NEW YORK – Does billionaire activist George Soros have the economic clout to push out conservative hosts and commentators that oppose with his leftist agenda?
Among the 2,500 documents hacked from Soros’ Open Society Foundation are documents in which Soros’ Open Society Foundation boasts of funding a minority activist campaign against advertisers that succeeded in ousting Glenn Beck from Fox News and Pat Buchanan from MSNBC.
In a memorandum dated March 27, 2012, Bill Vandenberg, the head of Soros’ Democracy Fund, discusses a two-year grant to support the Color of Change, an online organizing group described within the document as the largest online political activist group representing African-American issues.
The group has more than 900,000 dues-paying members advocating “within the African-American community on issues that impact the community, including criminal justice, media representation, racial justice, and Internet community.”
In the memo, Vandenberg says a reason for continuing to fund Color of Change is that the group through implementing successful political communications campaigns “has held media companies accountable for derogatory actions, including successful campaigns to oust Glenn Beck from the Fox Network and Pat Buchanan from MSNBC.”
The memo appears to confirm the suspicion among conservatives that Soros has funded aggressive attacks on advertisers to silence effective conservative commentators.
$40 million attack
Eric Boehlert, reporting in Media Matters – another Soros-funded, leftist organization – wrote on April 7, 2011, in the wake of Beck’s firing, that Color of Change “was instrumental in launching the Beck ad boycott that cost Fox some $40 million in advertising,” while neglecting to report that Soros either funded the advertiser boycott campaign or participated in funding Color of Change through his Open Society Foundation.
Another hacked Soros document, a memo from Diana Morris to the U.S. Programs Board of the Open Society Foundation, dated Jan. 30, 2012, makes clear the two-year grant discussed in Vandenberg’s memo cited above was an extension of a pre-existing funding commitment.
“It is important to recognize U.S. Programs’ primary role of granting money to other organizations,” Morris wrote.
“While we undertake our own communications and advocacy efforts, we also invest in others to advance open society in the United States. Some grantees, such as the Center or American Progress, Media Matters, and Color of Change, to name a few, are sophisticate communications machines, while other grantees scarcely engage in any communications efforts,” Morris continued. “There was broad agreement in the working group that it is important to strengthen grantee communications efforts.”
Yet another hacked document, the briefing book for the Open Society Foundation U.S. Programs Board scheduled to meet in New York City on Sept. 29-30, 2014, makes clear on Page 40 that Soros continued to fund Color of Change to engage in “political communication” efforts. The document said Color of Change had joined ACLU, referred to as another Open Society Foundation “anchor grantee,” in being “nationally and locally active in Ferguson, Missouri, following the police shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown.”
Since 2009, Soros’ Open Society Foundation has given $550,000 to Color for Change and its parent organization, Citizen Engagement Laboratory, or CEL. The groups have been identified as seeking to mobilize minority citizens to expand their political voice through use of the Internet as “champions of suppressed and disadvantaged individuals in order to advance their progressive political agenda,” implementing strategies that include using Soros dollars to rally leftist supporters to vote.
Beck ‘fired for attacking Soros’
In June 2011, when Glenn Beck was fired from his highly popular, hour-long weekday show on Fox News, the Huffington Post attributed the firing to “an aggressive campaign [that] caused up to 400 advertisers to drop their support of the show,” although news sources at the time did not identify Soros as the culprit.
Two years later, in May 2013, WND presented evidence Beck was fired because he dared to attack Soros on air.
In a Huffington Post interview, longtime PBS news commentator Bill Moyers defended Soros, charging the billionaire had “been the victim, of course, of Glenn Beck and the right wing, the Fox News assassins.”
Beck responded: “Here’s the real reason why George Soros is worried about little old me and the assassins, because I know the truth about him.
“Everyone – including the assassins [at Fox News] – told me, ‘You wanna shut up about George Soros?’
“No. No I don’t. Nope. Doesn’t make my life easier. Doesn’t make me more popular. Doesn’t do anything, except I am allowed to end my days saying I told the truth. I did what somebody should have done and tell the truth. The truth has no agenda. The truth will set you free. The truth needs to be held like a sword and a shield. He should be worried. He should be worried because I’m going to continue to expose him when he finds out the role he plays in our next little book coming out this spring. He’ll be up all night on the phone with Bill Moyers crying himself to sleep.”
In June 2011, WND reported that Jewish Funds for Justice, the charity WND had identified as leading the crusade demanding Fox News fire Beck, was backed by Soros and tied to many of the liberal activists that Beck routinely excoriates on his program.
WND noted Jewish Funds for Justice delivered a petition with 10,000 signatures to Fox News in protest of a program in which Beck called Soros a “puppet master.” JFSJ deemed the show anti-Semitic.
In 2009, the Open Society provided a $150,000 grant to JFSJ and its associated group, the Funder’s Collaborative on Youth Organizing. In 2010, the Open Society provided a $200,000 grant to last a period of two years.
MSNBC axed Buchanan over book controversy
In February 2012, Politico reported MSNBC had finally reached a decision to sever relations with Buchanan permanently after 10 years, supposedly over a controversy surrounding his book, “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”
In a piece published in the American Conservative in Februrary 2012 titled, “Blacklisted, But Not Beaten,” Buchanan agreed that his firing began “almost immediately” with the Oct. 18 publication of the book. He correctly identified the culprit as Color of Change, a group existing “to strengthen Black America’s political voice,” which charged his book espoused a “white supremacist ideology.”
Buchanan said Color of Change “took particular umbrage at the title of Chapter 4, ‘The End of White America.’”
Buchanan defended the thesis of the book, arguing, “America is Balkanizing, breaking down along the lines of religion, race, ethnicity, culture, and ideology and that Western peoples are facing demographic death by century’s end.”
He further commented that the modus operandi of “the thought police at Color of Change” is to brand as racist “any writer who dares to venture outside the narrow corral in which they seek to confine debate.”
Commenting on Color of Change’s efforts to remove him from MSNBC, Buchanan wrote: “I know these blacklisters. They operate behind closed doors, with phone calls, mailed threats, and off-the-record meetings. They work in the dark because, as Al Smith said, nothing un-American can live in the sunlight.”
As early as Jan. 9, 2012, WND had reported that Color of Change was behind the movement to oust Buchanan from MSNBC.
In that article, WND reported Color of Change was pressing to have Buchanan removed from MSNBC, citing an online statement published by the group’s executive director, Rashad Robinson, who demanded “it’s time for MSNBC to permanently end their relationship with Pat Buchanan and the hateful, outdated ideas he represents.”
Color of Change’s boasts
In a statement still published on the group’s website, Color of Change boasts that beginning in 2009, the group forced Beck off cable television.
“Beck legitimized disproven, racist ideas about the role of Black people in society by integrating them into mainstream political conversations,” the statement reads. “White supremacists praised him for helping to make their ideas more respectable and widespread. And he did it with the support of hundreds of major corporations that advertised on his show. No one was fighting back effectively; our movement didn’t have an answer to Glenn Beck.”
Color of Change openly admits running an economic campaign to drive Beck off Fox News, claiming it was launched in July 2008 when Beck called President Obama a “racist” with a “deep-seated hatred for white people.”
Some 285,000 people signed a Color of Change petition to Beck’s advertisers demanding Beck be removed from Fox News.
Color of Change described the campaign against Beck:
Within days of Beck’s attack on President Obama, tens of thousands of Color Of Change members were signing our petition to all of Beck’s advertisers, channeling our outrage into meaningful and strategic leverage over Fox News. At the same time, behind the scenes, our staff initiated a dialogue with some of Beck’s biggest advertisers, corporations including Walmart, CVS, Best Buy and Sprint. We conveyed to them the concerns of our members, and presented them with a clear choice: stop funding Beck, or become publicly associated with his racism and divisiveness. We partnered with Media Matters to track ads on Beck’s show, and worked with organizations including CREDO Action, MoveOn and Jewish Funds for Justice to draw more people into the campaign and increase the pressure.
Most companies moved quickly to pull their ads, once they understood the power of our members to hold them accountable. When a corporation refused, our members took action, flooding them with hundreds of phone calls, and spreading content and commentary on social media that linked their brand to Beck and his attacks on Black people. Nearly every corporation we targeted pulled their ads. The victories snowballed, continuing for months.