need an adversary media willing to look beneath the surface. And this is why George Soros’s buying of reporters (He is giving $1.8 million to buy journalists at National Public Radio) works against the public’s right to know.

Fortunately, Joseph Farah’s WorldNetDaily is working to blow the lid off. WND’s Aaron Klein has broken the news that the Soros-led International Crisis Group (ICG) issued a 2008 report urging Egyptian government acceptance of the pro-terrorist Muslim Brotherhood.

One key ICG member, Klein notes, is Robert Malley, a former adviser to Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign. Malley resigned after it was exposed he had communicated with Hamas, a Muslim Brotherhood off-shoot. His father, Simon Malley, was an important figure in the Egyptian Communist Party.




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