It was bound to happen. Someone out there was bound to connect George Soros to the Occupy Wall Street movement. It's almost like Godwin's law. When something like this goes on long enough, it's just a matter of time before someone yells, "Soros!" as if he's the answer to every thorn in conservatives' sides. Reuters reporters Mark Egan and Michelle Nicols are really grasping at straws in their latest story about OWS. 'Who's behind the Wall St. protests?' more resembles a Fox News rant than the objective news reporting Reuters is best known for.
Throughout the piece, they attempt to connect George Soros to the protests, when his link tenuous at best. It seems as though someone at the news organization told the two to find a connection no matter what. And of course, aging billionaire comes up because he's a favorite of the mass media hate machine.
It seems as though conservative blowhard Rush Limbaugh is behind this piece of "investigative" reporting. Last week, Soros expressed sympathy for the protestors. He told reporters, "I can understand their sentiment," but refused to elaborate when reporters tried to get more out of him. Limbaugh, of course, took this as a sign that the 81-year-old billionaire is the grand financier of the movement. So, obviously, the Egan and Nicols decided to put two and two together. Unfortunately, what they came up with didn't equal four.
Here's the lowdown in a nutshell. Soros' foundation, Open Society gave $3.5 million over the course of three years to the Tides Center, which is a clearing house for contributions. Tides Center decides where to send donations after receiving them. So, that's an average of $1.166 million per year they got from him.
The Tides Center is located in San Francisco, and makes donations to liberal causes and organizations. Between the years 2001 to 2010, Tides Center gave $185,000 to Adbusters, which is an anti-consumerism organization that publishes an ad-free magazine dedicated to revealing the truth about corporate greed and excessive consumerism.
So, that $185,000 over the course of 10 years equals about $18,500 per year. That's a drop in the bucket, literally. Not only that, the story makes just a passing reference to two other large donors the Tides Foundation has partnered with: The Ford Foundation and the Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation was founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. Did Nichols and Egan draw a connection to Adbusters and Occupy Wall Street because of that? No. Why? Because again, conservatives love to hate George Soros because when he was a kid, he was forced to do bad things by Nazis to Jews and people are still mad about it. Never mind the fact that he was only about 12, and was Jewish, too. When you're a victim, you still get blamed, even nearly 70 years later.
Simply put, the Gates Foundation and Ford Foundation donations weren't even investigated because they lacked a potential "A-ha!" factor. But the fact remains, they, too donated inadvertently to the Occupy Wall Street cause, by making donations to the Tides Center. This is a fact, whether anyone wants to admit it or not.
Soros says he doesn't even know who Adbusters are, which makes the claim that he consciously made the decision to donate to them even more ridiculous. So, Reuters, stop trying to appease Fox News' and Rush Limbaugh's fan base. You're only discrediting the organization and making your reporters look like fools.
Â©2011 Reno Berkeley for Gather News.