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Sunday, April 5, 2015
WND Publishes Matthew Vadum's Shoddily Written Attack On Federal Grants
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Matthew Vadum has always been a terrible researcher who can't get his facts right (and thinks we're inciting civil unrest by pointing out his sloppy work). No wonder WorldNetDaily is so eager to publish his work.

Vadum's March 29 WND article is a masterpiece of sloppy reporting, starting with this ominous opening:

The Obama administration is using your tax dollars to back a super-wealthy, left-wing charity that cuts checks to a myriad of avowedly "progressive" causes, including the notorious Media Matters for America, founded by Hillary Clinton ally and Fox News nemesis David Brock.

It's just one of many examples of how in the Obama era, government is handing out money to nonprofits that share the ideology and political inclinations of a president who looks back warmly on his time as a community organizer in Chicago.

It takes numerous paragraphs and even more numerous extraneous partisan attacks to lay it out, but the gist of Vadum's article is this: The Social Innovation Fund, which is administered by the taxpayer-supported Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), gave a $7.5 million grant to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation for a certain educational program that is "designed to increase the number of third graders who read proficiently in 11 high need school districts in San Mateo County, California."

Had Vadum stopped there, he would have been on safe ground. Instead he goes conspiratorial, accusing the Silicon Valley Community Foundation of being a "left-wing" nonprofit that is "already awash in private funds" due to its links with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Vadum claims the foundation "doesn’t represent the political proclivities of most Americans" because it has given some money to "left-wing" groups like the Center for Responsible Lending (a nonpartisan group that educates Americans about predatory lending practices) and the National Immigration Forum (which apparently violates Vadum's right-wing sensibilities by not hating immigrants).

Vadum suggests that the federal grant money is going to these purportedly "left-wing" causes:

So how did the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which doesn’t represent the political proclivities of most Americans, get its hands on federal money?

Federal bureaucrats get to decide which groups and proposals are funded by the Social Innovation Fund. SIF creates a kind of artificial civil society, one designed from above by elites. It focuses on three areas that are hard to define with precision: “economic opportunity, youth development, and healthy futures.”

In practice, it means that bureaucrats and grant recipients propose more government spending and bigger government as solutions to more or less all problems.

It also means SIF uses taxpayer money to help groups hostile to the interests of taxpayers. Even worse, many of these groups want to remake society along radical left-wing lines.

In fact, such federal grants are typically watched closely to make sure the money is spent on the program it is intended, and the foundation must also verify that.

If Vadum's smear tactic sounds familiar, it is. Back in 2004, WND did the same thing to Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of then-Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, by claiming that her donations to the Tides Foundation (which Vadum also accuses the Silicon Valley Community Foundation of funding) went to various and sundry radical causes, even though her donations were specifically earmarked for specific, non-radical purposes. When WND was finally forced to report the truth about Heinz Kerry and Tides, it then declared the truth was irrelevant to its anti-Kerry political crusade.

Vadum is doing the same thing here -- claiming that Obama is personally sending federal money to fund various "left-wing" groups while ignoring the specific programs for which that money is used. Vadum's entire WND series does this.

In a follow-up article, Vadum suggests that AARP received a CNCS grant because it was "one of Obamacare's chief cheerleaders" and "has an unabashedly left-wing political agenda" -- largely overlooking the fact that the grant given to AARP was for increasing financial stability in older women, which has nothing to do with Obamacare.

Another Vadum article attacks another CNCS funding recipient, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. Because Vadum is such a bad writer, it's suggested early on that the Clark Foundation is "named for President Obama's Marxist law-school mentor, known for his promotion of the radical 'critical race theory.'" But as Vadum later writes, the foundation is named after the "daughter of 19th century perfumer David Hall McConnell, founder of cosmetic giant Avon," and that his real issue is that "Clark Foundation has given grants to the Dorchester, Massachusetts-based organization BELL," named in honor of Derrick A. Bell Jr., Harvard Law’s first black tenured professor. Vadum notes that the CNCS money he's attacking goes toward "improving the educational skills and workforce readiness of economically disadvantaged young people as well as helping them to avoid high-risk behavior," but he doesn't explain why he apparently thinks that's an unworthy cause -- or bother to prove that any of it ever went to BELL.

Finally, Vadum complains that "The Obama administration has given $16.8 million since 2010 to its allies at a left-wing nonprofit known as the Local Initiatives Support Corp. LISC, in turn, has provided grants to many radical groups, including a Chicago-based nonprofit founded by the late Marxist activist Saul Alinsky." Needless to say, at no point does Vadum prove that any federal money went to that Alinsky-founded group (nor did he mention that Alinsky died more than 40 years ago). 

In short, Vadum is doing what he always does -- cranking out factually deficient, innuendo-laced right-wing screeds that are designed to keep up the hate factor on the right.

Strangely, such shoddy work has kept him employed as the "senior editor" at the Capital Research Center -- and, not so strangely, a byline at WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:39 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, April 5, 2015 9:02 PM EDT

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