FOLLOW THE MONEY: WHO IS FUNDING THE 'PROGRESSIVE/ALTERNATIVE' MEDIA?
A very intersting analysis of who is funding the so-called "Alternative" or "progressive" media in the United States. It turns out they are connected to various American Establishment foundations with links to the Democratic Party and the goddamn CIA no less!
This perhaps might explain why certain well-known "progressive" media pundits have come down so hard on those "conspiracy theorists" questioning the 9-11 attacks and the possible involvement of the American government/Bush Regime in these attacks.
Liberal Establishment Foundations, "Alternative" Media and Pacifica Radio:
Investigative Journalist Bob Feldman Follows the Money Trail
The plan to centralize control of Pacifica Radio stations and to " mainstream" the organization into an inside-the-beltway player actually began to take shape during the tenure of Pat Scott's predecessor David Salniker, who now heads the Tides Foundation. Tides, as well as other "Liberal" foundations such as the MacArthur and Schumann Foundation have positioned themselves to have a major influence in the "alternative" media establishment by providing significant funding to Pacifica, as well as the Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) and the Institute for Alternative Journalism (IAJ). This is of particlualr concern, as Bob Feldman's piece belows outlines, because these foundations have ties to multi-nationals, the CIA and the Democratic Party establishment.
In 1992, Salniker presided over a plan of program centralization called "A Strategy for National Programming. (SNP) " This followed on a groundwork of financial and fundraising centralization which was already being put into place by Dick Bunce, who had been placed in the newly created position of National Development Director. In an introduction to the SNP, Bunce projected that an increase in large foundation grants could be achieved by emulating NPR.
Bob Feldman is a Massachusetts based investigative journalist who has researched the background of some of these so-called "progressive" foundations, where their money comes from, and how it is influencing the media sources they fund. In a letter published in the September 1998 issue of Z Magazine, Bob mentioned Democracy Now! had received funding from the Carnegie Foundation. We contacted Bob, who provided additional information regarding Carnegie and other foundation funders (L.G. 9/30/98)
Glad to hear that you're sharing information about the role liberal establishment foundations have been playing in the alternative media world in recent years. Ironically, today on Democracy Now (which I generally like, despite its reluctance to report critically on the activities of liberal "progressive" establishment foundations) yet another former or present executive of the Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting [FAIR] group, Martin Lee, was given airtime on the show.
Yet I suspect that most folks who listen to either Democracy Now, Pacifica Network News or the Pacifica Radio-aired CounterSpin show of FAIR haven't been informed by the hosts of these shows that the FAIR/CounterSpin group has received the following foundation grants in recent years:
A $150,000 grant from PBS Commentator Bill Moyers Schumann Foundation on Sept. 25, 1995;
A $30,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation (which is directed by ABC Radio News Commentator Paul Harvey) on October 3, 1995;
A $15,000 grant from the Schumann Foundation on April 8, 1996; and
A $45,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation on May 14, 1996.
In addition, Working Assets also gave FAIR/CounterSpin a $59,723 grant on April 15, 1996.
Multi-billion dollar foundations like the MacArthur Foundation and the Carnegie Foundation (which was directed by Clinton Administration Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin and Undersecretary of State Strobe Talbott until 1993) can encourage Pacifica radio producers to engage in self censorship with respect to providing their listeners with critical coverage of the profit-making, tax dodging, news management and grant distribution activity of these powerful Establishment institutions--by directly or indirectly funding shows like Democracy Now and FAIR/CounterSpin. Bill Moyers can discourage the FAIR media watchdog group from monitoring his PBS programs too critically over its Pacifica-aired CounterSpin program by funneling his Schumann Foundation's tax-exempt grant money to FAIR.
A conflict-of-interest may exist between providing Pacifica listeners with critical reporting about the role the Carnegie, MacArthur and Schumann Foundation plays in U.S. political life and society and the vested interest that groups like FAIR/CounterSpin have in not encouraging Pacifica listeners to examine how their foundations funders obtain and distribute their tax-exempt money.
The Chicago based MacArthur Foundation, for instance, made $500 million from the co-op/condominium conversion/gentrification process in Manhattan in the 1980s and operated the 10,000 unit Fresh Meadows apartment complex in partnership with the late billionaire Harry Helmsley's real estate firm until 1995. In addition, a current consultant to the MacArthur Foundation, Northwestern University President Henry Bienen, was employed as a CIA consultant between 1982 and 1989, according to Who's Who In America.
Yet I suspect Pacifica listeners rarely hear any discussion about some of these facts over the Pacifica network airwaves. In fact, when I appeared on a Pacifica-aired radio show, Undercurrents, in 1991 to discuss with FAIR executive director Jeff Cohen an article I had written (for the Lower East Side alternative newspaper Downtown) about the Rockefeller family's connection to a Times- Mirror-Newsday director, Mr. Cohen actually defended the Rockefeller family linked Newsday--without disclosing to Pacifica listeners that FAIR was then being subsidized by a $20,000 grant from the Rockefeller Family Fund.
Feel free to share the info about FAIR's liberal Establishment foundation sponsors with Pacifica listeners since--unlike even the Schumann Foundation sponsored liberal Columbia Journalism Review--FAIR's Extra! magazine doesn't often print the names of its foundation sponsors on its inside cover, for some strange reason.
You ask about the Tides Foundation. Well, in recent years the FAIR organization that produces the CounterSpin show which Pacifica airs has also been funded by the Tides Foundation. In 1994 the Tides Foundation gave FAIR an $11,000 grant. On August 30, 1995 the Tides Foundation gave FAIR a $5,000 grant. And On January 18, 1996, an additional grant of $20,000 was funneled to the group that produces the Pacifica-aired CounterSpin by the Tides Foundation. And I suspect that few folks who criticize the Tides Foundation's activities from a radical left perspective have been given much airtime on CounterSpin in recent years.
The U.S. Trust Co. of Boston which invests the Tides Foundation's "socially responsible" portfolio of corporate stocks regards the BP/British Petroleum oil company as a "socially responsible" entity, despite BP's involvement in the exploitation of Middle East oil resources and the fact that a large chunk of BP stock is owned by the Al-Sabah family government of Kuwait Inc. One of the directors of the U.S. Trust Co. of Boston's parent company, U.S. Trust Co. of NY Director Richard Tucker, is both an American Petroleum Institute Director and a Mobil director.
Coincidentally, the person at the U.S. Trust Co. of Boston who is manager of the Women's Equity Mutual Fund portfolio, Cheryl Smith, is also a director of the Resist group which decides which progressive groups in New England are to receive small grants to fund their work.
Another alternative media group which receives a lot of bread from the foundation of former Lyndon Johnson Administration Press Secretary Bill Moyers--is the Institute for Alternative Journalism. In 1994, for instance, Moyers' Schumann Foundation gave the IAJ a $35,000 grant. And in 1996 a second grant of $200,000 was funneled to the Institute for Alternative Journalism to help fund its "Media and Democracy Congress" by Moyers' Schumann Foundation. Coincidentally, Bill Moyers was the fellow who chaired one of the main evening panel discussions at the October 1997 "Media and Democracy Congress" in NYC, although--as a radical woman activist friend of mine commented before the conference--"what's alternative about Bill Moyers?"
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