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Herbert and Marion Sandler, liberal billionaires with close ties to George Soros, announced in October that they will donate $10 million annually for at least three years and maybe more to create a nonprofit organization exclusively dedicated to investigative reporting. The organization, called ProPublica, will be led by Paul Steiger, former editor in chief at the Wall Street Journal, and employ 24 journalists. When it starts operations in January 2008, ProPublica will be the nation’s largest nonprofit center for investigative journalism
ProPublica will most certainly push a liberal agenda. The Sandlers are fervent activists. In 2004, they gave MoveOn.org $2.5 million and, along with Soros, help fund the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank established in 2003 to counter the influence of the conservative Heritage Foundation.
To hear Herb Sandler speak, the mission of ProPublica will be strictly nonpartisan and “on the side of the underdog.” According to Sandler, “I am deeply opposed to wealthy people who exploit the poor, powerful people who prey on the weak, and government representatives who betray the trust of the people they supposedly represent.”
ProPublica will seek to expose abuses in government, business, universities, nonprofits and supposedly labor unions. Steiger told the Sandlers that he would only get involved with the organization if it was truly nonpartisan.
When he asked them what would be their response to a hypothetical article “devastating to the biggest union supporters of the Democratic Party,” the Sandlers said, “No problem.”
This is not believable.
HERB SANDLER CLAIMS that one of the reasons for promoting nonprofit journalism is because the media doesn’t pay enough attention to important issues such as global warming. What a ridiculous assertion. Global warming is without a doubt the most overhyped issue in the world today.
Indeed, it is astounding and downright frightening that the scientifically unproven threat of man-made global warming is accorded religious-like acceptance by the Left and the media. The real story here is how this Luddite hysteria has managed to permeate the popular culture.
Yet, Sandler sees global warming as just the kind of issue the ostensibly nonpartisan ProPublica should cover because of inadequate mainstream media attention. And combating the global warming phantom will not be the only liberal position pushed by the group.
Sandler, like Soros, is a political philanthropist. His passion in life is to fund groups that counter the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” There is no way he is going to waste $10 million per year on an organization that does not advance that agenda.
Soros’ Open Society Institute is also donating money to nonprofit journalism centers. It is reasonable to assume that Soros will increase his support for these groups in the future.
CONSERVATIVES CAN easily get disillusioned by the huge sums of money that liberals shower on nonprofits. But there is good news. It doesn’t take a lot of money or staff to do solid investigative reporting.
An investigator seeking to expose corruption in government must have expertise in the often Byzantine congressional appropriations process, campaign finance law, the Freedom of Information Act, ethics laws and open government laws.
Mastering the intricate details of these multi-faceted activities takes a lot of time and hard work. However, it does not require an especially large financial investment.
In fact, many conservative nonprofits already have the necessary infrastructure and trained staff to add investigative reporting to their missions. Of course, there are some organizations in which investigative journalism is not feasible or beyond their mission. Nevertheless, many conservative nonprofits are well-positioned to add investigative journalism to their portfolios.
A critical reason for the success of the conservative movement is its ability to counter the biases of the media establishment through talk radio and the Internet. Conservatives can similarly revolutionize the media by filling the void in investigative reporting caused by the decline in newspaper circulation.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online