THE MEDIA, GEORGE SOROS, AND NEEDLE PARK
At a forum hosted by the New Yorker on Saturday, Dan Rather said that he regrets not doing more stories that "follow the money" of major contributors to the political campaigns and examine what they want for their money. Rather calls this Journalism 101. There’s still time to rectify this problem. One of the great ironies of the current campaign is that a leftist pro-drug- legalization billionaire named George Soros is spending untold millions of dollars on behalf of John Kerry and the Democratic Party, which supposedly represents the working class, while the Republicans continue to be branded as the party of fat cats and big business.
Kerry, in the first presidential debate, took a shot at Halliburton, which is Vice President Cheney’s old firm, and John Edwards will probably mention the company in his debate Tuesday night with Cheney. But Kerry and Edwards have never been asked to explain their party’s relationship with a foreign-born financial manipulator who runs a mysterious privately-owned "international investment fund" and has holdings in scores of companies, including media companies.
After contributing millions of dollars to pro-Kerry groups, Soros took out a $400,000 two-page anti-Bush ad in the September 29 Wall Street Journal and unveiled a new website. He is now on a nationwide speaking tour to defeat Bush. On the sensitive issue of how he accumulated a fortune of $7.2 billion, making him the richest "money manager" in the world, Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson is quoted on the Soros site as saying that he "made his money the old-fashioned way, on Wall Street." In fact, he made his money through investment techniques that are not available to ordinary investors. He runs a private "hedge fund," only open to the super-rich, which is largely unregulated. He is currently fighting an attempt by William Donaldson, the Bush-appointed chairman at the Securities and Exchange Commission, to more actively regulate hedge funds.
Meyerson is the same columnist who said that the "privatization" of the Democratic Party through Soros’ funding of pro-Kerry "527" political groups has bypassed an incompetent Democratic Party apparatus. Meyerson also joined New York Times columnist Paul Krugman in attacking House Speaker Dennis Hastert for raising questions about where Soros is getting his seemingly unlimited funds.
Dan Rather should recognize that it is certainly newsworthy that some liberals are so desperate for political power that they will allow a figure such as Soros to virtually purchase a major political party. But why do the liberal media continue to excuse his power grab by whitewashing Soros as a "philanthropist" who supports "progressive" causes? We sent a letter to the Washington Post correcting the record about Soros and his controversial investments in countries such as Colombia that was rejected for publication.
In his ad, Soros charges that Bush "managed to suppress all dissent" after 9/11, as if Bush had become a dictator. This false statement reflects an obsession that borders on paranoia. But a Journal advertising executive insisted the paper was taken off the hook for any Soros misstatements by labeling the ad as "political" in small print at the top.
Soros once again highlights himself as committed to an "open society." It sounds good, except for the fact that he has a plan for drug addicts and abusers to function openly in society, with drugs and even drug paraphernalia supplied by government agencies and paid for by taxpayers.
This approach was tried in Switzerland, where drug addicts gathered in "Needle Park" and used drugs such as heroin and cocaine openly. Ethan Nadelmann of the Soros-funded Drug Policy Alliance admitted that "Needle Park" became "unmanageable." He and Soros then became advocates of a new Swiss approach, whereby the government gave hard drugs directly to dopers in "consumption rooms" under government control. In effect, the Swiss brought "Needle Park" indoors. The idea of getting addicts treated and off drugs was simply shunted aside.
Soros called the idea of giving drugs to addicts "remarkably effective" and Nadelmann urges a similar "experiment" in the U.S. Does the public have any idea that the "fat cat" backing John Kerry and the Democratic Party favors government fixes for junkies? Soros makes these proposals because he believes the U.S. is losing the war on drugs. His "solution," of course, means raising the white flag of surrender.
The same might be said for his position on Iraq. His Wall Street Journal ad calls the Iraq war a "quagmire" but he offers no way out or plan for victory.
When will Soros get the media scrutiny he deserves? Dan Rather and his colleagues can pass Journalism 101 by following the trail and influence of the Soros billions.
© 2004 Cliff Kincaid - All Rights
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Cliff Kincaid, a veteran journalist and media critic, Cliff concentrated in journalism and communications at the University of Toledo, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Cliff has written or co-authored nine books on media and cultural affairs and foreign policy issues.
Cliff has appeared on Hannity & Colmes, The O’Reilly
Factor, Crossfire and has been published in the Washington Post, Washington
Times, Chronicles, Human Events and Insight.
Kerry, in the first presidential debate, took a shot at Halliburton, which is Vice President Cheney’s old firm, and John Edwards will probably mention the company in his debate Tuesday night with Cheney.