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Friday, August 24, 2007
Kessler Not Interested In Freedom's Watch Funding
Topic: Newsmax

An Aug. 23 NewsMax article by Ronald Kessler praises the creation of the conservative group Freedom's Watch, which is "running $15 million in TV, radio, and Internet ads aimed at bolstering support in Congress for President Bush’s surge strategy in Iraq." But while Kessler is quick to (erroneously) denounce George Soros for his support of liberal causes, he is strangely incurious about the sources of Freedom's Watch's money.

Kessler states:

Conservatives have long wondered why no one has stepped forward to provide as much funding to push their issues as the left-of-center operations started by George Soros. The new non-profit organization is designed to fill that void: Its funding will exceed that of entities that have been underwritten by Soros.

But Soros didn't start MoveOn; it was founded in 1998 by Joan Blades and Wes Boyd. Soros gave money to the group starting in 2003.

Kessler repeatedly references Soros' funding of liberal causes, but when it comes to the funding behind Freedom's Watch, he has no apparent interest in pressing group president Brad Blakeman -- who he points out is "regularly quoted in NewsMax’s Washington Insider," aka Kessler's column -- about where the group's money comes from. It appears that Kessler is way too close to Blakeman to report on Freedom's Watch objectively.

Kessler states that "the total assets of the organization and the largest sources of funds are not being disclosed," but doesn't explain why. Later, he states that "Blakeman declined to compare the group with Soros’ funding," even though that's what Kessler spends his article doing.

We have two great mysteries here: Where does Freedom's Watch money come from? And why is Kessler so unenthusiastic about finding out?

Posted by Terry K. at 7:08 PM EDT

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