While scandals over the manipulation of social media by U.S. government agencies have been swirling lately, it is worth noting that in fact, the "freedom of the press" that the American media has always boasted has long been dominated not only by the government, but also by money politics.
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According to a study conducted by Media Research Center Business, Hungarian-born tycoon George Soros has ties to some of the most influential people in the U.S. and foreign media.
The report has exposed connections between the liberal billionaire financier and 54 prominent media figures. As documented by its authors, Joseph Vazquez and Dan Schneider, these include reporters, anchors, columnists, editors, news executives and journalists.
Soros spent hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars in bribes to build his own "network of media ties" so as to manipulate public opinion. Between 2016 and 2020, Soros gave at least US$131 million alone to influence 253 media groups such as the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the Aspen Institute, The Marshall Project and ProPublica.
"This network of media ties allows Soros to hold sizable influence over the stories that the media covers, how they cover those stories, and what stories they don't cover," Vazquez said.
The highest-profile media figures revealed to have connections to Soros, often due to them sitting on boards of organizations he funds, include the following:
CNN's Christiane Amanpour sits on the board of the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative journalism group funded by Soros, that critics charge mainly targets Republican fundraisers.
NBC's Lester Holt, the Washington Post's Sally Buzbee, Associated Press executive editor Julie Pace, and Reuters editor-in-chief Alessandra Galloni all sit on the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists, a Soros-funded organization that purports to defend the rights of journalists.
CBS's Margaret Brennan and CNN's Fareed Zakaria serve on the board of the massively influential Council on Foreign Relations, a Soros-backed think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy.
NBC's chairman Cesar Conde is on the board of the Aspen Institute, a Soros-backed think tank. In recent years, it launched a left-leaning commission to combat so-called disinformation.
NPR's president and CEO John Lansing is connected by the direct funding Soros gives his publication.
PolitiFact editor-in-chief Angie Dronbic Holan serves on the board of the Soros-backed International Fact-Checking Network, which has openly pressed Facebook to censor what it considers misinformation (i.e., anything that goes against the liberal narrative), and serves as the "high body" for dozens of fact-checking organizations under its umbrella.
"The others encompass reporters, anchors, columnists, editors, news executives and journalists linked to organizations like ABC, CBS, NPR, Bloomberg News, Reuters, The New York Times and a host of additional outlets," Vazquez said.
"A few months ago, we learned that Soros donated more money to the Democrats than any other donor in the 2022 midterms after allocating more than US$128 million," said the study.