WS>>Bill Moyers: Fat Cat for the Fifth Column
carl william spitzer iv
cwsiv_2nd at JUNO.COM
Thu May 1 17:04:28 MDT 2003
By Jean Pearce
March 6, 2003
To most observers, Sean Penn's fact-finding mission to
Baghdad two months ago probably seemed more like a bizarre
public relations flop than a cleverly executed political
strategy. But then, most observers weren't its i ntended
audience. Nor were the reporters who covered it, or the
pundits who ridiculed it. Without realizing it, these people
contributed to the success of Penn's true mission. While
Penn traipsed around Iraq, leftist grassroots organizer s
across the U.S. were scrambling. In less than two months,
they planned to fill the nation's streets with thousands of
war protesters. To create the illusion of a national ground-
swell against the war on Iraq, they'd have to quickly ener-
gize their troops.
Institute for Public Accuracy Executive Director Norman
Solomon, the force behind Penn's trip, had proven to be an
expert at mobilizing those who share his Marxist views long
before he founded IPA and opened its Washington press office
with a grant from the non-profit Florence and John Schumann
Foundation. That foundation is headed by none other than PBS
correspondent Bill Moyers. Since then, grants from the Open
Society and Solidago foundations, headed by radical leftist
billionaire George Soros, have helped to keep its doors
Like those who fund IPA, Solomon keenly understands the
mentality of the sort of people he energized with Penn's
message, the kind capable of envisioning Saddam Hussein as a
misunderstood peasant assassin driven by poverty and repres-
sion to murder the controlling Iraqi elites who stood in the
way of the socialist (and thus righteous) Baath Party. To
them, Penn's trip was a rallying cry.
But Solomon and IPA have done far more than to merely
motivate their troops. Over the last few months, the IPA's
press office has became the cen tral media clearinghouse for
the peace movement, building credibility for former social-
ist and Communist radical organizers now striving to pass
themselves off as moderate leaders of you guessed it a
national groundswell against the war.
Take grassroots labor activist Nancy Lessin for in-
stance. Most reporters in Boston know her as a coordinator
for the AFL-CIO and a member of the Massachusetts Coalition
for Occupational Safety and Health who has led successful
corporate smear campaigns and legal battles that have re-
sulted in massive fines for area corporations.
With the help of the IPA media machine, Lessin was
recently reborn as head of Military Families Speak Out, a
group of anti-war parent protesters who have (or claim to
have) children in the military. The group, formed late last
fall, had limited success at capturing the attention of the
media until IPA blast-faxed Lessin's name and contact info
into newsrooms across the nation on January 17. Within two
days, a particularly poignant maternal anti-war quote by
Lessin was picked up by national newswires and appeared in
dozens of daily newspapers across the nation. Since then,
Lessin and her group have been regularly quoted in anti-war
coverage in American newspapers and abroad.
Naturally, Lessin's labor credentials were left off the
IPA press release, as was the fact that Military Families
Speak Out is a coalition member of the peace demonstration
organizing umbrella group United for Peace and Justice,
chaired by grassroots organizer Leslie Cagan, who has a long
history of activism with the American Communist Party and
related groups. (IPA has been aggressively pushing Cagan as
a source in its press releases as well.)
Along with Military Families Speak Out, "experts" from
10 other groups that form the backbone of United for Peace
and Justice have been repeatedly listed as sources on any-
thing remotely Iraq-related in press releases sent out by
IPA, which so far has neglected to disclose their intercon-
nected nature. Several of these groups, nearly all of which
are funded by the Open Society / Rockefeller Fund/Joyce
Foundation/Solidago network, are also coalition members of
Act Now To Stop War & End Racism (ANSWER), a known front
group for the International Action Center, which is a known
front group for the Stalinist Workers World Party. Both
ANSWER and the International Action Center which is also a
member of the United for Peace and Justice coalition have
been the chief organizers of the war protests around the
IPA's leading role in the peace movement is just one of
many it has played during its five-year career at the
center of whatever issue the far left and Moyers & friends
happen pushing at the time.
Take campaign finance reform for instance. Judging from
IPA's archives, one of the first things Solomon did after
opening the doors of IPA's press office in 1998 was to pump
air into Public Campaign, a Schumann grantee headed by
Moyers' son that was created to lead Bill Moyers' personal
crusade for so-called campaign finance reform. It worked.
Within a year, Public Campaign came to be considered the
leading authority on campaign finance reform by the media.
One can still predict with frightening accuracy the
topics Solomon's press releases will hammer on during any
given period by clicking on Moyers' NOW website and closely
following whatever agenda Moyers is subtly pushing in his
television interviews and journalistic investigations. One
can also check o ut the Schumann-sponsored American Pros-
pect, whose masthead includes Democrati c Socialist Harold
Meyerson, or click on TomPaine.com, a Schumann grantee
through the Florence Foundation, a nonprofit led by Moyers'
son. It doesn't matter which one you choose; they all sing
The same veiled theme that runs through much of what
Moyers has to say about America is also eerily present in
the messages of IPA and rest of the interconnected leftist
machine seeking to shape American public opinion. Moyers
described it most succinctly in a speech to the left-wing
Environmental Grantmakers Association, a radical anti-corpo-
rate environmental networking organization that operates
from the office of the Rockefeller Family Fund.
"The soul of democracy has been dying," he said,
"drowning in a rising tide of big money contributed by a
narrow, unrepresentative elite that has betrayed the faith
of citizens in self-government."
Moyers is right. As a member of the narrow, unrepresen-
tative elite group that has spent hundreds of millions of
dollars over the last decade trying to ram leftist propagan-
da down the throats of unsuspecting millions, Moyers and his
friends have betrayed the citizens of this country in their
battle to advance an anti-capitalist, anti-American agenda
so wicked that the "citizens" Moye rs refers to would surely
reject it outright if they knew the truth.
In a speech a year ago, Moyers bashed the Heritage
Foundation for pressuring the Bush administration, on behalf
of wealthy bankers, to halt the global campaign to freeze
terrorists' financial assets, a charge later proven to be
little more than a figment of Moyers' imagination.
"How about that for patriotism?" Moyers sneered.
"Better terrorists get their dirty money than tax cheaters
be prevented from evading national law."
An interesting sentiment, given that several of Schu-
mann's past and present grantees, including IPA, appear to
be flouting tax laws.
In their zeal to manipulate the public, Moyers & Compa-
ny have gotten sloppy over the past five years. Sure,
they've built a highly mobile left-wing guerilla army that
can be on the ground in any state in the Union in weeks and
at the forefront of the national debate on any issue they
choose, or create, within months. But in spinning off dozens
of new issue-oriented non-profit charities for their minions
to run each time they want to make a point, these organiza-
tions have skipped a very important step the one where those
charities raise at least a third of their money from indi-
viduals in the general public, which is key to keeping their
Claiming financial support from individual donors
allows organizations like the IPA to operate as public
charities, which affords them greater lobbying ability and
more tax exemptions. Like the IPA, all of the Schumann
grantees we analyzed check box 11a on their 990 tax forms,
indicating that they qualify for non-private foundation
status because their organization "normally receives a
substantial part of its support from a governmental un it or
the general public."
In reality, the majority of their funding appears to
come from a handful of ultra-liberal foundations, a fact
that's relatively easy to hide since tax law only requires
them to disclose what they did with their money, not where
they got it from. Without subpoena power, tracking that
information down means thumbing through hundreds of pages of
tax forms from other like-minded liberal foundations to see
who donated it.
In a 1999 article in the Third World Traveler, Solomon
wrote that "it's only because of a few funders that IPA has
been able to function with appreciable resources." He goes
on to explain that grants from the Stern Family Fund an d
the Schumann Foundation gave IPA its start. Since then,
grants from at least eight foundations including Solidago
and the liberal Arca, Threshold and New World foundations
have kept its doors open.
As the Washington Times recently pointed out, another
Schumann grantee, the Florence Foundation, the funder of the
liberal TomPaine.com, faces a similar tax law conundrum.
The charade has gone on long enough. Given the growing
body of public knowledge about these potential tax law
violations, one has to wonder how long it will take the IRS
Because there is typically a lag of at least a year
between when grants are doled out by these foundations and
when the tax records of non-profit institutions who receive
the money become public, by the time the whole truth comes
out about who is funding the peace marches, it will be too
late. Congress could solve this problem by mandating that
these organizations disclose where their money is coming
from on a quarterly basis.
If the American people really want what the Schumann
Foundation and others like it have to offer, they'll support
the ideas of its grantees with their wallets. For too long,
the conservative response to the ideological crusades funded
and coordinated by Moyers and his ilk has been to debate
these people on the issues. Its time we began publicly
questioning where the money behin d these campaigns came
from and whether it was legally spent. The public and the
media deserve to know who's behind the garbage they're being
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