Irony Is Dead: Fox Warns About Foreign-Born Billionaire Spending Millions To “Influence” American Media
Written by Eric Boehlert
Posted by Ken Carman for LTS readers
Earlier this week, writing at Foxnews.com, the Media Research Center’s Dan Gainor published a very ominous look at the media world of George Soros, and how the progressive billionaire was trying to “influence” the American press by funding various journalism institutions, such as ProPublica and the Columbia School of Journalism.
The piece contained some sizable holes, however. For instance, we noted how Gainor failed to mention the ominous Soros “ties” that could be connected between Soros and Fox News if you wanted to play the guilt-by-association game that Gainor engaged in. While Gainor didn’t like some of the topics being covered by the Soros-funded institutions, he failed to point out anything that was wrong or unseemly or biased with the journalism they produced. In fact, Gainor praised their work.
It’s almost funny reading Gainor’s latest because there’s no point to the endeavor, other than’ “OMG, George Soros donates lots of money to journalism institutions!” Right, but that’s no secret, so what’s the conflict?
Because once again Gainor can’t point to anything wrong with the journalism in question. Gainor can’t find any examples, or even allegations, of Soros trying to influence reports. Nor does Gainor suggest Soros’ financial support in any way has an impact on the stories produced. So no, Gainor can’t point to anything questionable about the journalism that Soros has helped fund.
I suppose readers are supposed to be shocked and horrified by the amount of money Soros has reportedly spent in recent years helping out journalism institutions: $48 million!
But honestly, I feel like Dr. Evil should read that number out loud to give it its proper due. And I’m sorry but somebody writing for Fox News, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, pretending that a billionaire spending $48 million over eight years is a big deal and cause for concern? Gimme a break. Murdoch loses $48 million (let alone spends that amount) on the New York Post every year between January and September.
The daily lost $70 million in 2009, which means in the eight years Soros has spent $45 million buying media “influence,” Murdoch has lost perhaps $600 million on the New York Post alone. But yes, readers should be deeply, deeply concerned about all the influence Soros is trying to buy up by spending a fraction of what Murdoch does on American media.
Note to Gainor: If you want to launch a worthwhile investigation, look into why Fox News boss Murdoch has spent billions funding media organizations in America, and then detail all the blatantly slanted and sloppy journalism his media outlets produce in order to advance Murdoch’s personal political agenda.
Now that’s a story.
About the authorA senior fellow at Media Matters for America, and a former senior writer for Salon, Boehlert’s first book, “Lapdogs: How The Press Rolled Over for Bush,” was published in May. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.