By Felix Livshitz
A new report from the US-based Newsbusters has exposed a vast web of media and activist organizations, funded with millions of dollars, annually, by the billionaire George Soros. The outlet bills itself as “an online rapid-response vehicle for documenting, exposing, and neutralizing liberal bias in the media.”
The extensive global influence of the Hungarian tycoon is well-known, and Soros himself has admitted it on countless occasions – including boasts about his efforts in Ukraine. Soros openly declared his role in promoting the 2014 US-orchestrated Maidan coup in Kiev, stating at the time: “I set up a foundation in Ukraine before Ukraine became independent of Russia [sic]. The foundation has been functioning ever since. And it played an important part in events now.”
In a lengthy interview with the New York Times in October of 2019, Soros explained: “The arc of history doesn’t follow its own course [and] needs to be bent,” and he was “engaged in trying to bend it in the right direction.”
The Newsbuster report identifies the hundreds of media, humanitarian, and social justice organizations that Soros funds annually and asserts that his donations allow him to “wield massive power over information in international politics,” and “mold public opinion on practically every continent and in many languages.”
Who gets the money?
Newsbusters lists Project Syndicate as the biggest propaganda platform funded by the Hungarian. It styles itself as “the world’s opinion page” and has a “global audience” that includes “prominent politicians, policymakers, scholars, business leaders, and civic activists from six continents” and “over 140 heads of state.” From 2016 – 2020, he funneled at least $1.5 million to the outlet. It actively promoted abortion, criticism of Israel and pushed for global climate lockdowns during this period.
The Poynter Institute is also at the top of this list, which Newsbusters condemns as “a global Soros-backed Ministry of Truth.” It received $492,000 during the same period. This money was used to finance Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network, which brings together 100 so-called “fact-checkers”. The network includes the controversial PolitiFact, and actively works with major social media platforms to boost their operations, while censoring alternative voices and opinions.
Newsbusters argues that these initiatives in reality serve only to restrict opinions on issues like abortion, transgenderism, and COVID-19. The reports also points out that there is significant academic research to suggest fact-checking does not stop the spread of false information online, raising questions about why so many organizations and wealthy individuals pump huge amounts of money into such entities in the first place.
UK-based openDemocracy also received $1,633,457 from 2016 – 2020. The website attracts over 11 million visits per year, publishes in a variety of languages, and its content is picked up by a variety of newspapers and magazines in many countries.
However, Soros isn’t just funding content creators. His foundation supports a broad range of social justice activists, who often become media and online influencers. For example, in July 2021, he pledged $100 million to advance the cause of radical feminism worldwide over the next five years.
Organizations receiving cash secure major news coverage for events and activities they orchestrate on his dime, and influence public perception along the way. Soros has explicitly stated that his goal is to ensure “more women, transgender, and gender non-conforming people in positions of leadership in politics and governance,” are drawn from these recipients.
The individual donations from the tycoon, his foundations, and network may appear minor based on their size, but the total volume of financial support over the entire network of nearly 300 organizations is highly significant.
How does this propaganda network operate?
The Newsbusters report contains numerous examples of how these allegedly independent information sources not only publish articles reflecting the US government’s line, but also influence policy and statements by White House officials, and often reinforce false information.
In mid-2022, the Biden administration announced that despite two consecutive quarters of negative growth, the technical definition of a recession, the country was not in fact in a recession.
This announcement immediately followed a Project Syndicate column by a Harvard economist Jeffrey Frankel, which argued that even if official estimates pointed to two quarters of negative growth, “it does not necessarily mean that the US has entered a recession.” Then, days after the White House denied the US was in recession, the Soros-connected Politifact published a “fact-check” arguing the Biden administration hadn’t changed the definition of recession.
For its report, Newsbusters consulted Matt Palumbo, author of the 2022 book The Man Behind the Curtain: Inside the Secret Network of George Soros. He stated that “one of the biggest consequences” of Soros funding and effectively controlling major media outlets is “creating a filter on what we can see” in the general public.
It’s not merely individual news outlets, but journalists at highly influential Western publications – including The New York Times, Washington Post, CBS, CNN, and ABC – who are influenced by his money.
Soros assets identified in the Newsbusters report,substantiated by Palumbo, help insulate him from inquiry “as reporters see him as an ally, not a target for investigation.”
That’s going to influence your coverage. Just type in Soros’ name in any of the major liberal publications he’s linked to and see how they cover him,” Palumbo assesses.
He believes this clout means Soros “can create any impression” he wants about any issue – including the false narrative that any criticism of him is anti-Semitic.
“If they’re ever covering him in a negative way, it’s framed as if his critics are the bad guys for noticing.…but because it’s convenient for them on the left, they can do that and the media goes along with it,” Palumbo explained.
Soros’ latest project
In 2020, Project Syndicate published an op-ed from economist Marianna Mazzucato. She argued that if Earth’s population were not prepared to accept a “green economic transformation” truly revolutionary in scope, with huge consequences for human rights and citizens’ daily lives, then the world should trial “climate lockdowns”, a completely new and untested concept in science, to counter global warming. Government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic were said to show they were possible.
“The world is approaching a tipping point on climate change, when protecting the future of civilization will require dramatic interventions. In the near future, the world may need to resort to lockdowns again – this time to tackle a climate emergency,” Mazzucato, whose research was funded by none other than Soros, insisted.
That same year, Soros told Italian newspaper La Repubblica that the COVID-19 pandemic was a “revolutionary moment when the range of possibilities is much greater than in normal times,” and “what is inconceivable in normal times becomes not only possible but actually happens” because “people are disoriented and scared.”
According to Newscasters, it remains unclear which movement Soros will fund next, what catastrophe he will exploit, or create, in order to advance his ideological and financial interests.
Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the book, Kevin MacDonald’s Metaphysical Failure: A Philosophical, Historical, and Moral Critique of Evolutionary Psychology, Sociobiology, and Identity Politics. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.