The MRC's Dirty War Against George Soros: 2023 Edition
The Media Research Center spent a lot of time complaining that Soros spends money supporting the causes he likes -- you know, just like every other billionaire does (like the ones who prop up the MRC).
By Terry Krepel
It wouldn't be the MRC if there wasn't at least one wacky attack on Soros, and Gabriela Pariseau obliged in a Feb. 17 post accusing Soros of hypocrisy for pointing out Donald Trump's narcissism:
Leftist billionaire George Soros railed against former President Donald Trump and called him a narcissist. Yes, America’s most notorious self-absorbed billionaire is whining about “narcissism.”
Note that Pariseau did not dispute anything Soros said about Trump -- she simply attacked Soros for saying it. She also seemed not to realize that Soros admitting to his narcissism shows he has a more healthy and realistic view of himself than Trump, who is far too narcissistic to ever admit such a thing. Pariseau instead endeavored to find more alleged Soros crimes:
In Soros’ latest speech, he targeted Trump’s encouragement that states pass stronger election integrity legislation and accused the former president of trying to “ensure that his party will remain in power indefinitely.” His disdain for election integrity is unsurprising considering Soros was part of a $59 million effort to boost the dubious practice of mass mail-in voting prior to the 2020 election. He later coordinated with fellow leftist billionaire and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar to weaponize millions in cash through the leftist group Way-to-Win ’s donor collaborative, Valiente Fund, in a campaign to recruit Latino voters “for victory in the November  midterms.”
In fact, "election integrity" is little more than a right-wing narrative to make voting more restrictive in an claimed attempt to stop purported election fraud that really doesn't exist to any significant extent -- indeed, Trump has been pushing that narrative to advance his false claims that the 2020 presidential election was "stolen" from him. And calling mail-in voting "dubious" is also a right-wing narrative (also lacking factual justification) with a goal of restricting the practice because more Democrats than Republicans make use of it. Finally, get-out-the-vote efforts are not against the law, they're not evil, and Republicans do the same thing.
Pariseau concluded by huffing: "Soros is in no position to be complaining about 'narcissism.'" If she can't or won't admit Trump's narcissism, she's in no position to criticize Soros.
Complaining that Soros supports causes
Another part of the MRC's recent round of attacks on George Soros has been a series of so-called studies that boil down to complaining that Soros funds things like any billionaire does. This was kicked off in an Dec. 6 post by the MRC's point man on hating Soros, Joseph Vazquez, and Dan Schneider who runs the MRC's Free Speech America program:
Leftist billionaire George Soros used his charities to build ties with hundreds of media organizations around the world involved in news and activist media. The journalism and activist media groups Soros supports mold public opinion on practically every continent and in many languages. They also insulate him from inquiry because reporters see him as an ally, not a target for investigation.
Which makes Soros no different than the right-wing billionaires that fund the paychecks of Vazquez and Schneider, such as the Mercers.
This particular segment complained about a website called Project Syndicate that Vazquez and Schneider hyperbolically describe as "A Global Soros-Funded Behemoth" and a "Global Propaganda Operation" despite few in the U.S. even being aware of it. They also laughably called the Poynter Institute "A Global Soros-Backed Ministry of Truth" mainly because it fact-checks right-wing falsehoods and misinformation, and bashed the group Free Press as "anti-American" despite quoting co-founder Robert McChesney saying that that group engage in things like "democracy, social justice, and, dare we say it, socialism," none of which sound particularly anti-American. They went on to apply more overheated language to the Media Democracy Fund, declaring it "A Soros-Funded Gargantuan Dedicated to Woke ‘Social Justice’" and "a Money-Spewing Cog in Soros’ Sphere of Influence," then describe National Public Radio as "Soros and State Media" and "Soros’ Taxpayer-Funded Radio Propaganda Mill."
Language like this makes Vazquez sound like they're cranking out a partisan hack job, not engaging in sober or legitimate "media research." But that is the tone they use throughout. Because this is, in fact, a partisan hack job, exposure in the right-wing media bubble is the coin of the realm, not reasoned debate -- so MRC chief Brent Bozell ran to Fox News to promote it and spew hate at Soros: "He hates the Judeo-Christian tradition. He is out to destroy the underpinnings of Western civilization and he’s using $36 billion that he is spending on it. ...This is a dangerous man.” Keeping the promotion in-house, Tim Graham parroted the study on his Dec. 7 podcast, and Vazquez plugged it on Paiten Iselin's Dec. 9 "CensorTrack" podcast. Even the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews, performed an act of whoredom and reprinted Vazquez's hit job.
Vazquez took a break from hyping his own work to note a complementary finding in a Dec. 8 post:
Liberal billionaire George Soros is upping his accolade as the “largest donor” for the 2022 midterm elections to the next level by reportedly signaling that he’s ready to buy the 2024 presidential election.
Vazquez failed to mention the right-wing billionaires who are similarly trying to "buy the presidency in 2024."
Vazquez had another Soros donation spree to complain about in a Dec. 22 post:
Leftist billionaire George Soros apparently kept himself very busy last year by funneling millions into groups and causes spreading anti-police hatred across the country.
As Ispahani's statement made clear, Open Society favors more effective policing and not defunding -- which would seem to be the opposite of the "anti-police" pejorative Vazquez and Schofstall are trying to hang on the group -- and Vazquez did not explain how seeking more effective policing equates to "smearing police officers." But for these two, clinging to this right-wing narrative -- no matter how it's been debunked -- is more important than reporting facts.
(Vazquez also didn't disclose that Schoffstall is a former MRC employee who, like so many others, have entered the pipeline to work for Fox News.)
Vazquez kept up the narrative into the new year in a Jan. 4 post:
Leftist billionaire George Soros was apparently more heavily involved in the 2022 electoral cycle than previously thought.
In this regard, Soros is no different from other billionaires, including the right-wing ones who help fund Vazquez's paycheck -- that that Vazquez will tell you that, of course, and he would never accuse, say, the Mercers of having "spewed" donations to the MRC.
This was followed by the MRC's own work the next day, as compiled by Vazquez and Dan Schneider:
Leftist billionaire George Soros has been using his enormous fortune to buy influence around the world through news and activist media organizations for decades.
Vazquez and Schneider offered nothing but cherry-picked examples that are really no worse than the anti-abortion extremism pushed by their employer. Still, the point of all this was to get a TV hit out of it, and as it was going live, MRC chief Brent Bozell ran to Fox Business, where he knew he could spout his talking points at Stuart Varney without challenge:
One-hundred and thirty-one million dollars is “far more than any entity, any foundation, anyone else probably in the world investing in [media],” Bozell noted. “This is a man who wants to fundamentally change the world.” Bozell also rebuked the media, remarking that it’s the “tip of the spear for the left and it's George Soros who’s funding it.”
The MRC's anti-Soros activism got even more attention in the right-wing media bubble, and Vazquez dutifully transcribed in in a Jan. 6 post:
Conservative radio host Mark Levin has apparently had it with leftist billionaire George Soros wielding colossal influence over American politics and society.
Vazquez hyped the work of other fellow Soros-haters in a Jan. 11 post:
New research has put a dollar amount on the ungodly amount of cash leftist billionaire George Soros has poured into global politics in the past 23 years, and it’s in the billions.
Vazquez seems jealous that Soros has that kind of money to spend. He also didn't mention that the CRC has a history of shoddy "research" that, when ConWebWatch exposed it, caused it to accuse us of inciting civil unrest for doing so.
Podcast host Joe Rogan was blunt in calling leftist billionaire George Soros's vast political power in global politics “terrifying” and equated him to a Batman villain.
Vazquez and Schneider served up the final part of their anti-Soros screed in a Jan. 17 post:
The over $32 billion that leftist billionaire George Soros poured into his organizations to spread his radical “open society” agenda on abortion, Marxist economics, anti-Americanism, defunding the police, environmental extremism and LGBT fanaticism around the globe has paid dividends.
But, again, the point is to get a TV hit out of this, not fess up to double standards. So Bozell ran to Fox News the next day to serve up more manufactured outrage:
Soros “understands the importance of media and the power of media,” Bozell told Fox News anchor Trace Gallagher. Bozell also took time to slap down a common leftist deflection whenever a conservative criticizes the enormous influence of George Soros. “Remember David Koch and the Koch Brothers? Remember the Mercer family,” asked Bozell. “What they’ve given is a spit in the bucket compared to George Soros. All the hundreds of stories on [the Kochs and the Mercers] and this ‘right wing conspiracy,’ nothing on George Soros.”
Needless to say, Bozell didn't disclose that his MRC has received large amounts of Mercer money.
Vazquez touted more complementary attacks in a Jan. 23 post:
Bongino Report Content Manager Matt Palumbo peeled back “the layers” of leftist billionaire George Soros’ global political and media influence during a recent interview with The Epoch Times.
Vazquez smugly added. "MRC Business’ research directly corroborates Palumbo’s analysis." And neither he nor Palumbo seem particularly curious about the shady, opaque funding behind the Epoch Times; then again, it's in the right-wing media bubble with them, so there will be nothing but softball direct the Epoch Times' way.
Vazquez and Schneider wrapped things up with a Jan. 31 summary post in which they unironically demand even more investigations of Soros. They will not be turning a similarly close eye to, say, the Mercers anytime soon -- don't want to bite the hand that feeds you, right?
Soros-hating, Musk-fluffing merge
Media Research Center writer Joseph Vazquez brought his George Soros obsession into his employer's Musk-fluffing, lashing out in a Feb. 6 post at a Soros-funded group that called out Elon Musk for interacting with right-wingers on Twitter:
A George Soros-funded group targeted Twitter owner Elon Musk for daring to interact with “right-wing accounts” following acquisition of the platform.
Not only did Vazquez fail to justify tagging ISD as "leftist" beyond receiving Soros-related money, he didn't explain why those right-wingers shouldn't be accurately identified as such, let alone why they are not right-wing. In fact, Greenwald has been shifting rightward for some time now -- why else would he go on Fox News so much?
Vazquez went on to tout Musk siding with the standard "they're just posting videos" defense of Libs of TikTok:
The Soros-funded group even labeled Libs of TikTok, which simply finds left-wing extremists’ videos and reshares them to its various pages, a “prolific spreader of hate.”
In real life, however, Libs of TikTok purveyor Chaya Raichik has amply demonstrated herself to be a vicious homophobe, and her videos have inspired violent threats that she has never disavowed, which tells us that she has a bigger agenda than "just posting videos."
Vazquez went on to whine that "The organization also smeared Ian Miles Cheong and Townhall writer Scott Morefield as 'two conservative journalists' that are supposedly 'known to spread disinformation and amplify hateful right-wing talking points,'" but again, he offered no evidence to disprove that description. He then went into the usual MRC whataboutism:
ISD’s feigned outrage against so-called “hate” and “disinformation” on Twitter is laughably disingenuous. The organization said nothing about the anti-Semitic Ayatollah Khamenei or Chinese Communist Party-affiliated accounts which have been allowed to spread their respective bile for years under Twitter’s old regime. A 2010 tweet by Khamenei, for example, raged that “Israel Is A Hideous Entity In the Middle East Which Will Undoubtedly Be Annihilated.” Would ISD be suffering the same conniption if Musk was interacting with those accounts instead? The CCP in particular is currently conducting religious- and ethnic-based genocide against the Uyghur Muslims, is running an authoritarian surveillance state and was starving its own people under “zero-Covid” policies. But how dare Musk associate with “right-wing” accounts, eh ISD?
Yet all of these Twitter accounts are apparently still active, and Musk has done nothing to remove them. Shouldn't Vazquez be criticizing Musk instead? Also, his feigned outrage over right-wingers being accurately identified as such is even more laughably disingenuous.
Vazquez concluded by grousing that "The group continued ranting against Musk interacting with those so-called “prominent superspreaders of election disinformation” like Tim Pool and Dinesh D’Souza." Again, he offered no evidence to counter that accurate assessment.