ALTERNATIVE MEDIA CENSORSHIP: SPONSORED BY CIA's FORD FOUNDATION? Part Two
FAIR / COUNTERSPIN / INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC ACCURACY are also receiving money from the Ford Foundation (and CIA).
ALTERNATIVE MEDIA CENSORSHIP:
SPONSORED BY CIA's FORD FOUNDATION?
FAIR / COUNTERSPIN / INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC ACCURACY
The FAIR/COUNTERSPIN/Institute for Public Accuracy alternative media gatekeepers/censors--which includes COUNTERSPIN co-hosts/producers Steve Rendall and Janine Jackson, Institute for Public Accuracy/MAKING CONTACT executive director Norman Solomon, MSNBC/DONAHUE SHOW PRODUCER Jeff Cohen and WORKING ASSETS RADIO show producer Laura Flanders--have also been subsidized by the Ford Foundation and other Establishment foundations in recent years.
At a June 1988 street fair in Manhattan's Union Square which marked the 35th anniversary of the Rosenbergs' execution, MSNBC DONAHUE SHOW producer Jeff Cohen sat behind a table selling copies of his recently-created Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting [FAIR] group's journal, EXTRA!. Within a few years, Cohen's FAIR alternative media group was airing a weekly media watch show called COUNTERSPIN on Pacifica's WBAI station in New York City. What listeners of COUNTERSPIN were not told in the 1990s, however, was that around 30 percent of FAIR's funding was coming from foundation grants, including grants from Establishment foundations like the Rockefeller Family Fund, the MacArthur Foundation, Bill Moyers' Schumann Foundation and the Ford Foundation.
In 1991, FAIR was given a $20,000 grant from the Rockefeller Family fund "for general support." And then in 1992, annual grants to FAIR started to pour in from the MacArthur Foundation offices in Chicago. In an early 1997 interview, the program officer who was then responsible for the MacArthur Foundation's media program, Patricia Boero, told AQUARIAN/DOWNTOWN magazine: "MacArthur is funding Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting. And in '96, they received $75,000 towards the cost of operations. We've been funding it since 1992, at approximately the same level. It was slightly higher a few years ago, when the media budget was a little bigger." Boero also told AQUARIAN/DOWNTOWN in 1997 that one reason the MacArthur Foundation began funding FAIR was that FAIR was already being funded by other foundations such as "the Rockefeller Family Fund."
Later in 1997, more MacArthur Foundation money was thrown in FAIR's direction by a MacArthur "genius grant" program--which was then headed by a member of both the Public Broadcasting Service [PBS] board and NATION magazine's Nation Institute Board, named Catharine Stimpson. A dancer who was the partner of one of the co-hosts/producers of FAIR's COUNTERSPIN radio show was given a $290,000 individual grant by the MacArthur Foundation program which Nation Institute and PBS board member Stimpson directed. Since 1997, FAIR has continued to receive grants from the MacArthur Foundation. In 1998 it was given an additional grant of $150,000 by the MacArthur Foundation. And in 2000, another MacArthur Foundation of $125,000 was given to FAIR.
Another Establishment foundation, Public Affairs TV Inc. Executive Director Bill Moyers' Schumann Foundation also began subsidizing FAIR's alternative media work in the early 1990s. In 1995, for instance, Moyers' Schumann Foundation gave FAIR a $150,000 grant "to support promotion of book THE WAY THINGS AREN'T," which was co-authored by COUNTERSPIN co-host/producer Steve Rendall. And in 1996, an additional grant of $15,000 from the Schumann Foundation (whose president, Public Affairs TV Inc. Executive Director Bill Moyers, was President Lyndon Johnson's press secretary in the 1960s) was given to FAIR. Since 1996 FAIR has continued to receive grants from Moyers' Schumann Foundation, including a post-2000 grant of between $50,000 and $100,000. In addition, one of the co-hosts/producers of FAIR's COUNTERSPIN show, Janine Jackson, sits on the board of a group, Citizens for Independent Broadcasting [CIPB]. In 2002, Moyers' Schumann Foundation gave the Center for Social Studies Education a $200,000 grant "for continued support for activities of Citizens for Independent Public Broadcasting [CIPB]."
The executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy [IPA]/MAKING CONTACT alternative media group, Norman Solomon, was listed on FAIR's 1997 form 990 as being the "president" of FAIR and has been a FAIR associate in recent years. Like FAIR, former FAIR President Solomon's Institute for Public Accuracy, with an annual income of $267,000, has been subsidized by Bill Moyers' Schumann Foundation. In 1997, Moyers' Schumann Foundation gave a $100,000 grant to Solomon's IPA/International Media project "for effort to hold think tanks to high standards of accuracy."
In addition to being subsdiized by the Rockefeller Family Fund, the MacArthur Foundation and the Schumann Foundation in the 1990s, FAIR also began receiving grants from the Ford Foundation in the mid-1990s. As the WORKING ASSETS RADIO web site noted in 2001: "As the founder of the Women's Desk at the media watchdog FAIR [WORKING ASSETS RADIO producer-host Laura] Flanders received a $200,000 grant from the Ford Foundation for a collaborative project to combat racism and sexism in the news. The resulting book, REAL MAJORITY, MEDIA MINORITY: THE COST OF SIDELINING WOMEN IN REPORTING, was published to rave reviews by Common Courage Press in 1997." Besides the Ford Foundation's $200,000 grant to FAIR in 1996 or 1997 to help subsidize the alternative media work of its Women's Desk, an additional grant of $150,000 from the Ford Foundation was given to FAIR in 1997 or 1998. And in 2001, yet another $150,000 grant was given to FAIR by the Ford Foundation for "general support to monitor and analyze the performance of the news media in the United States."
In recent months, the Ford Foundation and Schumann Foundation-subsidized "media watchdogs" from FAIR and the Institute for Public Accuracy--Norman Solomon and Steve Rendall--have seemed more interested in preventing 9/11 conspiracy researchers and journalists from receiving any airtime on Pacifica's radio stations than in revealing the historical links of their funders to the CIA or the Johnson White House to their alternative media listeners and readers. And WORKING ASSETS RADIO--which is aired on San Francisco's KALW and produced by a former co-host/producer of FAIR's COUNTERSPIN and a forme Pacifica Network News staffperson--has apparently not been eager to welcome 9/11 conspiracy researchers and journalists onto the show.
WORKING ASSETS RADIO
WORKING ASSETS RADIO is a promotional/marketing tool of the $140 million/year, for-profi Working Assets, Inc. telecommunications company. And besides funding its own alternative WORKING ASSETS RADIO show that is aired on KALW in the Bay Area and over the Internet, Working Assets Inc. also helps fund other alternative media groups such as FAIR/COUNTERSPIN and Norman Solomon's Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA). In 1996, for instance FAIR/COUNTERSPIN was given a $59,723 grant by Working Assets Inc. Among the alternative media groups funded by Working Assets Inc. in 2000, besides FAIR/COUNTERSPIN and Norman Solomon's IPA were Free Speech TV and the Independent Press Association. That same year, Working Assets Inc. also helped fund a gorup with which DEMOCRACY NOW producer/host Amy Goodman has worked closely, the East Timor Action Network, as well as the National Public Radio News and Information Fund, the Astraea Foundation, People for the American Way Foundation, the Center for Campus Organizing, United for a Fair Economy, Children's Defense Fund, the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), MADRE, and the American Friends Service Committee.
Based in San Francisco, Working Assets Inc. is a privately-held, secretive telecommunications company that discloses very little financial information about its for-profit business to either its 400,000 customers or to U.S. consumers in general. One of its founders was Tides Foundation President Drummond Pike. A trustee of Mills College in recent years, Laura Scher, is a top executive at Working Assets Inc. Another top Working Assets Inc. executive, Michael Kieschnick, has also been involved until recently with the board of the National Network of Grantmakers, which also includes representatives of the Funding Exchange and the board of Mother Jones magazine/Foundation for National Progress. Kieschnick still sits on the White House Project Advisory Board between folks like PBS CEO Pat Michell and former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale. The White House Project Advisory Board was set-up to promote the presidential candidacies of mainstream women politicians such as U.S. Senator Rodham-Clinton. Another Working Assets Inc. official in recent years, Lawrence Livak, has also been the Tides Foundation Treasurer in recent years.
Because Working Assets Inc.'s stock is not sold on the stock market, it is not legally obligated to post much financial information about its business operations onto the Internet. In addition, executives at Working Assets Inc. have been reluctant to reveal to Movement writer-activists what kind of salaries it is presently paying its top executives. Working Assets Inc. has also collaborated with J.C. Penney in recent years on a "Shop for Social Change" business project.
Besides having the book she wrote in the 1990s subsidized by the Ford Foundation, the WORKING ASSETS RADIO host/producer, Laura Flanders, also had her journalism work subsidized for awhile in 1998 by another foundation. After the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation gave a $50,000 grant to the Center for Democracy Studies of The Nation Institute, "to monitor anti-abortion activities of several right-wing groups," Flanders was employed briefly by that Nation magazine think-tank to write an article on the subject, which subsequently appeared in The Nation magazine. In 2000, the Rockefeller Foundation also gave the WORKING ASSETS RADIO producer/host and two colleagues a $20,000 grant "to support the creation and production of `Action Heroes,' a multidisciplinary work." Members of the Rockefeller Foundation have included World Bank manager, a Ford Motor Company director, a MacArthur Foundation director, and an ITT Sheraton Corp. vice-president in recent years.
Besides being the niece of COUNTERPUNCH editor Alexander Cockburn, WORKING ASSETS RADIO producer/host Flanders is also the older sister of Stephanie Flanders, who worked in the Clinton Administration as a speechwriter/special assistant to Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. Around the same time that former U.S. Treasury Secretary Summers was named the new president of Harvard University, Stephanie Flanders began working as a NEW YORK TIMES reporter. An October 1999 OBSERVER article by Simon Kuper, entitled "The New Elite Who Run Our Equal Society" indicated that the WORKING ASSETS RADIO host's younger sister is part of a British elite group nicknamed "The Young Chiefs." According to Kuper: "Members of this new elite were presented with thrilling opportunities early in life... Another characteristic of the new elite is networks. The Young Chiefs, who tend to live near each other in the centre of London, got the big breaks from old friends or people they meet at their friends' brunches or leaving parties. On the political side, the Young Chiefs are so close that many of them are related. Ed Balls (Oxford, Harvard and the Financial Times, economic adviser to Gordon Brown)...studied in Boston...Ball's wife, Yvette Cooper (Oxford and Harvard, now a Labour MP), is a Young Chief too, as is her sometime tutorial partner at Oxford, Stephanie Flanders (Oxford, Harvard and the Financial Times, senior adviser to the U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers)...Nick Denton (Oxford and the Financial Times, founder of Moreover.com) was a friend of Flanders at the Financial Times and through her met the elder Balls"
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