It’s like buying a house at Love Canal just as the neighborhood is being evacuated as a toxic hazard. Notorious progressive globalist billionaire George Soros is purchasing Vice Media Group – parent company of Vice News as well as a feature film and television production studio – out of bankruptcy proceedings, adding to his already substantial influence in the US media market. In December, Liberty Nation documented how Soros uses his money in a variety of ways to directly impact coverage of allegedly impartial big-box media outlets. From supposedly public-minded “grants” to support “informed discourse” to bogus “fact-check” organizations and more elaborate dark-money ventures that control sources and information, Soros has managed to use his financial clout to worm his way into prominent US newsrooms.
What Soros Is Buying
In acquiring Vice News, along with Fortress Investment Group, Soros is taking the more obvious route. But all this comes at a cost that cultural progressives have never understood. Soros is attempting to purchase respected journalism so that it may serve his purposes. Yet, in doing so, he compromises the integrity of the outlets involved beyond all repair, eventually canceling out the anticipated benefits of buying these credentialed organizations in the first place. He is not the only agenda-driven agent in this modern Big Media game. These subverters of real journalism thrive on targeting distressed assets that have failed to navigate the revenue challenges facing the industry since the rise of the internet. The idea is to buy the name and live off the fumes of past prestige. Daily newspapers provide a classic example.
Former giants of the pre-internet media climate struggling to survive have become ripe for exploitation. The Philadelphia Inquirer and Salt Lake Tribune are two formerly well-respected daily newspaper brands. Both still maintain a certain cache today, unless one actually takes the time to read them. The hard-left biases that may have been subtly present for decades are now so over the top that the publications are considered jokes by non-progressive local residents. This development coincides with their “partnerships” with leftist financial supporters.
The Tribune dealt with its crumbling financial situation by transforming into a “nonprofit” organization, thus opening the way for grave conflicts of interest. As is becoming routine in establishment media circles today, however, it had a surefire way to solve its ethical crisis: write a disclaimer. “We are grateful for the many donors and grantors who so generously support our journalism. The Salt Lake Tribune publishes the names of all of those who made contributions of $5,000 or more. Here are our 2022 supporters,” the paper states on its website.
Last year alone, the paper received “$100,000 and up” from Zions Bank. Zions is the largest US bank headquartered in Utah, and thus a prime candidate for major news coverage from The Tribune. In fact, you may have noticed there has been a banking crisis in the US of late. Zions has been affected, with speculation that it may face collapse. In a shameless May 6 editorial, The Tribune extolled the bank as a Utah civic institution.
“Utahns who aren’t customers will recognize Zions Bank as a community leader, and a backbone for small business throughout the region,” the paper asserted. “We could fill this entire editorial with all the civic and cultural efforts Zions Bank supports in Utah and the Intermountain West, with its affiliate banks. It sponsors the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, the Utah Japan Festival, Sundance Institute, the Utah Pride Festival, and many other organizations and yes, even sustainable journalism (The bank has supported the nonprofit Salt Lake Tribune).”
Similar words could have been said about Enron in Houston in 2001. Whether that is an unfair comparison or not, the point is that the leading newspaper in Utah received $100,000 in funding from the biggest bank in the state in 2022 alone and writes fawning editorials about that same bank.
One more thing: Google Discover also gave $100,000 to The Tribune in 2022.
The Philadelphia Inquirer has a similar “philanthropic” cover for its thoroughly compromised status. “As the non-controlling owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Lenfest Institute provides targeted grants that support journalism and civic information, sustainable business models, and diversity, equity, and inclusion to ensure that Philadelphia communities are equipped with the news and information they need. The Institute’s work with The Inquirer is entirely supported by philanthropic efforts,” Lenfest states on its website.
We own it but we don’t really own it – is that the disclaimer here?
Lenfest is deeply tied to leftist and Big Tech money sources. “The Lenfest Institute is grateful to our national partners, who have supported leading grant programs, cutting-edge training workshops, and key initiatives to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion. They include: Democracy Fund, Facebook Journalism Project, Google News Initiative [and the] John S. and James L. Knight Foundation,” the Institute reveals.
Democracy Fund was created by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. Watchdog website Influence Watch notes that it “contributes to center-left and left-wing media organizations, groups seeking to infringe on campaign speech rights, left-of-center voter registration organizations, and nominally non-aligned public policy organizations.” The Knight Foundation “is a left-leaning private foundation that sets a primary emphasis on funding media-related projects,” Influence Watch writes.
“It’s not every day a former president of the United States is found liable for sexual abuse and defamation,” The Inquirer’s May 9 editorial on the E. Jean Carroll civil case began. “Then again, America has never experienced a former president like the norm-busting, twice impeached, criminally indicated [sic], serial lying, race-baiting, tax dodging, insurrectionist starting Donald J. Trump.” This is the quality of the product put out when distressed media brands take leftist money. Whatever one may think of such heavy-handed writing, one thing is for certain. It does not make for the effective propaganda George Soros and his comrades are hoping to buy.
All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Liberty Nation.
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