Wisconsin's battle over the union label continues to resonate nationwide. Lefties complain about conservative funders David and Charles Koch in often obscene fashion, making juvenile plays on their last name and prank calls like troublesome children. The so-called mainstream media are heavily invested in that strategy, calling the Koch brothers some of the 'biggest bankrollers' for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
It's a theme that almost defies reason. The Kochs openly support things they believe in - especially free markets and limited government. To media types, those beliefs are suspect or even audacious. To the left, they're criminal or anti-American. Both groups claim to question everything.
Everything, that is, except who funds the left. When that gets mentioned, there is either complete silence or cries of conspiracy at the mere mention of the name George Soros. Yet Soros has given billions around the globe for decades to push his own beliefs. His impact on liberal politics here in the U.S. is unparalleled. Wherever left-wing organizations gather, you can find either him or a pile of his cash. His dollars reach from pro-abortion and pro-drug groups to fringe media outlets and Democratic campaigns.
In just one day last week, while traditional media were going after the Kochs, the Soros Empire swept across the land pushing a hard-left agenda.
Three separate story lines from Thursday Feb. 24, 2011, showed Soros in all his glory. In the first, liberal activists pushed for a Supreme Court ethics code. The second talked of 'Tea-Party-like revolts' against spending cuts. The last involved the nationwide union protest in support of the Wisconsin strikers.
Every one of those stories was pushed, influenced and organized by Soros-funded groups. He might have never even lifted a finger. He didn't have to. He's No. 35 on Forbes' list of global billionaires with $14 billion, so he just opened his wallet.
The Supreme Court story seemed benign. Who could oppose an ethics code? Only, The Washington Post story wasn't about ethics, it was about politics. Two separate Soros groups - Common Cause and the Alliance for Justice - organized to attack Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas for their connection to, you guessed it, the Kochs.
According to grant data provided by Capital Research Center, Common Cause has netted at least $2 million from the Open Society Institute (OSI), the primary Soros charity. Alliance for Justice, a coalition of more than 100 lefty organizations, received at least $325,000 from Soros from 2004-05.
According to the Post, 'a group of more than a hundred law professors from across the country' was also involved. Sure, there were more than 100, connected to different law schools, but they have the Soros Stamp of Approval. On the letter they sent to Congress, many names are easily linked to King George - a member of the OSI board in Baltimore, OSI advisers, those from groups also funded by OSI, even a former Democrat candidate personally funded by Soros herself.
The article went on to quote Ellen Yaroshefsky, director of the Jacob Burns Ethics Center at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, to say how awful the Supreme lack of ethics is. She is also 'cochair of the Ethics, Gideon and Professionalism Committee of the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section.' Naturally, the bar association is funded by OSI - both directly and indirectly - for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Of course, the Post's R. Jeffrey Smith mentioned none of this. Instead, his piece was an attack on the Kochs, naming them 10 times in the story. When the Federalist Society was named, he pointed out how the Kochs fund them. There was zero mention of Soros.
That same day, The Hill wrote about the Democratic 'Tea Party movement.' The article cited how 'a large coalition of progressive groups announced an 'emergency call to action.'' That group included MoveOn.org, Democracy for America, USAction, the Service Employees International Union and People for the American Way. In some way or another, every one of those organizations or their foundations gets money from Soros.
Every single one.
Soros may not have phoned them all, or sent them e-mails from his palatial estates. Nonetheless, they did his bidding.
Then we come to the nationwide 'union' protest - the so-called 'rally to save the American Dream' that got widespread coverage. Around America, pro-union groups rallied to 'stand in solidarity with the people of Wisconsin.' More than half that list of at 43 organizations involved as of Thursday gets money either directly or indirectly from King George. They might all get money from him. No reporter bothered to ask.
There were the eco groups like Green for All (Soros invests heavily in going green); the gay groups like the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force or the typical shock troops of the left like MoveOn.org. Again, most are paid for either directly by Open Society or indirectly through another of his many operations.
And again, the Soros connection went unreported. The Post called it a mix of 'labor, environmentalist, anti-war and other allied organizations,' with the obligatory Van Jones quote saying 'the American dream is under fire.' Jones, the former White House green jobs czar and 9/11 truther, is now a senior fellow at the Soros-funded Center for American Progress.
A good journalist might question those connections. But there are too few good journalists and too many questions.
Dan Gainor has seen his shadow and is hunkering down to shiver and watch six more weeks of media about global warming. Gainor is the Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center's Vice President for Business and Culture. His column appears each week on The Fox Forum. He can also be contacted on FaceBook and Twitter as dangainor.