In The Pay of Foundations—Part 12
How U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations fund a "parallel left" media network of left media journalists and gatekeepers.
In the same year that the U.S. power elite's Ford Foundation gave the historically MacArthur Foundation-funded Deep Dish TV a "charitable grant" of $75,000 [equal to over $104,000 in 2018] "for the television news series, DEMOCRACY NOW!, to continue incorporating the aftermath of the September 11th attack into future broadcasts," Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now! co-hosts and producers transformed themselves into the "Democracy Now! Productions Inc." media firm that was now defined as being separated from the Pacifica Foundation. As the Nation magazine senior editor who worked at Democracy Now! from September 2001 to July 2002, Lizzy Ratner, noted in her May 2005 "Amy Goodman's `Empire'" article:
"... In June 2002 Goodman reached an agreement with Pacifica to turn Democracy Now! into a separate nonprofit organization that would continue to broadcast on the network but would also be free to build up its TV program. The deal generated some grumbling at the time from those who felt that Democracy Now! was abandoning Pacifica... "
Yet according to the same article, in 2005 Pacifica continued "to provide the show with $500,000 in operating support," although the Democracy Now! Productions firm also collected money "from its TV broadcasters, Link TV and Free Speech TV, as well as through foundation grants, individual donations and sales from its online store." In April 2004, for example, the U.S. power elite's Ford Foundation gave Democracy Now! Productions Inc. a $150,000 [equal to around $200,000 in 2018] grant "to produce, broadcast and distribute a series of radio, television and internet reports," according to the Ford Foundation's 2004 Form 990 financial filing. And the following year, the Ford Foundation also gave a $50,000 [equal to around $64,000 in 2018] grant to Democracy Now! co-host Gonzalez to support the research for the News for All the People book that the then-NY Daily News mainstream corporate media columnist and former National Association of Hispanic Journalists [NAHJ] president co-authored with former NAHJ deputy director Joseph Torres. Gonzalez's News for All the People book co-author is currently the senior external affairs director of the parallel left Free Press media group—which, coincidentally, received 9 grants, totaling $9.5 million, from the Ford Foundation between 2006 and 2017, according to the Ford Foundation website's grants data base.
At an Oct. 2, 2010 board of directors meeting of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers [NALIP], former NAHJ deputy director Torres was also unanimously nominated to sit on the NALIP board of directors; and in a "Spotlight" item that appeared in the Oct. 18, 2011 issue of the NALIP's "Latinos In The Industry" newsletter, titled "NALIP Board Member Launches National Book Tour," described how the Democracy Now! show-linked authors of the Ford Foundation-subsidized News for All the People book, not surprisingly, apparently promoted and marketed their book at events in some of the cities where Democracy Now! was being aired or televised on a daily basis in 2011:
"NALIP Board Member Joseph Torres' new book News for All the People... ,co-authored with Juan Gonzalez, is being launched with a national book tour, starting in NYC with multiple stops in California, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and Washington, DC.
"The first stop will be on Thursday, Oct. 20, in NYC. Joseph and Juan will be interviewed by Amy Goodman on the stage of the Great Hall of Cooper Union. 7-9 pm... This will be followed by events in San Francisco and Oakland on Friday, Oct. 21. Stops after that include Santa Cruz, Fresno, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Northridge, San Diego, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, San Antonio, Houston, Denver, and Washington DC."
Democracy Now! host Goodman had also used the daily parallel left media show on Oct. 13, 2011 to help promote and market the Ford Foundation-funded book of the show's NY Daily News corporate media columnist co-host and the Ford Foundation-funded Free Press parallel left media group's senior external affairs executive director; by staging an interview with Gonzalez and Torres on its Oct. 13, 2011 broadcast which ended with the following promotional sales pitch by Goodman:
"Well, this is part one of our conversation. Congratulations on this remarkable work, News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media , by Juan Gonzalez and Joe Torres. They're traveling across the country. They will be in New York next Thursday night. We'll be having a major event with them at Cooper Union, then to Friday it will be in Oakland. You can go to our website for all the dates—Santa Cruz, Fresno, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Northridge, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, San Antonio, Houston, Denver and Washington, D.C. Go to democracynow.org for all of those details that document the book tour of Juan Gonzalez and Joe Torres."
And, also not surprisingly, when Torres noted that "we got some funding from the Ford Foundation, and it led to—to work on this book," Goodman, whose own daily news show had been funded with $300,000 in Ford Foundation grant money between 1998 and 2004, failed to ask Torres and Gonzalez how much "funding from the Ford Foundation" they got "to work on" their "book;" or whether or not the Ford Foundation still obtains its grant money by investing in corporations that exploit workers and middle-class consumers of all racial backgrounds at home and abroad.
Yet the Ford Foundation was created in 1936 by an early 20th-century exploiter of automobile industry workers and middle-class consumers named Henry Ford, who also apparently provided support for Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party in Germany during the 1920s. As a muckraking journalist named George Seldes observed in his 1943 book Facts and Fascism:
"Henry Ford's picture for years hung over Hitler's desk in the Brown House in Munich. The Nazis in their early days boasted that they had the moral and financial support of the richest man in America...
"To many persons Ford has always been our No. 1 Fascist. (Newspapermen usually give that spot to William Randolph Hearst, and there is an unending argument as to which of the two has done more harm to the mind of America, but no one doubts that both have spread more fascist poison in this country than any other pair of prominent men... )
"It was general knowledge in the early 1920s, when it was not treason to aid Hitler, that Henry Ford was one of his spiritual and economic backers... The most credible evidence regarding Ford's financing of early Nazism was given in the treason trial of Herr Hitler himself... On Feb. 7, 1924, Herr Auer, vice-president of the Bavarian Diet, testified in the Hitler trial as follows:
"`The Bavarian Diet has long had the information that the Hitler movement was partly financed by an American anti-Semitic chief, who is Henry Ford. Mr. Ford's interest in the Bavarian anti-Semitic movement began a year ago... Herr Hitler openly boasts of Mr. Ford's support... A photograph of Mr. Ford hangs in Herr Hitler's quarters...'"
The reason Billionaire Ford established the Ford Foundation was to enable his family members to both retain control over his Ford Motor Corporation and avoid paying a fair share of federal taxes after he died. As University of Virginia Commonwealth Professor of History Professor Oliver Zunz recalled in his 2012 book, Philanthropy In America: A History (that he wrote with "the support" he "received from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation"):
"The New Deal inheritance tax was directly responsible... for the creation and vast expansion of the biggest American philanthropic institution of the postwar era—the Ford Foundation... The act went into effect on Jan. 1, 1936. The same month, Henry and his wife Clara, and their son Edsel incorporated the Ford Foundation... The foundation gave the Fords the means simultaneously to avoid the huge inheritance tax and to pass on the company to the next generation without losing control of it...
"... In 1947, the foundation received about 90 percent of the non-voting stock in the company. By this means the Ford family avoided much of the tax burden and Henry II, Edsel's son, kept full control over the automobile company his grandfather was leaving behind. If it had not been for the foundation, Henry and his two brothers would have paid an estimated federal estate tax of $321,000,000 [equal to around $3.6 billion in 2018] and lost control of the company... Hence the commonly heard charge that the leading American foundation of the 1950s began as a tax-dodge... "
Carl Bakal's 1979 book, Charity USA: An Investigation into the Hidden World of the Multi-Billion Dollar Charity Industry, also observed:
"All the stock that was given to the foundation was nonvoting. The 10 percent retained by the family had total voting power, maintaining the family domination of the company. Moreover, the voting stock passed to the family tax free, saving another $42 million [equal to around $481 million in 2018], because the wills of Henry and Edsel provided that the taxes on the bequest be paid by the foundation."
In the late 1940s and 1950s, during the Cold War era of U.S. history, the Ford Foundation began to collaborate with the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] in support of the U.S. power elite's anti-communist and economically imperialist foreign policy objectives. As Philanthropy In America: A History noted:
"... America's largest foundations provided funds and collaborated in organizational strategies with the U.S. government... In devising Cold War strategies, the alliance between American diplomats, intelligence agents, and a small group of foundation officials was held together not only by common institutional goals but also by a tight professional and social network linking them. The early history of the Ford Foundation—then a newcomer to the big philanthropic scene... suggests the closeness of these ties... .Ford officials conferred directly with officials from the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency... "
In her 1999 book The Cultural Cold War, Frances Stoner Saunders also recalled how the Ford Foundation collaborated with the CIA in the past--on behalf of the Ultra-Rich families of the U.S. Establishment's power elite--to perpetuate a globalized corporate economic system which denies political, economic and cultural freedom and equality to the majority of humanity:
"The foundation had a record of close involvement in covert actions in Europe, working closely with... CIA officials on specific projects...On 21 January 1953, Allen Dulles, insecure about his future in the CIA under the newly elected Eisenhower, had met his friend David Rockefeller for lunch. Rockefeller hinted heavily that if Dulles decided to leave the Agency, he could reasonably expect to be invited to become president of the Ford Foundation. Dulles need not have feared for his future...Allen Dulles was to become Director of Central Intelligence.
"The new president of the Ford Foundation was announced shortly after. He was John McCloy...By the time he came to the Ford Foundation, he had been Assistant Secretary of War, president of the World Bank...In 1953 he also became chairman of the Rockefellers' Chase Manhattan Bank, and chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations. After John F. Kennedy's assassination, he was a Warren Commission appointee...McCloy took a pragmatic view of the CIA's inevitable interest in the Ford Foundation when he assumed its presidency. Addressing the concerns of some of the foundation's executives, who felt that its reputation for integrity and independence was being undermined by involvement with the CIA, McCloy argued that if they failed to cooperate, the CIA would simply penetrate the foundation quietly by recruiting or inserting staff at lower levels. McCloy's answer to this problem was to create an administrative unit within the Ford Foundation specifically to deal with the CIA. Headed by McCloy and two foundation officers, this three-man committee had to be consulted every time the Agency wanted to use the foundation, either as a pass-through, or as cover...
"With this arrangement in place, the Ford Foundation became officially engaged as one of those organizations the CIA was able to mobilize for political warfare...The foundation's archives reveal a raft of joint projects. The East European Fund, a CIA front in which George Kennan played a prominent role, got most of its money from the Ford Foundation...The foundation gave $500,000 to Bill Casey's International Rescue Committee [of which Nation editor Vanden Heuvel's father was also an official], and substantial grants to another CIA front, the World Assembly of Youth. It was also one of the single largest donors to the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent think-tank which exerted enormous influence on American foreign policy, and which operated (and continues to operate) according to strict confidentiality rules which include a twenty-five-year embargo on the release of its records...McGeorge Bundy, became president of the Ford Foundation in 1966 (coming straight from his job as Special Assistant to the President in Charge of National Security, which meant, among other things, monitoring the CIA)...The Congress for Cultural Freedom...was one of Ford Foundation's largest grantees, receiving $7 million by the early 1960s..."
A Ford Foundation executive in the early 1950s named Richard Bissell--who later became the CIA Deputy Director For Plans responsible for the unsuccessful 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba and a "president of the Institute for Defense Analyses [IDA], a think-tank that had been formed by a dozen universities (including MIT and Columbia University] to recruit scientific personnel for the evaluation of weapons systems" between 1962 and 1964, according to Bissell's autobiography Reflections of A Cold Warrior—simultaneously worked, for example, as a CIA consultant. As Bissell recalled in his 1996 book:
"In January 1952 I joined the Ford Foundation... I worked out of a small office in Washington... The arrangement allowed me to work for the foundation while engaging in outside consulting assignments... Working in Washington... enabled me to maintain my close professional relationships... with people like Frank Wisner, Sherman Kent, Desmond Fitzgerald, Tracy Barnes and Max Milliken, all of whom were in the CIA and close to Allen Dulles...
"In the fall of 1952, I became part of the CIA's Princeton Group of consultants (so named because it met on the university's campus)... In late 1952... Max Milliken resigned as an assistant director of the CIA... to become director of MIT's Center for International Studies [CENIS]... I was able to get the trustees of the Ford Foundation to fund research at CENIS."
During the same decade that the foundation, which in later decades helped fund Democracy Now!, collaborated with the CIA in support of U.S. power elite foreign policy goals, it apparently did not use its special political influence and economic power in the 1950s to eliminate Jim Crow laws and legalized racial segregation in the southern region of the United States. As the Philanthropy In America: A History book observed, "the Ford Foundation did not come out in favor of racial integration until the 1960s." (end of part 12)
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