Apparently, megalomaniacs need schedulers.
Just ask George Soros. The left-wing billionaire is helping fund two major conferences that start on the same day just three hours apart by car. Two liberal events packed into one long weekend. God created the world in six days. Soros, who sees himself as "some kind of god," needs just a long weekend to start remaking it in his image.
The emphasis of both conferences is a familiar one to American voters - change. Soros wants to begin changing the global economy in one event. In the other, his flunkies want to "Change the world. Change the media."
Now that is change you can believe in. Sadly, those who actually report the news must believe in it because they sure as heck aren't reporting on Soros or either event. And that's even though staffers or even executives from Reuters, the Financial Times, NPR, PBS, The Washington Post and other major media outlets are speaking at one event or the other.
The first gathering in Bretton Woods, N.H., is an economic conference Soros once described as "a grand bargain that rearranges the entire financial order." In October 2009, Soros committed $50 million to the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET). A week later, the glib lefty investor wrote a column calling for a new Bretton Woods event, to recreate the one that helped design the post-WWII economy. Only he wants this one to knock America down a peg or three.
A little over a year later and the group he funded is making King George's wish come true - bringing together a whole slew of important people to discuss how to change the global economy. In Soros speak, that means "establish new international rules" and "reform the currency system."
The announced speakers include a lot of prominent lefties, globalists and economists on the board of the organization he has throwing the event - more than two-thirds of the overall total have ties to Soros. To underscore their connection to history, INET is hosting the conference at the Mount Washington Resort, the very same hotel that held the first gathering.
INET Executive Robert Johnson defended his event in a March 31 interview with Lou Dobbs. Johnson, a former managing director at Soros Fund Management, who is on the Board of Directors for the Soros-funded Economic Policy Institute, avoided saying "Soros" despite Dobbs mentioning Johnson's boss several times. In his last response, he tried to rationalize the Soros connection, by saying "I have a group of funders including George Soros." With $50 million, Soros alone makes a pretty big group. Of course, Soros will also be speaking in Bretton Woods about "The Emerging Economic and Political Order."
Down the road in Boston, a Soros-funded media conference is trying to manipulate that emerging order as well. Close to 350 left-wingers from a variety of organizations are gathering there for the National Conference for Media Reform.
That "change the world" conference includes two commissioners from the FCC, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Bernie Sanders, four Democratic representatives, the head of Columbia University, and assorted left-wing journalist types, from Salon's Glenn Greenwald to disgraced former MSNBC host David Shuster, who now works for a Soros-funded investigative operation.
The rest of the list reads like a Who's Who of left-wing organizations and talking heads, including the president of PBS, a senior vice president with American Public Media, an Al Jazeera English executive, the president of the Newspaper Guild - CWA and Washington Post columnist Rob Pegoraro. Many others have Soros connections, such as:
- Common Cause, which has been going after conservative Supreme Court justices who have some connection to the Koch brothers. Common Cause seems immune to similar investigations of their own gravy train.
- Columbia Journalism Review's Dean Starkman. He is chief of the review's "The Audit" section and a 2006 Katrina Media Fellow with the Open Society Institute, the primary Soros charitable foundation.
- Free Press, which is holding the conference. Free Press has received more than $1 million from Soros since 2003 and has 18 presenters pushing for things like 'strong public media' or an extremely expensive national broadband plan they quaintly describe as "universal access to communications."
- Think Progress's Koch-hating Lee Fang. Think Progress is a project of Democrat John Podesta's Center for American Progress, which was founded with Soros money. Fang is on the panel for: "Real Issues vs. Astroturf: Confronting the Koch Brothers," and makes the laughable claim 'this is not about liberals versus conservatives' when the entire goal of the left is to shut down the Kochs to defund the right.
Everywhere you they go in Boston, they'll be making more left turns than NASCAR. It's an event filled with lefties dissatisfied that the news media aren't even more liberal, and their goal will be to make that happen. Whether it's "Beyond Pronouns: Creating Real Stories About Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People" or pushing for illegal immigrant rights, the conference is a predictable liberal take on pretty much everything.
But the over-arching theme is getting government to fix the media. Columbia University President Bollinger, whose school also includes the well-known and Soros-funded Columbia School of Journalism, is one of several speakers advocating for increased government funding for media. He called for federal funding of the media in a 2010 Wall Street Journal piece with the terrifying headline: "Journalism Needs Government Help." Bollinger pushed for the creation of a public media that combines NPR, PBS and Voice of America. He also wants to 'end to the regulation of "indecent" language and images in broadcast programming' and return to the Fairness Doctrine.
Two other speakers, Free Press founder Robert McChesney and co-author John Nichols, have been pushing for $35 billion a year to fund media. Though their solution has gone from $20 billion a year for three years to $35 billion indefinitely, they are consistent in wanting U.S. media more like it is in Europe and oppose the "fantasy of a free-market solution."
That's not surprising. Nobel-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who is speaking at both conferences, is wildly critical of people who support free markets, or what he calls "free market fundamentalists." Free markets are directly in opposition with the Soros-funded group think that sees Big Government as merely a starting point for Ever Bigger Government.
This weekend, we get two visions of taxpayer-funded solution, only most in the news media are too short-sighted to see them.
Dan 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.