WASHINGTON ? In the wake of the media obsession with the Jack Abramoff affair, Accuracy in Media (AIM) is reminding the media of several key facts:
Billionaire and convicted inside trader George Soros makes Abramoff, who spent about $5 million on political influence operations, “look like a piker,” said AIM editor Cliff Kincaid. Soros reportedly spent $400 million in 2004 on his network of foundations and non-profit groups. In reference to his more than $20 million campaign to defeat President Bush in 2004, the National Legal and Policy Center filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging Soros has violated the Federal Election Campaign Act by failing to report significant expenditures.
The initial scrutiny of Abramoff was generated by other lobbyists, who were jealous of his success. The Indian tribes that Abramoff sought as clients had traditionally supported Democrats.
Number 10 on the list of recipients of Abramoff cash is Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. Number 13 is Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan.
“While Abramoff made financial payments to two columnists,” said AIM’s Kincaid, “Soros has put some of his massive fortune into press groups like Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), the Fund for Investigative Journalism, and Center for Investigative Reporting.”
“These groups never subject Soros to scrutiny,” said Kincaid, “except to strictly itemize how much money he is giving away. That earns him the title ‘philanthropist’ or ‘financier,’ but never ‘inside trader.'”
Kincaid said, “How can the media devote so much of their time and energy to Abramoff and ignore the unprecedented wheeling and dealing in the political process by George Soros? The answer is that Abramoff is a Republican and this controversy can be exploited by the media to bring the Democrats back to power in Congress.”
Accuracy In Media (AIM) is a non-profit, grassroots citizens watchdog of the news media that critiques botched and bungled news stories and sets the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage.