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,  a  Schumann  grantee
     through the Florence Foundation, a nonprofit led by  Moyers'
     son.  It doesn't matter which one you choose; they all  sing
     in concert.

          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
     tax status.

          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, 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
     to act.

          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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