Citing Investor's Business Daily, Hannity repeated Soros funding falsehoods
Research ››› ››› MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER
On Hannity's America, Sean Hannity asserted: "The left-wing group Media Matters denies that Soros gives them any funding, but IBD [Investor's Business Daily] suspects they may be getting his money indirectly through third parties." As Media Matters has repeatedly and exhaustively demonstrated, philanthropist George Soros has never given money to Media Matters, either directly or through another organization.
On the September 30 edition of Fox News' Hannity's America, during a segment on the purported "money man behind" MoveOn.org, host Sean Hannity asserted: "Billionaire George Soros considers himself a philanthropist and his Open Society Institute gives money to causes around the world. But some of his vast fortune is also used to finance radical groups like MoveOn.org and others." Hannity went on to refer to the Democracy Alliance -- a progressive organization described by The Washington Post as a "cooperative for donors, allowing them to coordinate their giving so that it has more influence" -- as "elite and highly secretive." Hannity continued: "And talk about secretive: The left-wing group Media Matters denies that Soros gives them any funding, but IBD [Investor's Business Daily] suspects they may be getting his money indirectly through third parties." Hannity then aired a clip in which IBD contributor Monica Showalter said of Media Matters: "One thing we do know is they haven't opened their books, and nobody knows how accurate or not it is. I think if I were Soros, I would be very embarrassed to say I gave anything to Media Matters." In fact, as Media Matters has repeatedly and exhaustively demonstrated, Soros has never given money to Media Matters, either directly or through another organization, including the Democracy Alliance.
As Media Matters documented, a September 20 Investor's Business Daily editorial, reprinted on CNNMoney.com, falsely claimed that Soros "has financed spin outfits such as Media Matters that specialize in providing distorted conservative political statements as grist for leftist politicians and media."
From the September 30 edition of Fox News' Hannity's America:
HANNITY: Welcome to Hannity's America. Thank you for being with us. I am Sean Hannity. Now, last week in Washington, the House joined the Senate in condemning the offensive MoveOn.org ad that slandered the American commander in Iraq. But there were some Democrats who choose not to denounce the unfair attack on General [David] Petraeus. We decided to find out why they are afraid of the group MoveOn.org.
[begin video clip]
HANNITY: This controversial ad bashing the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq was just plain wrong. But it did prove one thing: that Democrats on the Hill are definitely afraid of MoveOn.org. The liberal group has launched smear campaigns before, but when they went after General Petraeus, almost every single Democrat clammed up.
So what are they afraid of? Maybe it's the money man behind MoveOn. Billionaire George Soros considers himself a philanthropist, and his Open Society Institute gives money to causes around the world. But some of his vast fortune is also used to finance radical groups like MoveOn.org and others.
Investor's Business Daily recently published a series of editorials about just where the smear financer's money is going.
SHOWALTER: He gives away $400 million -- about 417 was this year. It's always in that neighborhood. About 74 or 75 million of that goes into U.S. programs. Among those, there are what appear to be legitimate charities. For instance, he funds after-school programs in New York City. But quite a few are groups that are said to be civil society that are, in fact, political pressure groups.
HANNITY: In fact, left-wing group MoveOn.org became a lot bolder once Soros put in his two cents, or should I say $2 million?
SHOWALTER: They themselves have told us, "Yes, it was only 2.5 million." But that's what built them from a very fringe organization into a group that claims membership of 3 million members.
HANNITY: George Soros says he's all for democracy and is an advocate of, quote, "open societies," but some of the organizations that he gives money to aren't always fair or forthcoming, like the elite and highly secretive Democracy Alliance.
SHOWALTER: A group of Democrats who were very frustrated by John Kerry's loss, and they wanted to come up with a new kind of way of funding it -- funding the means of creating, say, a Democratic victory in future elections. The admission fee was something like $200,000. So it's very secretive, and if you go to their website, it's very bare bones. It just names a few projects that they fund. But this group is well worth watching because you don't know who they're funding until after they're funding it.
HANNITY: And talk about secretive: The left-wing group Media Matters denies that Soros gives them any funding, but IBD suspects they may be getting his money indirectly through third parties.
SHOWALTER: One thing we do know is they haven't opened their books, and nobody knows how accurate or not it is. I think if I were Soros, I would be very embarrassed to say I gave anything to Media Matters. Their whole premise is to say that the media is right wing, which is very hard to understand. Why would they say that? And they do that -- you can consider it right wing if your center of gravity is very far left.
HANNITY: So money is driving the issues, and the public doesn't know about it until it's too late. That's democracy?
Investor's Business Daily has also found out that some of Soros' money has gone toward issues that could actually help terrorists.
SHOWALTER: Soros has funded left-wing lawyers who've taken up cases, for instance the Guantánamo military tribunals. Apparently, they won that case. And Soros funded the Georgetown group that took the side of the detainees. And the way they justified it was that, "Well, this increases civil liberties." But in reality, that's highly arguable. You don't know to what extent -- it increases civil liberties for terrorists, but it does not increase civil liberties for Americans.
HANNITY: So let's see: A powerful man with billions of dollars who promotes ultra-left-wing causes, who would even protect terrorists if it would help his cause is the financial backer of MoveOn.org.
SHOWALTER: I think the fact that the Democrats did not want to cross with MoveOn was probably a sign that they don't consider MoveOn just a fringe activist group, they consider it somebody that has very strong ties. And I think this functions to suppress thought, to suppress independent thought. They don't want to upset the guy who may well fund their presidential campaign, who may be critical towards them at a critical moment. So, the intimidation factor based on the money and the fact that politicians need money is where you have to raise questions.
HANNITY: Last year, Soros appeared right here on the Fox News Channel with my friend Neil Cavuto, who hammered him about his ties to left-wing groups and a radical agenda for America.
SOROS: I really became engaged in domestic politics in 2004 because I felt that the single most important thing I could do to make the world a better place is to help get President Bush out of the White House.
HANNITY: At the end of the day, George Soros might be the most powerful man in left-wing politics. Hand in hand with MoveOn.org, they have pushed their radical agenda and launched vicious attacks. He's a man with the checkbook. He's the man behind the curtain. He's the smear financier.
[end video clip]
HANNITY: And many thanks to Investor's Business Daily for contributing to that report.