National Public Radio's continued efforts to present itself as a politically-neutral news operation may suffer a bit from one of the organization's endorsements: that of the far-left activist group MoveOn.org.
MoveOn, which has received significant funding from liberal billionaire George Soros, started a petition recently to push Congress to "protect NPR and PBS and guarantee them permanent funding, free from political meddling." The endorsement is telling, given MoveOn's hard-left ideology. Would it really be pushing for continued federal funding for NPR if it didn't think the organization was serving its agenda somehow?
NPR itself has received $1.8 million in financial support from Soros, so this is not the first sign (beyond its actual news content, of course) that NPR advances - in one way or another, and whether it intends to or not - a leftist agenda. The ideological synergy is evident just in the groups offering NPR their support, MoveOn being the latest.
At the top of Saturday's CBS Early Show, co-host Russ Mitchell cheered unions protests across the country: "Workers uniting. 50 rallies are planned in 50 states today, as organizers show solidarity with Wisconsin state workers, fighting to preserve their right to collectively bargain for benefits and work conditions."
Introducing the segment later, fellow co-host Rebecca Jarvis noted how the protests were organized by MoveOn.org. Rather than accurately label the organization as left-wing, she simply referred to it as "an advocacy group." In the report that followed, correspondent Cynthia Bowers announced that "workers who are coming to these rallies around the country to support Wisconsin workers are being told to wear those red t-shirts we've become so familiar with." The headline on screen throughout the segment referenced Karl Marx: "Workers of the Nation Unite; 50 State Rallies to Support Union Rights."
George Soros on Sunday likened Fox News and Rupert Murdoch to Nazis while claiming that Tea Partiers are being deceived and misled by a force they can't understand.
Appearing on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS," the financier of far-left propaganda outlets such as the Center for American Progress, Media Matters for America, and MoveOn.org was not shy about his distaste for conservatives (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Charles Krauthammer on Monday said that when Barack Obama spoke to the nation hours ago to announce a tax extension compromise just reached with Republicans, "It was actually a speech addressed at Daily Kos, the New York Times, and MoveOn."
In Krauthammer's view expressed on Fox's "Special Report," "This was a speech aimed at appeasing the Left which is extremely angry over this" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
While slamming Rand Paul supporters who assaulted a MoveOn.org worker in Kentucky, Ed Schultz claimed Wednesday there was simply no other side to the story – that he had not seen "any violence, anywhere, from anybody on the Left." Furthermore, Schultz blamed GOP Senate candidate Rand Paul for inciting the violence.
While all three broadcast networks, ABC, NBC, and CBS, highlighted MoveOn.org protestor Lauren Valle being stepped on outside Monday's Kentucky senate debate, only CBS reported new video showing Valle running up to Rand Paul's car and trying to shove a sign into the Republican candidate's face.
The morning and evening newscasts on Tuesday all pointed to the scuffle as evidence of the 2010 campaign getting "ugly." On ABC's Good Morning America, correspondent Jake Tapper declared: "In the Kentucky senate race, the bitter and heated contest between Democrat Jack Conway and Republican Rand Paul, continued in a debate...The tensions spilled into the crowd, when Rand Paul supporters attacked a Jack Conway supporter wearing a Rand Paul wig." On CBS's Early Show, correspondent Nancy Cordes remarked: "...there was an ugly scene outside the debate, when what appeared to be Rand Paul supporters grabbed a protester from the liberal organization MoveOn.org. After wrestling her to the ground, one of them stepped on her head."
[Update: New video Shows Lauren Valle shoving sign into Rand Paul's face.]
On Wednesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith interviewed MoveOn.org protestor Lauran Valle, who was stepped on during a protest outside of the Kentucky senate debate on Monday: "Less than a week before election day, the races are heating up, some even turn ugly. We'll speak exclusively with a woman who was stomped on the head during a campaign melee."
While CBS was eager to talk to Ms. Valle, in September 2009 the network failed to give any coverage to a man having his finger bitten off by a MoveOn.org supporter at a California ObamaCare rally. At the September 2 event, 65-year-old William Rice, an ObamaCare opponent, got into an altercation with an unidentified MoveOn protestor, who proceeded to bite off the tip of Rice's left pinky finger. Not only did CBS not interview Rice about the violent attack, but it offered no mention of the incident at all.
Just days after MSNBC President Phil Griffin claimed his cable network does not use air-time to support Democratic candidates and liberal causes, evening host Lawrence O'Donnell yielded over two minutes of his eponymous program to feature MoveOn.org's latest anti-Republican advertisement in its entirety.
O'Donnell introduced the partisan attack ad as a get-out-the-vote push: "Sometimes you have to take unusual steps to get out the vote. MoveOn.org, with the help of actors Olivia Wilde from 'House' and Romany Malco from 'Weeds,' has produced a warning from the future to show you what could happen if Republicans win this election because you didn't vote."
After playing the entire ad uninterrupted, which urged voters to "STOP THE REPUBLICAN TAKEOVER!!" and predicted that if the GOP takes back control of Congress in November because liberals don't go to the polls, Republicans will merge with "the big corporations that fund them to create RepubliCorp," the MSNBC host immediately cut to a commercial break.
Instead of analyzing the attack ad on its merits, O'Donnell gave MoveOn.org free ad time.
When Bob Schieffer invited Liz Cheney and Howard Dean on "Face the Nation" to discuss a number of issues related to the upcoming midterm elections, he must have had a feeling sparks were going to fly.
But he certainly couldn't have known bringing up the Administration's claim the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is funneling foreign money into Republican campaigns would lead to Cheney exposing the former Vermont governor in a lie about who helped bankroll his 2004 run for the White House (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The White House attack on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce isn't about "disclosure." It's about disarmament. While posing as campaign finance champions, the ultimate goal of the Democratic offensive is to intimidate conservative donors, chill political free speech and drain Republican coffers.
Chamber of Commerce official Bruce Josten tried to educate the public. "(W)e know what the purpose here is," he told ABC News. "It's to harass and intimidate." Josten cited protests and threats against chamber members as retribution for ads the organization ran opposing the federal health care takeover.
But this isn't the first time liberal bullyboys have targeted right-leaning contributors. Far from it.
In August 2008, a former Washington director of MoveOn.org — the smear merchant group that branded Gen. David Petraeus a traitor for overseeing the successful troop surge in Iraq — announced a brazen witch hunt against Republican donors. Left-wing political operative Tom Matzzie told The New York Times he would send "warning" letters to 10,000 top GOP givers "hoping to create a chilling effect that will dry up contributions." Matzzie bragged of "going for the jugular" and said the warning letter would be just the first step, "alerting donors who might be considering giving to right-wing groups to a variety of potential dangers, including legal trouble, public exposure and watchdog groups digging through their lives."
The Daily Caller reported Wednesday on a pro-neutrality letter circulated around Capitol Hill by Free Press which was a product of the same astroturfing tactics Free Press has decried.
The "signatories" of the letter had no recollection of the letter and had no idea they had signed it. One of the signatories, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation wrote to the Federal Communications Comission, The Hill reported, asking to be removed from the list of signatories. Tellingly, a Free Press spokeswoman suggested that they were pressured to do so. Presumably by the Satan-worshipping board of directors of some telecommunications company.
In a classic example of liberal hypocrisy, the far-left leaning, George Soros-funded group MoveOn.org has removed its controversial "General Betray Us" ad from its website.
For those that have forgotten, shortly after General David Petraeus issued his report to Congress in September 2007 concerning the condition of the war in Iraq and the success of that March's troop surge, MoveOn placed a full-page ad in the New York Times with the headline, "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?"
This created quite a firestorm with media outlets on both sides of the aisle circling the wagons to either defend or berate both the Times and MoveOn.
Now that President Obama has appointed Petraeus to replace the outgoing Gen. Stanley McChrystal to lead the war effort in Afghanistan, the folks on the far-left that castigated Petraeus when he worked for George W. Bush have to sing a different tune.