On his Fox News program, Bill O'Reilly claimed that George Soros has built a “complicated political operation” in which “Soros and a few other wealthy radicals who help him are funneling money into the political process” by funding Media Matters, which “feeds its propaganda to some mainstream media people.” In fact, Soros has never given money to Media Matters, either directly or through another organization.
Discussing the political influence of philanthropist and progressive financier George Soros during the April 23 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly attacked Media Matters for America as a “vile propaganda outfit, which specializes in distorting comments made by politicians, pundits, and media people,” a claim that echoes several of his previous attacks on Media Matters. O'Reilly opened the segment with a “chart” purporting to depict Soros' “complicated political operation” in which “Soros and a few other wealthy radicals who help him are funneling money into the political process” by funding Media Matters, which “feeds its propaganda to some mainstream media people.”
O'Reilly claimed that Soros “wants to impose a radical left agenda on America” and that he does so by funding organizations that then pass on money to “a variety of radical hatchet men.” He asserted: “Soros has set up a complicated political operation designed to do two things -- buy influence among liberal politicians, and smear people with whom he disagrees.” O'Reilly added: “If a liberal politician doesn't toe the Soros line, he or she will be denied funding and brutally attacked. Just ask Senator Joseph Lieberman [I-CT] about what MoveOn and Media Matters did to him.” O'Reilly also claimed that Soros-funded organizations “don't stop at you. They'll go for your family.”
Later in the program, conservative talk-radio host Monica Crowley echoed O'Reilly's attack on Media Matters, stating: “So he [Soros] can finance websites like you mentioned, Media Matters, other organizations, that will go out there and smear right-wing politicians, smear right-wing pundits and commentators and so on.”
As previously indicated, Soros has never given money to Media Matters, either directly or through another organization. If he wanted to fund Media Matters, he or Open Society Institute (OSI), a grant-making foundation he established in 1993 to conduct his philanthropy, could simply write a check directly to Media Matters, as he and OSI do to numerous entities.
O'Reilly also attacked Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, stating during his nightly “Talking Points Memo” segment: “Now 'Talking Points' has reason to believe John Edwards is taking orders from the Soros group right now. And other Democratic politicians may be as well.” O'Reilly did not cite any evidence for his claim. Later, during his with exchange with Crowley and author Phil Kent, O'Reilly noted that he had no evidence for such an assertion but nevertheless maintained: “Now, we believe that John Edwards has forged some kind of an arrangement with Soros. I can't prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, but his actions are pretty much dictated by MoveOn. He's absolutely right in with those people.”
As Media Matters documented, during an appearance on the Irish talk show The Late Late Show on April 13, host Pat Kenny asked O'Reilly whether he had referred to the poor as “irresponsible and lazy” and the Iraqi people as “prehistoric.” When Kenny said he found that information on a “website,” O'Reilly responded by calling Media Matters “an assassination website” that frequently takes him “out of context.” However, Media Matters provided full documentation of O'Reilly's references to the poor as "irresponsible and lazy" and the Iraqi people as "prehistoric." O'Reilly has previously attacked Media Matters as being "smear merchants," "assassins," and "the most vile, despicable human beings in the country," among other things, despite claiming not to “do personal attacks here.”
Despite numerous requests to appear on The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly still has not extended an invitation to Media Matters President and CEO David Brock to discuss his accusations and ad hominem attacks, nor has O'Reilly offered any evidence for his claims that Media Matters has “distorted comments” made by him or any other media figure.
From the April 23 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight. We have a powerful and important program, so I hope you stay through the whole thing. You won't be sorry.
Buying political power, that is the subject of this evening's “Talking Points Memo.” The Factor has been investigating far-left billionaire George Soros, a man who wants to impose a radical left agenda on America. And under the radar, he is making great progress.
Soros has set up a complicated political operation designed to do two things -- buy influence among some liberal politicians, and smear people with whom he disagrees.
Now, here's a chart of how Soros and a few other wealthy radicals who help him are funneling money into the political process. Stay with me on this. Most of Soros' political money flows through his Open Society Institute -- you see it there on the left -- which is almost unlimited funding. Since 2001, according to federal documents, the Open Society Institute has given nearly $20 million to the Tides Foundation -- right below that. An astounding amount.
Now, Tides, in turn, funnels the money to a variety of radical hatchet men, who are all well paid. For example, Tides has donated millions to the vile propaganda outfit Media Matters, which specializes in distorting comments made by politicians, pundits, and media people. Media Matters is an Internet site, but directly feeds its propaganda to some mainstream media people, including elements at NBC News, columnist Frank Rich and Paul Krugman at The New York Times, columnist Jonathan Alter at Newsweek, and Bill Moyers at PBS.
In fact, as president of the Schumann Center Foundation, Moyers oversaw at least a half-million-dollar transfer of money to Media Matters. We'll have more on that tomorrow.
Now, George Soros is also pouring money into the Center for American Progress, run by former Clinton aide John Podesta, and the Democracy Alliance Group, both of which fund Media Matters as well. So you can see, an enormous amount of money this Media Matters has control of.
Finally, George Soros has given the radical left organization MoveOn many, many millions of dollars. This group actively supports liberal politicians like [Democratic National Committee chairman] Howard Dean and John Edwards. It also organizes demonstrations promoting left-wing causes.
So you can see how powerful this guy Soros has become. He can smear anyone he wants in a variety of ways. His organizations can raise millions for politicians, who will do his bidding. Thus, he can demand that politicians running for office do what he tells them to do.
If a liberal politician doesn't toe the Soros line, he or she will be denied funding and brutally attacked. Just ask Senator Joseph Lieberman about what MoveOn and Media Matters did to him.
Now “Talking Points” has reason to believe John Edwards is taking orders from the Soros group right now. And other Democratic politicians may be as well.
The goal of George Soros, [Progressive Insurance chairman] Peter Lewis, [Esprit clothing company founder] Susie Tompkins Buell, and other radical financiers is to buy a presidential election. By that, I mean find and fund a candidate who will tacitly do what he or she is told to do.
In the past, big business has been accused of doing just that. Now it is the likes of George Soros, an extremist who wants open borders, a one-world foreign policy, legalized drugs, euthanasia, and on and on.
My book Culture Warrior documents the Soros policy and his tax-evading businesses located in Curacao and Bermuda.
The really frightening thing about all this is that most Americans have never even heard of George Soros. This is off-the-chart dangerous, but completely legal under the McCain-Feingold Act.
In the weeks to come, we'll have more on Soros and his operations, including naming more of the mainstream media that is actively helping him, which includes Rosie O'Donnell. And that is the “Memo.”
Now for the top story tonight, reaction to our investigation. Joining us now from Atlanta, Phil Kent, author of the book Foundations of Betrayal: How the Liberal Super Rich Undermine America [Zoe Publications, May 2007]. And here in the studio, conservative radio talk show host Monica Crowley.
Monica, begin with you. Did I leave anything out?
CROWLEY: No, I think you were right on. And you know what? This is an incredibly well-oiled, brilliantly orchestrated machine. And as you pointed out, it's also a brilliant way to get around the campaign finance laws in this country.
You have one guy in George Soros. You had mentioned big business had been criticized for this stuff before. Here you've got all of this power in the hands of one guy because he's got a billion-dollar fortune, where he can put his money wherever he wants.
The problem is twofold. Number one, transparency. This guy has been able to fly under the radar for a long time before you just exposed him because the mainstream media protects him, because they're on the same ideological page.
O'REILLY: OK. And also because it's a complicated -- you see where the money flow goes. Can you put that chart up again? Because it goes through three or four places --
O'REILLY: -- before it gets to the intended source.
CROWLEY: Exactly. But, you know, this is a web, but it's not a particularly tangled web. Because as you pointed out --
O'REILLY: It's clean.
CROWLEY: -- you can trace it back two or three organizations away from George Soros. He's not even making an attempt to keep his fingerprints off of this.
And the other point, too, Bill, is accountability. So you have transparency, OK, which he's trying to obfuscate with this kind of web, but also accountability. So he can finance websites like you mentioned, Media Matters, other organizations, that will go out there and smear right-wing politicians, smear right-wing pundits and commentators and so on. And there's no accountability because it's floating out there on the Web.
O'REILLY: Yeah, but, we live in a thing of freedom of speech. Now, Mr. Kent, you know, you've got to admire Soros for coming up with this organization. I mean, you know, he's made billions by doing this in business, by being in Curacao and Bermuda and France, where he was convicted of a felony. And he knows how to do this. He knows how to move the money around and use it to gain influence. And now he's set his sights on changing the basic fabric of this country.
KENT: Well, that's right. George Soros is really the Dr. Evil of the whole world of left-wing foundations. In fact, one of his most chilling quotes a few years ago was that the main obstacle to a stable and just world is the United States.
He really hates this country. And he funds these things, as your chart points out, and open borders and even radical Islamic groups that defend suicide bombers. So this guy is all over the map.
O'REILLY: I didn't have that on there. Now what's the radical Islamic group that defends suicide bombers?
KENT: The American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Research Institute is a Soros recipient. And they've actually defended suicide bombers. And I've got this in my book. And how he funds La Raza, the race, the open borders advocacy group.
O'REILLY: Yeah, he funds La Raza. We know that. Now what is the intrusion of the mainstream media? Because you've got some pretty big names. Bill Moyers. Wednesday night, he's going to take a big shot at the press on PBS. We know he's in bed with Soros. Rosie O'Donnell, not taken seriously, but certainly a platform every day on ABC. New York Times, two of their main columnists. Newsweek magazine Jonathan Alter. And NBC News, where it's pitiful, but they have commentators that basically take exactly what Soros gives them and spit it out over the airwaves. That's a lot of power, is it not?
KENT: It's a lot of power. Soros really does believe wealth controls culture. And he wants to really control the political scene in the United States and the media. And as your chart points out, it's very chilling the groups that he is funding through the Open Society Institute.
You know, the assets alone of this private tax-exempt foundation, over $175 million.
CROWLEY: And as you point out, he loves the Tides Foundation, a big left-wing tax-exempt foundation.
O'REILLY: Yes. Oh, I didn't know it was that high right now. $175 million tax-free.
O'REILLY: Now, Monica, if you're like Lieberman and you're a moderate Democrat, Soros can put a big hurt on you fast.
CROWLEY: That's right. I mean, I mentioned right-wing commentators, right-wing politicians. But if you are a moderate, responsible Democrat who happens to take a different point of view than George Soros, you are just as much of a target.
O'REILLY: Now, we believe that John Edwards has forged some kind of an arrangement with Soros. I can't prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, but his actions are pretty much dictated by MoveOn. He's absolutely right in with those people. Have you seen that?
CROWLEY: I have heard that reported, Bill. And you know, that's the real danger here is that these -- there are campaign finance laws on the books to prevent exactly this, to prevent a politician from being held in the pocket by a fabulously rich guy like George Soros.
O'REILLY: Yeah, I mean, this is off the chart. It really is.
CROWLEY: Again, if you don't -- that's right. And then if you don't toe the line, you run the risk of being cut off by somebody like this.
O'REILLY: And attacked.
CROWLEY: And attacked.
O'REILLY: And attacked, and attacked. And you know, ripped up --
CROWLEY: And you do not want that danger, not if you're running for president.
O'REILLY: Right. And they don't stop at you. They'll go for your family. They'll go for anyone.
Mr. Kent, I'm going to give you the last word. But are there any Republican or conservative groups that rile Soros' -- rival Soros'?
KENT: You know, I tell you, the research that I compiled in my book, if you take the top three conservative tax-exempt foundations, they're totally dwarfed by Soros and the radical Ford Foundation. It's probably 15 times more the assets. Remember, MoveOn.org and Soros spent $5 million alone in anti-Bush ads in 2004. They have got clout.
O'REILLY: Yeah, it'll be four times, five times that much --
O'REILLY: -- in the 2008 election. Monica, Mr. Kent, thanks very much. We appreciate it.
Next on the rundown, once again, the mayor of San Francisco says he will not obey the law.
And later, the Factor did not use the Alec Baldwin tape. We will explain why we decided not to use it, upcoming.