57 varieties of distortion: FrontPageMag.com report attacks Heinz Kerry's philanthropy


On September 16 and September 17, the right-wing website FrontPageMag.com, edited by David Horowitz, posted a report titled "57 Varieties of Radical Causes: Teresa Heinz Kerry's Charitable Giving" (in two parts, posted here and here). The report purports to detail Heinz Kerry's links to what author and FrontPageMag.com managing editor Ben Johnson calls an "impressive array of left-wing groups." But it paints a distorted picture of Heinz Kerry's philanthropy by linking her to causes to which she has not donated money; ascribing donations to her personally when she was merely one of several trustees of the donating group; and insinuating that Heinz Kerry bought the endorsement of a major environmental group for her husband, Senator John Kerry.

Johnson distorted the relationship between the Heinz Endowments, which Heinz Kerry chairs, and the Tides Foundation, to which the Heinz Endowments have donated money. But it is not until the 19th paragraph of the Tides Foundation section, after spending most of the previous 18 paragraphs detailing the alleged "left-wing causes" of groups affiliated with Tides, that Johnson noted, "'by legally binding contract' every penny of Heinz money went to other charities," -- although not to the charities Johnson details. The Tides Foundation, the Heinz Endowments, and Media Matters for America have all previously noted this fact.

Johnson continued the guilt-by-association game by erroneously attributing donations the Carnegie Corporation of New York made to alleged "partisan" groups in 2000, while Heinz Kerry was a member of its board of trustees, to her personally:

  • Teresa Heinz Kerry's charities have steered well over half-a-million dollars to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), one of the premier organizations making up the "open borders" lobby. Carnegie supplied MALDEF with $750,000 in 2000 alone.

  • Teresa Heinz Kerry's dollars have also flowed freely to the propaganda organs of the far-left. Chief among these is the Independent Media Institute, based in San Francisco, which accepted a $24,500 grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York in the year 2000, while Teresa was still a trustee.

  • Another media endeavor receiving ... Teresa Heinz Kerry's money is the The American Prospect, a magazine funded by Bill Moyers to provide a voice for the Democratic Party left. TAP received $132,000 from the Carnegie Corporation in 2000.

  • Heinz Kerry, through her connection to Carnegie, has financed groups of varying ethnicities that all share the same racialist political agenda.

Despite Johnson's repeated references to "Teresa Heinz Kerry's money" and similar statements, the grant money belonged to the Carnegie Corporation, not to Heinz Kerry.

Under a section heading titled "The League of Conservation Voters: A Purchased Endorsement?" Johnson recycled a Republican talking point, insinuating that Heinz Kerry-linked donations resulted in the League of Conservation Voters' (LCV) January 2004 endorsement of John Kerry. The endorsement, Johnson wrote, occurred at a time when Kerry "faced credible challenges from John Edwards, Wesley Clark and Joe Lieberman in New Hampshire and beyond." He continued: "Why the sudden endorsement? Critics point to a $10,000 grant the Heinz Family Foundation made to the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund in 2001." Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie has made a similar accusation.

Mark P. Longabaugh, LCV senior vice president for political affairs, has pointed out that Kerry "has been a consistent environmental champion throughout his 19-year career in the U.S. Senate" and that "Heinz Foundation donations since 1993 comprise only one-tenth of 1 percent of the total raised by the LCV Education Fund."

Johnson again rehashed discredited conservative spin in an attack on The Brookings Institution; because Heinz Kerry is a trustee of the think tank (she is currently on a leave of absence), Johnson wrote, the institution's "criticism of the Bush administration merits special examination." After noting a Brookings article titled "Give NATO a Role in Post-war Iraq," Johnson wrote:

This is John Kerry's foreign policy book: America lacks legitimacy when going to war without the UN's permission. ... He has vowed this will be his top goal if elected, to seek absolution from Jacques Chirac and Vladimir Putin in the hopes his contrition will result in the French Foreign Legion doing penance in Fallujah.

As evidence of this, Johnson cited in a footnote: "A younger Kerry once said he 'would like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations,'" a statement that dates from 1970.

In fact, during his July 29 acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, Kerry stated: "I will never give any nation or international institution a veto over our national security."

Propaganda/Noise Machine, 2004 Elections
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