How George Soros co-opts the media and keeps criticism down
George Soros is the most dangerous man in America. The investor is intent on remaking the country to his liberal image, from our foreign policy priorities to undermining our criminal-justice system. This week, The Post takes a look at the reach of Soros’ billions. In this second essay, Matt Palumbo, author of “The Man Behind the Curtain: Inside the Secret Network of George Soros,” examines Soros investments in liberal propaganda.
A new report from the Media Research Center has exposed connections between billionaire liberal financier George Soros and 54 prominent media figures. As documented by its authors Joseph Vazquez and Dan Schneider, these include reporters, anchors, columnists, editors, news executives, and journalists.
Among the highest profile media figures revealed to have connections to Soros, often due to them sitting on boards of organizations he funds, include:
- CNN’s Christiane Amanpour sits on the board of the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative journalism group funded by Soros, that critics charge mainly targets Republican fundraisers.
- NBC’s Lester Holt, Washington Post’s Sally Buzbee, Associate Press Executive Editor Julie Pace, and Reuters Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni all sit on the board of the Member of the Committee to Protect Journalists, a Soros-funded organization that purports to defend the rights of journalists.
- CBS’ Margaret Brennan and CNN’s Fareed Zakaria serve on the board of the massively influential Council on Foreign Relations, a Soros-backed think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy.
- NBC’s Chairman Cesar Conde is on the Aspen Institute board, a Soros-backed think tank. In recent years they launched a left-leaning commission to combat so-called disinformation, and was implicated in the suppression of The New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story in the recently released Twitter Files.
- NPR’s President and CEO John Lansing is connected by the direct funding Soros gives his publication.
- PolitiFact Editor-in-Chief Angie Dronbic Holan serves on the board of the Soros-backed International Fact-Checking Network, which has openly pressed Facebook to censor what they consider to be misinformation (i.e. anything that goes against the liberal narrative), and serves as the “high body” for dozens of fact-checking organizations under its umbrella.
And it shows in their coverage. Not only does Soros fund the media to push his radical left agenda, his funding has the added effect of insulating him from criticism.
As Vazquez and Schneider include among their examples: During a PBS segment in 2018, Amanpour had on Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó and used the opportunity to accuse his boss, Prime Minister Viktor Orban, of being “anti-Semitic” for cracking down on the billionaire’s influence in his country.
As I noted in my book, “The Man Behind the Curtain,” bogus charges of antisemitism against Soros’ critics are the most common line of attack among Soros-funded outlets.
During the Brett Kavanaugh hearings in 2018, the Soros-funded ThinkProgress called reports that Soros was paying people to protest against then president Donald Trump an “anti-Semitic conspiracy theory,” and accused Trump himself of “getting in on the anti-Semitic action.”
Meanwhile, Soros was spending $5 million on the effort to thwart Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, and his accuser Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyer Debra Katz was vice chair of the Project on Government Oversight, which has been directly funded by Soros’s Open Society Foundations.
NPR has received nearly $2 million from Soros in the past to hire up to 100 new reporters. When Spanish language broadcaster Radio y Televisión Martí ran a 15-minute segment on the influence of Soros, warning that he has his “eyes on Latin America,” NPR branded it “taxpayer funded anti-Semitism against George Soros” (referencing the fact that Radio y Televisión Martí is funded by the U.S. federal government). They also voiced support for the U.S. Agency for Global Media launching an investigation into them as a result.
This “any criticism of Soros is anti-Semitic” narrative has naturally spread to other left-wing publications, such as the Associated Press, Washington Post, New York Times, and seemingly everywhere else. So mindless is this type of charge that one publication, Moment Magazine, accused the Jewish Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu of anti-Semitism for daring criticize Soros.
Soros went into overdrive in funding his media empire in the Trump era, with other research from the MRC finding that from 2016-2020 Soros dished out at least $131 million to influence at least 253 journalism and activist media groups to promote far-left views on abortion, economics, the police, environmentalism, LGBT ideology, and anti-Americanism. A common strategy for when those outlets report on any misdeeds of Soros is to frame the allegations as “conspiracy theories” from people with sinister motives (similar to how the media will phrase Republicans reacting to Democrat misdeeds or failures as “Republicans pouncing” — as if they’re the ones in the wrong). Publications that employ journalists that also serve on Soros-funded boards include the NY Times, LA Times, Baltimore Sun, CNN, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ABC News, the Sacramento Bee, and countless more.
Others will simply downplay any alleged wrongdoing or accept Soros’ counternarrative without question. One such example came back in 2021 when the left-leaning journalism nonprofit ProPublica (which receives just under 2% of its funding from Soros) released a report that used 15 years of confidential IRS records to calculate the effective tax rate that billionaires pay on their fortunes (which was low because unrealized capital gains aren’t taxed).
Among the billionaires named was Soros, who didn’t pay a cent of income tax for three years in a row from 2016 to 2018. While the other billionaires listed in their report are extensively criticized, Soros only gets a brief mention, and immediate rebuttal in the form of a quote from a representative that “Between 2016 and 2018 George Soros lost money on his investments, therefore he did not owe federal income taxes in those years.”
A quick fact-check reveals that Soros Fund Management gained 5% in 2016, 8.9% in 2017, and 0.8% in 2018, meaning that ProPublica presented a lie from Soros unchallenged. A more likely culprit for Soros’ lack of tax burden (at least in 2017 and 2018) is his transfer of $18 billion of his own wealth to his Open Society Fund. That move guaranteed that those funds will be sheltered from the IRS forever in what one commentator called the “single biggest tax dodge in U.S. history.”
The donation also allows Soros to deduct up to 20% of its market value on his personal taxes ($3.6 billion), which he can carry forward for five years, effectively giving him a double write-off (not paying taxes on future income while dodging capital gains taxes on donated stock).
Naturally, in responses to any concerns about how funding from Soros could possibly impact their coverage, ProPublica has addressed them by dismissing the term “Soros-funded” as a “vaguely anti-Semitic epithet meant to connote left-wing bias.”