NEW YORK – New evidence has emerged that billionaire activist George Soros has the economic clout to push out conservative media commentators who oppose his leftist agenda.
Among the 2,500 documents hacked from Soros’ Open Society Foundation are documents in which the organization boasts of funding a minority activist campaign against advertisers that succeeded in ousting Lou Dobbs from his hour-long program on CNN, as well as Glenn Beck from Fox News and Pat Buchanan from MSNBC, as WND reported last week.
In an Open Society Foundation summary of U.S. Programs, USP, for the Soros-funded Democracy and Power Fund in 2011-1012, a chart credits Soros’ funding of various Hispanic advocacy groups with CNN’s cancelation of “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”
The chart entry lists the grantees as Citizen Engagement Lab, the parent group for the African-American advocacy group Color of Change and the Hispanic advocacy group Presenté; New Organizing Institute; and Voto Latino.
The chart specifies the goal of the grant was to “support innovative use of arts, culture, and technology.”
A second Open Society Foundation document detailing USP budget forecasts for 2011 repeats the assertion Soros funded the groups responsible for Dobbs demise on CNN.
The second document is even more specific, claiming the Citizen Engagement Lab, via Presenté “played a leading role in efforts to take away Lou Dobbs’ anti-immigration platform on CNN.”
A third Open Society Foundation document, dated March 14, 2011, detailed USP funding of recommended grants for the Soros-funded Democracy and Power Fund. It makes clear Soros had decided to fund the Citizens Engagement Lab based in Oakland, California, to act as a spearhead in a Soros-funded effort to pay African-American and Hispanic activist advocacy groups to influence the national dialogue. The strategy was to position them as “cultural groups” working together to “provide mechanisms to strategically engage media, arts, and culture for social change.”
It’s the type of media manipulation that Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, the former chief of communist Romania’s espionage service, in his WND Books-published 2013 bestseller “Disinformation,” described as a propaganda technique designed “to distort the way millions of people view the United States.”
The ‘Basta Dobbs’ campaign
On Nov. 11, 2009, Fox News reported Dobbs’ “surprise announcement” that he was quitting CNN.
“This will be my last broadcast,” Dobb said, noting CNN had allowed him to be released early from his contract.
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Summarizing Dobbs’ career with CNN, Fox News noted the host underwent a “worldview” shift after 9/11:
Dobbs was a CNN original, signing on when the cable network started in 1980. For much of that time, he hosted a nightly business broadcast that became one of the most influential shows in the corporate world, and CNN’s most profitable show for advertising revenue.
But Dobbs said his worldview changed after the 2001 terrorist attacks and corporate corruption scandals, and he began to more freely express his opinions. He was particularly persistent in bringing the immigration issue to the fore, winning him both higher ratings and enemies. Latino groups had an active petition drive seeking his removal.
The Fox News article quoted Roberto Lovato, co-founder of Presente.org, as saying: “Our contention all along was that Lou Dobbs – who has a long history of spreading lies and conspiracy theories about immigrants and Latinos – does not belong on the most trusted name in news. We are thrilled that Dobbs no longer has the legitimate platform from which to incite fear and hate.”
An article still on the Presente.org website without a date, titled “Basta Dobbs” (translated as “Enough Dobbs”), boasts that Presenté forced CNN to cancel Dobbs by launching a campaign aimed at threatening advertisers with reprisal unless they agreed to stop funding the show.
“CNN calls itself ‘The Most Trusted Name in News,’ but for years they provided a platform for Lou Dobbs to spread dangerous myths about immigrants and use dehumanizing and disrespectful language toward the Latino community,” the article on Presente.org claims.
“In 2009, Presente.org fought back, spearheading a multi-stage, national campaign with dozens of partners demanding that CNN remove Dobbs,” the Presente.org article states. “On November 11, 2009, that campaign achieved its goal when Dobbs abruptly resigned from CNN, marking a major victory for Latinos and our allies.”
The Presente.org article continues:
Dobbs’ departure came after months of negative press and controversy, much of it spurred by the Basta Dobbs campaign. “Basta Dobbs” became a rallying cry for Latinos and our allies concerned about Dobbs’ long history of anti-immigrant and anti-Latino rhetoric. We took advantage of two strategic openings at CNN: the network’s efforts to define itself as a neutral alternative to Fox News and MSNBC, and CNN’s desire to court Latino viewers through a new “Latino in America” series. Our core message was that CNN “can’t have it both ways” – seeking Latinos as viewers while giving Dobbs a platform for his near daily attacks.
- To deploy this message, we partnered with leading Latino organizations and other allies in cities across the country — from Los Angeles to Phoenix to Orlando. We joined together to successfully demand that CNN no longer allow Dobbs to spew hate thinly disguised as “news.” To ensure the message got across, we used a variety of tactics including:
- An online video, produced with award-winning documentarian Arturo Perez, called “CNN: Lou Dobbs or Latinos in America?”
- A text-message short-code publicized via radio and on-the-ground events, which enabled people to join the campaign.
- Significant press, op-ed and PR push – in English and in Spanish – throughout the campaign, including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, El Diario and La Opinion.
- On-the-ground events – coordinated via text-message reminders — in 18 top Latino media markets across the country.
- A digital sit-in on CNN’s Web site, which allowed Presente.org members to deliver their comments and pictures directly to CNN.
The article concludes by claiming the “Basta Dobbs campaign helped demonstrate the enormous potential of uniting online organizing with traditional on-the-ground organizing.”
The article notes that by “recognition of its achievements,” it was named “Campaign of the Year,” by the New Organizing Institute, another Soros-funded organization that the Presente.org article identified as “the leading progressive organization conducting training, research, and evaluation in new organizing strategies.”
Media Matters piles on
On Nov. 12, 2009, the left-wing media watchdog group Media Matters praised the role of Presenté in Dobbs departure from CNN while also taking a bow for “playing a leading role in the Drop Dobbs Coalition (DropDobbs.com) which was launched to call attention to Dobbs’ incendiary hate speech and falsehoods.”
Below is a screen capture from DropDobbs.com in 2009 after Dobbs announced he was leaving CNN.
Media Matters further claimed that through the coalition, “Media Matters worked successfully behind the scene to persuade major corporations to stop advertising on Lou Dobbs Tonight.”
The article listed the following organizations, many of which were Soros-funded at the time: National Council of La Raza, LULAC, National Hispanic Media Coalition, America’s Voice Education Fund, The Hispanic Institute, Southern Poverty Law Center, Netroots Nation, Voto Latino, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, Center for New Community, Reform Immigration for America, Dolores Huerta Foundation, National Puerto Rican Coalition and Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials.
While Media Matters had long insisted the group received no funding from Soros, Politico reported on Oct. 20, 2010, that Soros had decided to fund Media Matters “to hold Fox News accountable for the false and misleading information they so often broadcast.”
On Nov. 10, 2010, Fox Business Network announced the signing of a multi-year contract with Dobbs to develop and host a new daily program that premieres in the first quarter of 2011.