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Friday, May 20, 2011
Gainor's Attacks On Soros Fall Flat
Topic: Media Research Center

As an apparent part of the Media Research Center's anti-George Soros fundraising campaign (which takes Soros out of context), MRC official Dan Gainor is penning a multi-part series on Soros' alleged links to various media figures and organizations. But Gainor's attacks miss the mark due to his selective reading of the facts.

In his first installment, Gainor bashed ProPublica for taking money from Soros' Open Society Foundations, but he undermines his own attack by conceding that "ProPublica stories are thoroughly researched by top-notch staffers who used to work at some of the biggest news outlets in the nation." If the stories are well-researched (so much so that they win Pulitzers), what's the beef? Complaining that "the topics are almost laughably left-wing" doesn't exactly cut it.

Plus, as Media Matters points out, the same six-degrees-of-separation logic Gainor uses to attack supposedly liberal journalists and organizations can also be used to tie Soros to Fox News. Gainor probably doesn't want to do that.

Gainor gave it another shot in a May 18 column, grumbling that "Since 2003, Soros has spent more than $48 million funding media properties, including the infrastructure of news -- journalism schools, investigative journalism and even industry organizations." Unmentioned by Gainor: That figure is dwarfed by what conservative moneybags spend to prop up their media properties.

For instance, the New York Post is a perennial money-loser, having lost $70 million in 2009 alone. Yet it remains in business because its losses are absorbed by its owner, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. The Washington Times has never made money, and Sun Myung Moon has spent at least $1.7 billion to prop it up over its nearly 30 years of existence. And the Washington Examiner, owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz, is a presumed money pit as well, given the unhealthy market for newspapers, its mostly-free distribution model, and the big bucks it is presumably paying the big-name conservative it lured to write for it.

Soros' $48 million over eight years to multiple organizations is handily beaten by what one right-wing billionaire spends to keep one conservative newspaper in business for one year. That pretty much demolishes Gainor's point.

Still, this is a rant, not real research (just like the rest of the MRC), so Gainor feels compelled to say things like this:

Imagine if conservative media punching bags David and Charles Koch had this many connections to journalists. Even if the Kochs could find journalists willing to support conservative media (doubtful), they would be skewered by the left.

Imagine if Gainor had disclosed that his employer has received funding from Koch-connected foundations.

Gainor also goes on a tear about the Center for Public Integrity, which claims is "possibly even more left-wing" than the Huffington Post. But who has been running CPI the past year and a half? John Solomon, the former editor of, yes, Sun Myung Moon's Washington Times. That's hardly the kind of hire that would be made by an organization that is "possibly even more left-wing" than the Huffington Post.

Gainor clearly wants his Soros-bashing to be taken seriously, but this kind of shoddy reporting pretty much ensures that it won't be outside of the right-wing echo chamber.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EDT

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