Media Disguise Liberal Billionaire Steyer As ‘Climate Change Crusader’

Liberal billionaire Tom Steyer really hates coal, or so he’s said. He spoke out against it in 2011, warning that such “dirty” fuels were destroying the planet, and that taxing coal plants was worth the potential risk to the economy. He spoke out against “dirty” energy again during his speech at the Democratic National Convention in September, 2012. The New York Times even called him “the most influential environmentalist in American politics,” while The Washington Post classified him as a “climate change radical.”

Meanwhile in Australia, the hedge fund that Steyer started and ran until at least 2013, Farallon Capital Management, was busy finalizing a transaction to create what is on track to become one of Australia’s largest coal mining operations. This deal increased coal production in Australia by a staggering 70 million tons. Farallon’s Australian coal mines were criticized by Greenpeace Australia and outspoken climate change alarmist James Hansen. Yet, Steyer’s political action committee, Nextgen Climate, has cited Hansen at least four times on its website, and praised him as being a “REAL SCIENTIST.” (Capital letters theirs.)

Steyer, the left's "green hero," is a walking contradiction and an opportunist. On the one hand, he regularly campaigned against fossil fuels and spent millions of dollars backing politicians who agree with him. With the other, he stacked up piles of cash he made off those fossil fuels -- sometimes at the same time.

Intent on getting his people elected, Steyer has spent an incredible $74 million on the election just in 2014, more than anyone else. His campaign tactics have ranged from aggressive to obnoxious to simply inaccurate. According to the Oct. 2, 2014, Washington Post, his operation “has paid for 7,050 ads in Senate races in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan and New Hampshire and in the Florida governor’s race.” The newspaper gave one of those ads four out of four “Pinocchios” for being factually inaccurate.

Even his “environmental” campaigning has benefitted his investments in “green” energy. In 2010, he spent $5 million to block California Proposition 23, which would have sought to lower “green” restrictions on businesses until unemployment dropped. In 2012, he backed California Proposition 39, which steered “$500 million toward energy-efficiency projects” in the state. Meanwhile, Steyer has created two renewable energy research programs at Stanford, and founded Advanced Energy Economy, a network of businesses that work together to advance “green” energy policies. Steyer has become a media favorite while he campaigned for legislation that would help him financially. The only thing that seemed certain where Steyer is concerned is that he was just getting started.

The Washington Post, The New York Times and Reuters, have all praised Steyer as a recovering capitalist, who had a “road to Damascus”-like conversion and divested from coal to become an environmental hero. But at least they reported on him. ABC, CBS and NBC didn’t think one of the top liberal political funders was worthy of coverage -- doing just one story on his contributions since September 2011. The print media even suggested him as a possible future candidate for California governor.

Steyer did indeed divest from his hedge fund’s coal, oil and natural gas holdings, but not until after the Australian coal deal went down. Far from being the environmental hero the media paint him as, Steyer is an opportunist. Now he has invested heavily in “green” energy alternatives -- and using his vast resources to try to ban everything else.

It’s unclear how much Steyer made off of his deals. What is clear is that in 2008, he fell off of the Forbes Billionaire’s List. In 2011, he was back on the list with $1.3 billion.

Essentially, Steyer bet on black, and then tried to make it illegal to bet on anything else.

This wasn't the only time that Steyer's actions have posed a glaring contradiction. Back in the early ‘90s, a group of Ivy League students launched a protest against Farallon and Steyer for trying to seize control of an aquifer in Colorado. Groups like the Rainforest Action Network, which would later tout Steyer as a hero, joined the protests, until eventually Steyer and his company backed off.

These protestors also criticized Farallon’s use of the British Virgin Islands, a popular tax haven, as a base for investing some of its money. Consequently, another investment firm Steyer was a partner in, Hellman & Friedman LLC, helped to set up an insurance company on another popular tax haven island, Bermuda. However, the Bermuda tax haven was not brought up in the protests.

Despite being the biggest individual contributor to the 2014 election cycle, Steyer didn't seem to like the idea of being categorized as a liberal mega-donor. Ryan Lizza at the New Yorker recounted how Tom Steyer’s brother Jim had told him that “a friend had asked him if he and Tom were aspiring to be the Koch brothers of the left. ‘Yeah, I like that!’ Jim replied. Tom dismissed the analogy. ‘I completely disagree, because what they’re doing is standing up for ideas that they profit from,’ he said of the Kochs.”

It is true that Steyer didn’t just stand up for ideas that he profited from. He also profited from ideas that he claimed to stand against.

Networks Cover Koch Funding 22 Times More Than Steyer: Print outlets admitted Steyer was a major player in Democratic funding circles and has been since the 2006 election. But that wasn’t enough to earn Steyer network coverage. Meanwhile, Charles and David Koch were demonized by the networks as “elite” billionaires who supported “very, very conservative causes.”

Print Outlets Point Out Steyer Hypocrisy, Democratic Funding: If ABC, CBS and NBC wanted to know what Steyer was doing, they didn’t have to look far. They should have consulted either The New York Times or The Washington Post. Together, the papers mentioned Steyer in 110 stories during the same time period and published more than 100 additional blogs, many discussing Steyer’s political activities.

More than $73.8 million to Political Campaigns Just in 2014 Election Cycle: Steyer was already the most prominent donor to the 2014 election cycle, eclipsing other donors on both sides. Then he dropped another $16 million on the election, bringing his grand total near $74 million. This funding mainly went towards targeting campaigns in the seven key states of Florida, Colorado, Iowa, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Maine and Michigan.

Double Standard On The Environment: Even though Reuters and The Washington Post hyped his climate change “conversion,” Steyer’s switch from fossil fuels to eco-activism was not so cut-and-dried. Steyer is an opportunist, campaigning against coal and natural gas where he chooses, and profiting from coal and natural gas investments elsewhere. While accepting awards for environmentalism in the U.S., Steyer was increasing the coal production of Australia and Indonesia by 70 million tons. He’s also set to profit from the “green” energy policies that he endorsed.

Vague Timeline, Low Media Profile Help Steyer: In 2013, Steyer’s Nextgen Climate PAC promised to spend $100 million on the 2014 election -- half donated by Steyer and half raised from outside sources. But when the PAC only managed to raise about $2 million, Steyer denied that he had ever promised $100 million, claiming "somebody I don't know who has never owned up to it." This type of vagueness and timeline distortion has helped Steyer in the past too. Although he now claims that his environmental conversion happened in the summer of 2012, his Center for the Next Generation launched in 2011 and he was funding and campaigning for ‘green’ legislation in California in 2010. A 2012 ‘conversion’ date, however, would mean that his investments in coal up until 2013 would seem less hypocritical.

Two Timelines of Tom Steyer

Double Standard: Making Tons of Money from Coal While Campaigning Against It

While he campaigned for legislation that would severely limit fossil fuel production in the U.S., Steyer simultaneously worked on negotiating a merger that would form Australia’s largest coal company.

On July 27, 2010, The Sacramento Bee reported on Steyer's campaign to block California's Proposition 23, which would have suspended some of California's environmental restrictions for businesses until state unemployment dropped below 5.5 percent for four consecutive quarters. The measure was meant to aid businesses and workers struggling in the tough economic downturn.

Steyer didn’t care. Instead, he asked California voters a loaded question: "[D]o we want California to continue moving forward as a leader in a clean energy economy, including continuing to create new jobs, new economic development and new investment, or do we want to allow two Texas-based oil companies to take our state backward and see the clean energy jobs, business and investment in our state go offshore to [a] place like China?”

But Steyer had already begun Farallon’s takeover of Australia’s Whitehaven Coal company less than a month before his campaign against Prop 23. This takeover would continue into May, 2013, when Farallon became Whitehaven's largest shareholder.

According to The New York Times on July 4, “coal-mining companies in which Farallon invested or to which it lent money during Mr. Steyer’s stewardship, which coincided with growing demand and prices for coal” have “increased their annual production by about 70 million tons since they received money from the hedge fund.”

In August 2013, while Steyer was still in control of Farallon, Whitehaven Coal spoke out against Steyer’s own brand of activism.

“Green activism by those philosophically opposed to coal mining on climate change grounds continues to escalate, with a stated strategy of delaying coal projects and generating publicity through direct action and use of social media," Whitehaven Coal said in a statement. "Government “green tape” has overtaken “red tape” as evidenced by the Maules Creek project approvals.” Farallon was the largest shareholder in Whitehaven Coal at the time of that statement.

Despite his blatant hypocrisy, on Oct 22, 2013, Steyer received an Environmental Achievement Award from the Environmental Law Institute. That was just four months after Farallon became Whitehaven Coal's largest shareholder. And more than seven months before Steyer had finished divesting from Farallon’s fossil fuel portfolio. The Environmental Law Institute has received $900,000 from another liberal billionaire -- George Soros -- since 2004.

Even when Steyer left the day-to-day operations of Farallon to his business partner, Andrew Spokes, he gave no indication that he wanted the hedge fund to divest itself fully from fossil fuels. According to a Reuters article from May 13, 2014, “Spokes co-led Farallon from 2007 and succeeded Steyer after his departure. In Steyer’s final note to investors in 2012, he said Spokes ‘embodies values in which I believe and which distinguish our firm.’”

Tom Steyer: The Man, The Myth

If there’s one thing that defines Tom Steyer, it’s playing it safe. Steyer has been a man of habit, not a man of risk. Every day, he shows up to work in a red plaid tie with green and navy blue stripes. Even though he made it on Forbes’ billionaires list, he still drove a Honda Hybrid and wore cheap tennis shoes.

That image has been carefully cultivated. If news coverage of him is any indication, sometime around 2004 he even stopped going by Thomas, opting instead for the more casual "Tom." He even finds the time to work on the 1,800 acre cattle ranch he bought in Pescadero, California.

Eager to further his image as an average guy who just happened to be a billionaire, Steyer even went so far as to criticize billionaires who want to earn more money. He didn’t add that he seems to fit into this category himself.

On “Real Time with Bill Maher” on April 25, 2014, Steyer agreed with Maher that there was no reason for billionaires to try to increase their wealth. “I think there’s two things to be said. The first this is, of course it’s insane,” Steyer told Maher, “because how many lunches can you eat? If you get an extra billion dollars, are you going to eat one more lunch, wear one more shirt, do one more thing? No. So it obviously has nothing to do with a controlled view of the world. It has something to do with competition.” According to Forbes, Steyer’s 2014 net worth was $1.62 billion.

Tom Steyer had an upper crust route to wealth. He was born in 1957, and grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He graduated from two coveted Ivy League schools, with a BA in science from Yale, and an MBA from Stanford, where he met his wife, Kat Taylor.

After graduation, he worked at Goldman Sachs, before joining up with investment bankers Warren Hellman and Tully Friedman. Hellman and Friedman supplied the initial capital to get Steyer’s hedge fund, which became Farallon Capital Management, off the ground in 1986. According to Forbes, as of April, Farallon oversees around $19 billion.

Steyer’s brother Jim runs Common Sense Media, an organization that rates children’s entertainment options for parents. The two brothers have often worked together in the past on political issues, earning them the title, “the liberal answer to the Koch brothers.” Together, Steyer and his brother founded The Center for the Next Generation in 2011, a forerunner and partner organization to Steyer’s Nextgen Climate PAC.

Although he has dismissed the idea in the past, Steyer has been suggested as an ideal candidate for office.

According to San Francisco Gate, the hometown newspaper for Steyer’s primary residence, he “was considered a shoo-in for a position in Kerry’s administration.” Not yet a media darling, though, The Washington Post on March 12, 2004 wondered if Steyer would end up being a “Benedict Arnold” for Kerry. The Post was concerned that an investment firm he was a partner in, Hellman & Friedman LLC,  had “helped set up an insurance company in Bermuda, another popular tax haven.”

It was around this time that Steyer became more openly involved in politics. Steyer was also rumored as a possible replacement for Energy Secretary Steven Chu, although he told the San Francisco Business Times that he would be “awfully surprised” if President Obama asked him to take that position.

After running Farallon Capital since its inception, Steyer began divesting from his fossil fuel holdings with the hedge fund in January 2013,  and stepped down from managing the company. This divestment took 18 months, eventually wrapping up on June 30, 2014.  Steyer wrote in a Politico op-ed published on July 14 that he divested from Farallon because “I could not reconcile my personal values with managing a fund that by mandate is invested in all sectors of the global economy, including fossil fuels.”

California’s Green Energy Opportunist

Steyer once claimed “I feel like the guy in the movie who goes into the diner and says, ‘There are zombies in the woods and they’re eating our children,'" according to a Washington Post article from Feb. 17, 2013, entitled “Billionaire has a unique role in official Washington: Climate change radical."

He left off the part where, in his analogy, he’d also be the guy who made a killing off of zombie killing.

That has been Steyer’s MO for years. He has invested heavily in liberal-approved energy sources, including solar and wind. And then did his best to make American sources of fossil fuels substantially more expensive.

At the same time, this ‘climate change crusader’ and his partners were building their fortunes on foreign coal that was being sold to China, which had none of the restrictions he had pushed for in the U.S.

According to The Wall Street Journal, “Steyer says that his investments are now confined to ‘green" enterprises.’ He's also created the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy and the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at his alma mater, Stanford, programs that research developments in the renewable energy field. The results of such research could determine the future of the U.S. energy landscape.

Nextgen Climate: Steyer’s Political Juggernaut

After helping his brother launch a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, The Center for the Next Generation in 2011, Steyer decided to create a new entity that would focus solely on climate change and environmental issues. In 2013, Steyer officially launched his new PAC, Nextgen Climate. Although Nextgen claims its goal is “exposing those who deny reality and cater to special interests,” it serves to advance Steyer’s personal agenda, which in turn benefits his financial interests.

But Reuters referred to Steyer’s climate work as a sort of penance that he was paying for his past fossil fuel investments, and praised him for devoting “time and millions of dollars to philanthropic causes.”

Even some of the experts Nextgen touted on its site had criticized Farallon investments.

James Hansen, whose global warming hysteria is promoted in four different places on the Nextgen Climate site as coming from an “ACTUAL SCIENTIST,” (emphasis theirs) criticized Whitehaven Coal for destroying the environment. According to Greenpeace Australia, Hansen said that 'Kicking Australia's coal habit is the greatest gift Australians could give to everybody's children, future generations and other life on the planet,” in regards to Whitehaven’s extensive Maules Creek coal mining operation.

Despite Nextgen’s ringing endorsement of Hansen, Hansen himself has had a less than stellar track record.  In 1988, Hansen predicted that global temperatures would rise by 0.45 degrees Celsius. This was not the case. However, Hansen began an Aug. 3, 2012, opinion piece by saying that his predictions that year were too optimistic. Despite his own inconsistencies, in a speech before Congress in 2008 Hansen called for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for “high crimes against humanity,” according to the U.K. news outlet the Guardian.

Of course, he didn’t mention trying major investors in these companies.

Another radical environmentalist promoted by Nextgen is Bill McKibben, the founder of the climate change alarmist group 350.org. According to The Washington Post, Steyer has credited McKibben with convincing him in the summer of 2012 to divest from fossil fuels and devote himself to a life of environmental activism. McKibben, taking a page from Ebenezer Scrooge’s handbook, spoke out against Christmas presents in 2007, arguing that society would be better served if people didn’t spend any money on Christmas, and instead gave gifts like “a coupon for a back rub, or a trip to the museum, or a dinner prepared someday in the future.” He added that the “problem with Christmas” was that “no one much likes it anymore.”

In 2009, McKibben called for the U.S. to pay “about a good $10 or $20 billion-with-a-B” each year to combat climate change.

Nextgen has faced criticism, even from the left, for political ads that Politico aptly dubbed “bizarre.” The Washington Post criticized a Nextgen ad targeting the Keystone Pipeline, giving it “four Pinocchios,” the most scathing falsehood rating that the Post can give to something (you can read an explanation of the Pinocchio rating system here). The ad claimed that the Keystone Pipeline, rather than benefiting U.S. and Canadian interests, would primarily benefit China at the expense of the U.S. The hit job even included an out of context quote from Alexander Pourbaix, the Executive Vice-President and President of Development for TransCanada.

According to the Post, that ad in particular “does not even meet the minimal standards for such political attack ads. It relies on speculation, not facts, to make insinuations and assertions not justified by the reality.” The Post, which is neither conservative nor in favor of the pipeline, called the ad “especially disturbing, even by the standards of attack ads.”

Yet, Steyer defended that same ad to the Los Angeles Times on Oct. 12, arguing “"I have not seen anything ... that I did not think was supportable.” (Ellipses theirs).

Steyer’s Political Bankrolling

The New York Times called Steyer “the most influential environmentalist in American politics,” in a July 5, 2014, article. The same article showed just how seriously Steyer takes his political funding. “The goal here is not to win. The goal here is to destroy these people. We want a smashing victory,” Steyer said of candidates he judges to be on the wrong side of the climate change debate.”

The biggest contributor to the 2014 election cycle, Steyer outspent other donors on both sides of the aisle with a grand total of $73.8 million, but he still works hard to put up a facade of being a normal guy.

But even that was less than Steyer had initially planned on spending. Sometime earlier this year, Steyer’s team had promised that Nextgen Climate would raise $100 million in the 2014 election cycle -- half coming from Steyer himself and half coming from outside donors. But when the PAC only managed to raise $2 million, Steyer denied knowing where that number came from, telling the Los Angeles Times on Oct. 12 that he blamed “"somebody I don't know who has never owned up to it." However, the Times noted that “[a]ctually, Steyer's political strategists suggested the sum, both in public and private.” This $100 million number was widely repeated by major news outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times, without any protest from Steyer until it became obvious that the goal wouldn’t be reached by election day.

Steyer’s goal was “to be the man who saved the world,” according to a Men’s Journal article from March 2014. Messianic dreams don’t fit well with an “every-man” image.

Every-man or wannabe deity, he’s just beginning to make himself well known. The San Francisco Gate noted that Steyer’s political involvement “is sure to fuel speculation the former Farallon Capital Management hedge fund manager is laying the groundwork for a political run in California, but he denies such plans. They weren’t the only major news outlet to push that theory.

“‘Actually, that isn’t the way I see it,” Steyer said, “[t]here’s no hidden agenda here.”

His political bankrolling isn’t limited to Nextgen Climate either. Steyer has also given $3.9 million to the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, an investment also popular with with prominent liberal billionaire George Soros, who has given $8,067,186.

Steyer’s support has paid off for him more than once. His friendship with CAP founder and former president John Podesta got him and Soros access to a meeting to advise Podesta on the White House’s environmental policy.

Podesta is currently the counselor to President Obama, and Steyer sits on the board of directors for CAP. Huffington Post called CAP “the mothership” for “Obama’s 2012 Campaign Cavalry,” a moniker which CAP proudly accepted in its annual report.

Steyer and his brother were also frequent guests at the White House. According to White House visitor logs, since 2010 Tom Steyer has visited the White House 13 times, his brother, James has visited at least 10 times.

Steyer’s donations to now-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s campaign ended up paying off when Pelosi spearheaded a $1 billion light rail project in San Francisco which dramatically increased the value of Farallon property in the city. According to The Washington Times, “The city of San Francisco chipped in with taxpayer dollars to fund the redevelopment as part of a “public-private partnership” with the Farallon subsidiaries.”

The New York Times on Oct. 19, 2014, talked with Kat Taylor about those who accused Steyer of being at the center of a network of liberal groups. Even the Times admitted that these accusations were provable.

In the 2014 election cycle alone, Steyer has given $5,500,000 to the Democrat Senate Majority PAC. He was primarily focused on seven hotly contested states. They included:

Florida: $12,000,000

Colorado: $5,947,600

Iowa: $3,516,685

Pennsylvania: $1,425,000

New Hampshire: $3,148,272

Maine: $1,000,000

Michigan: $3,757,393

 

In past election cycles, Steyer gave to dozens of liberal politicians, including:

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.): $2,400

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.): $5,000

Sen. HiIlary Clinton (D-N.Y.)n: $8,800

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.): $4,800

Democratic National Committee: $195,100

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: $191,000

Network Coverage of Steyer is Almost Nonexistent, But Watch Out For Kochs

Steyer has been funding Democratic causes ever since the 2006 election. According to The New York Times in January, 2007, he was one of several “younger executives” from Wall Street “all of whom gave generously during the 2006 election cycle.”

Since then, his support of Democratic politics escalated. On Sept. 16, 2011, he and his brother announced plans for the “Center for the Next Generation, a nonprofit organization that aims to be a loud voice in major public policy debates.”

From that point, he has been covered extensively by the Times and The Washington Post – a total of 110 print mentions for Steyer in that time detailing everything from his speech at the Democratic National Convention to his massive financial support for Democratic politicians.

No one on the broadcast networks was paying any attention. ABC, CBS and NBC have done just one story mentioning Steyer and his funding since that date, and even then it was a mere 34 words in a story about the Koch brothers.

Charles and David Koch got the once-over from all three networks. There were 22 mentions of the Kochs funding conservative groups or politicians in that time. That’s a 22-1 ratio.

Network broadcasts repeatedly treated the Koch brothers as ominous characters. Reporters warned their contributions funded “very, very conservative causes,” that they operated in “secrecy” and were called “elite.”

Professional left-wingers including Stephen Colbert from the “Colbert Report” and Obama-loving Chris Matthews, of MSNBC, were brought in by the networks to complain about the Kochs. One ABC story featured representatives from three Soros-funded organizations to criticize the Kochs. Not one of them was identified as such.

It didn’t stop there. The only other network story mentioning Steyer since his creation of his climate PAC in 2011 was an NBC “Nightly News” piece on the Keystone pipeline. Steyer, who opposes the pipeline was allowed to criticize the project without the network’s Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent/anchor Andrea Mitchell ever bringing up his own coal past.

The New York Times took Steyer to task for his huge investments in Australian and Indonesian coal projects. “As with those in coal mining, Mr. Steyer’s investments in coal-fired power will reverberate far into the future,” the paper wrote, on July 4, 2014.

Yet, that type of coverage never appeared on the network news. Steyer’s commitment to the climate was never challenged and his hypocrisy was never discussed, even though the issue was brought up in print.

The entirety of network coverage mentioning his funding efforts since fall, 2011, was a quote from ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer.” Investigative reporter Brian Ross was doing a report on the Kochs and needed a hint of balance.  “But the Democrats have their own big money figures,” Ross said. “California billionaire and environmental activist Tom Steyer has put out the word he, too, will put up about $100 million for the coming elections cycle.”

Steyer’s funding was never at issue. Largely because network journalists had already passed judgment on it in a very positive way. On Nov. 29, 2010, Christiane Amanpour interviewed Steyer for ABC’s “This Week.” It was more puff piece than journalism.

Amanpour’s interview was about Steyer’s involvement in philanthropy and The Giving Pledge, as “one of the rich you may not recognize.” Of course, the reason for that was the network’s own refusal to report on Steyer.

She lionized the billionaire saying, “Steyer drives a 2005 hybrid Honda and he flies commercial, but this everyman runs a hedge fund that’s worth $20 billion.” He was allowed to talk about “the big new thing I believe is staring us in the face is sustainable energy.” Apparently not staring him in the face enough to set aside his many future coal investments.

Naturally, it was a different story for the Koch brothers. Of the 28 stories involving the Kochs from Sept. 16, 2011 to Oct. 23, 2014, not one of them said anything positive like this. A Nov. 1, 2011, NBC “Nightly News” piece called them “climate deniers.”

None of the stories detailed the Koch brothers non-political charities. According to the Koch Family Foundations, David Koch, “a prostate cancer survivor,” has donated or pledged nearly $350 million to cancer research. That includes $100 million “as prime contributor for the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT.” The American Apparel and Footwear Association named him Humanitarian of the Year in 2011.

David Koch also pledged $35 million pledge to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History to renovate the dinosaur hall, as well as $165 million in other arts grants.

Instead the Kochs were depicted, as ABC showed in one graphic, as “buying influence.” Or as CBS’s “This Morning” host Charlie Rose summed up of the Kochs on May 10, 2013, when they were rumored to be buying the Tribune newspaper chain: “They say it’s their constitutional right to try to influence politics.”

Methodology

For this investigation, the Media Research Center looked at all mentions of Tom Steyer, Thomas Steyer, Farallon, TomKat (the name Steyer uses for many of his foundations and nonprofits) and Nextgen Climate in ABC, NBC and CBS transcripts, dating back as far as Nexis keeps records. We also analyzed newspaper coverage for all major US papers (by circulation), as well as local San Franciscan, Australian and Indonesian media outlets. To supplement this extensive research, we also searched for all internet mentions of Steyer, and any references to him in publicly disclosed 990 tax returns.

Network coverage for the tally of 22-to-1 was of all ABC, CBS, NBC morning and evening news shows from Sept. 16, 2011, to Oct. 24, 2014, mentioning either Tom Steyer or Thomas Steyer or Koch. Sept. 16, 2011 was the date that The New York Times announced the launch of Steyer’s Center for the Next Generation, marking the start of his more visible role in U.S. politics.

Mike Ciandella
Mike Ciandella
Mike Ciandella is a research analyst for the MRC's News Analysis Division