Accuracy in Media

James V. Grimaldi is one of several Washington Post reporters who have been engaged in the feeding frenzy over the Jack Abramoff story. On C-SPAN, Grimaldi said that we need more investigative reporting and that he serves on the board of an organization called Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) to encourage that. The problem is that we are not likely to see an investigation of those people financing the investigative reporters. And one of those people is convicted inside trader and billionaire George Soros.

We noted the Soros connection to IRE in our report, The Hidden Soros Agenda: Drugs, Money, the Media, and Political Power. The Open Society Institute of George Soros gave $22,157 to IRE. You can find a list of IRE’s financial backers here. One notices that most of IRE’s backers are news organizations. But the “Open Society Institute Network Media Program” of George Soros stands out like a sore thumb. Soros, who took advantage of a campaign finance loophole to try to defeat President Bush, makes Jack Abramoff look like a poverty-stricken penny-pincher.

These facts don’t discredit Grimaldi’s work in the case of Abramoff. But they demonstrate that there are some things you are not likely to see investigated by IRE.

I Googled the words “Soros and James V. Grimaldi” and came up with only one hit-a May 16, 2004, article about financial backers of President Bush. Deep inside the article was a brief reference to financial support for John Kerry and the Democrats. It said: “The Democrats are increasingly relying on independent groups known as 527s, after their designation in the tax code. They currently raise unlimited funds for political ads that have been used to attack Bush. Two prominent examples are the Media Fund and Moveon.org. Financier George Soros and Peter B. Lewis, chairman of the Progressive Corp., have each given more than $7 million to these organizations.”

Notice how Soros was merely designated a “financier.” By that point, however, Soros had already been convicted of inside trading in France. In March of 2005, his insider trading conviction was upheld.

On C-SPAN, Grimaldi referred viewers to the Open Secrets website for more information about the Abramoff network. It features an article about Abramoff disclosing that, since 1999, political contributions to politicians from Abramoff, his clients or associated companies amount to $4.4 million. Republicans got $2.8 million of that. Democrats got $1.5 million.

Compare that to the amount of money that Soros has put into the political system. As OpenSecrets.org notes, Soros contributed over $20 million to 527s in the 2004 election cycle.

But here’s a twist for you-open secrets.org is the website of the Center for Responsive Politics, which is funded by the Open Society Institute of George Soros.




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