Wednesday, June 20, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 11

Funded `Democracy Now!' Show Between 1998 and 2004

In The Pay of Foundations—Part 11

How U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations fund a “parallel left” media network of left media journalists and gatekeepers.

In his 1971 book The Higher Circles: The Governing Class In America, University of California-Santa Cruz Professor G. William Domhoff observed that “all power elite foundations” are “involved in ideological combat” and “all power elite foundations” are “propaganda fronts which are involved in maintaining the legitimacy and respectability of the present Establishment, even if in some cases this involves no more than giving some bright-eyed novice a few thousand dollars with which to amuse himself;” and “if the” CIA-funded “Farfield Foundation” was “a conduit, so is the Ford Foundation (which is also a tax dodge).” And as Joan Roelofs wrote in her 2003 book Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism:

“The cultural Cold War initiated concerted action by foundations and the CIA…Ford, the Kaplan Foundation, and others became `pass-throughs’ for the CIA project, Congress for Cultural Freedom [CCF]. In addition, starting in 1957, Ford provided funds for the CCF…Ford established a U.S.-type economic program at the Indonesian university and trained faculty at the U.S. universities to run the Indonesian program…When the coup [in September 1965] was instituted to overthrow [the anti-imperialist Indonesian political leader] Sukarno, well-trained leadership was available to run the country and negotiate reasonable deals with multinational corporations…”

Yet during the last two decades the long-time Democracy Now! show co-hosts have generally not provided their listeners or viewers with many news segments that examined in a critical way: (1) the role that Ford Foundation founder Henry Ford and his heirs or former Ford Foundation president McGeorge Bundy played in 20th-century history; (2) the political role at home and abroad that Ford Foundation has played historically or in recent years; (3) what the special corporate connections and economic interests of Ford Foundation’s present and past board members and the Ford Foundation have been; or (4) how the multi-billion dollar Ford Foundation obtained and retains its assets and the grant money it distributes each year.

One reason might be because, between 1998 and 2004, $300,000 [equal to around $418,000 in 2018] in Ford Foundation "charitable grant" money was used to help fund Democracy Now!; and a $50,000 [equal to around $64,000 in 2018] Ford Foundation "charitable grant" was given to then-NY Daily News columnist, former National Association of Hispanic Journalists [NAHJ] president and long-time Democracy Now! co-host Gonzalez in 2005 to support the research for the News for All the People book. In addition, in 2003--during the period when Democracy Now!’s part-time co-host was also the NAHJ president—the Ford Foundation joined the Knight Foundation in establishing a “Challenge Fund for Journalism” program that provided $240,000 in grant money to NAHJ between 2003 and 2011; and in 2008 a separate grant of $100,000 [equal to over $117,000 in 2018] was given to the NAHJ group by the Ford Foundation.

The Ford Foundation’s historical funding of Democracy Now! began in 1998 when it gave the Pacifica Foundation a $75,000 [equal to over $114,000 in 2018] grant “toward marketing consultancy, promotional campaign and program development activities for radio program, DEMOCRACY NOW!”. But after listener-activists at Pacifica’s 5 radio stations pressured Goodman and Gonzalez in 1999 to break Pacifica Radio’s “gag rule,” and finally provide their listeners with news about Pacifica’s firings between 1995 and early 1999 in California of KPFA and KPFK volunteer or paid staff show producers who opposed the “NPRization” and corporatization of Pacifica’s programming and radio stations, Pacifica’s WBAI station managers stopped the Democracy Now! co-hosts from broadcasting from Pacifica’s Manhattan studios.

In 2002, however, the U.S. power elite’s Ford Foundation continued to help fund Democracy Now! by giving a grant of $75,000 [equal to over $104,000 in 2018] to Deep Dish TV “for the television news series, DEMOCRACY NOW!, to continue incorporating the aftermath of the September 11th attack into future broadcasts.” According to its Form 990 financial filing for 2000 that Deep Dish TV submitted in June 2001, a few months before the September 11, 2001 collapse of the World Trade Center buildings, in 2000 Deep Dish TV had previously spent $42,427 of a $46,050 grant from some unidentified foundation, on “Democracy Now Live Coverage of the Democratic and Republican Political Conventions.”

Coincidentally, prior to receiving Ford Foundation money in 2002 to help air Democracy Now!, Deep Dish TV had previously been given 9 grants, totalling $335,000, between 1990 and 2000 by the same MacArthur Foundation that gave the Sound Portraits media firm of Goodman’s former WBAI colleague, David Isay, a $50,000 grant in 1997; and then, only three years later, gave an individual MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” of $500,0000 to the Democracy Now! producer-host’s former WBAI colleague, David Isay, in 2000. In addition, the J. Roderick MacArthur Foundation--that the son of the MacArthur Foundation’s billionaire founder established—gave the Institute for Media Analysis a grant of between $60,000 and $85,000 in 2001 to “support the production of Democracy Now!’, according to the J.Roderick MacArthur Foundation’s Form 990 financial filing for 2001.
Funded Deep DishTV  That Ford Foundation Used To Fund Democracy Now!

The wealthier MacArthur Foundation, that the father of the J.Roderick MacArthur established, is named for John D. MacArthur, who owned 410 Park Ave., 61 Broadway, the Gulf & Western Building and the Lincoln Tower Apartments in Manhattan, the Exchange Park Office Complex in Dallas, the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas and property in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, on which he persuaded RCA to build a computer plant. Billionaire MacArthur’s “real estate activities were carried on largely through two private companies, Royal American Industries, Inc., and the Southern Realty & Utility Co.;” other holdings” included “an oil drilling company, and broadcasting and printing interests,” according to The National Cyclopedia of American Biography. In its 1988 pamphlet, John D. MacArthur: The Man and His Legacy, the Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation indicated how much of the “charitable grant” money, that was later used to fund parallel left media groups like Deep Dish TV in the 1990s was originally obtained during the 1960s Vietnam War era by John D. MacArthur:

“His new interest was real estate…At one point, he owned 100,000 acres of land in Florida and was the largest individual landowner in the state. He also owned a dozen insurance companies, several development companies and shopping centers, paper and pulp companies, 19 commercial office buildings in New York City, 6,000 apartments in Manhattan, several publishing enterprises, hotels, radio and television stations, and banks. By the 1970s, MacArthur was one of the nation’s two billionaires…”

And in his 1993 book The Assassination Of New York, Robert Fitch indicated how more money for “charitable grants” was obtained by the “non-profit” MacArthur Foundation in the 1980s from the real estate assets in Manhattan that “were part of the original bequest from John D. MacArthur,” according to the foundation’s 1995 Annual Report:

“One of the biggest industries in the city had been throwing people out of their apartments--`condo conversion’ it was called…The MacArthur Foundation…got involved. A team from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation converted thousands of apartments in the boom years. MacArthur managed to unload its total inventory in 1985 for about $500 million [equal to over $1.1 billion in 2018).”

In her May 2005 article, titled “Amy Goodman’s `Empire’,” the Nation magazine senior editor who worked at Democracy Now! from September 2001 to July 2002, Lizzy Ratner, described how Goodman’s media firm, after obtaining its $75,000 grant from the Ford Foundation “toward marketing consultancy, promotional campaign and program development activities for radio program” in 1998, began producing its soon-to-be Ford Foundation-subsidized daily cable-television show in September 2001:

“It was a few days before 9/11, and Goodman had just been forced from the studios of WBAI, the local Pacifica station...In the scramble to keep broadcasting on affiliate stations, she had landed at the firehouse, a small limestone castle of a building owned and operated by Downtown Community Television. The independent media collective also rented space to Manhattan Neighborhood Network, a cable access channel [whose current CEO Dan Coughlin is, coincidentally, both the former news and executive director of Pacifica Radio and a former WBAI colleague of Goodman], and in early September a MNN producer had the notion of switching on the TV cameras and videotaping Goodman's radio broadcast. The idea was to air the show on MNN once or twice a week….”

Former NBC News Anchor/Downtown Community Television Board Member Tom Brokaw in 2002

Also, coincidentally, sitting on the Downtown Community Television Center’s board of directors, when Democracy Now! began broadcasting in September 2001 from Downtown Community Television’s building at 87 Lafayette St. in Manhattan a televised version of its “parallel left” daily radio news show, according to the Downtown Community Television Center’s 2001 Form 990 financial filing, was Tom Brokaw--the then-anchor and managing editor of the NBC Nightly News which the NBC corporate media network, that GE owned at that time, broadcast each evening. Brokaw, the husband of longtime Gannett corporate media conglomerate board member Meredith Brokaw, continued to sit on the Downtown Community Television Center’s board of directors until 2004, the same year he retired as the long-time NBC Nightly News anchor.

Like Deep Dish TV, the NBC Nightly News-linked Downtown Community Television Center was the recipient of MacArthur Foundation funding, in the years before Goodman and her parallel left radio show “landed at the firehouse, a small limestone castle of a building owned and operated by Downtown Community Television” and from which the Democracy Now!  show was broadcast between 2001 and late 2009.  For example, between 1986 and 2000 the MacArthur Foundation gave 8 "charitable grants," totalling $475,000, to the Downtown Community Television Center (including a $100,000 [equal to around $213,000 in 2018] grant in 1988 to “rehabilitate” the building that Democracy Now! would later be broadcasting from), as well as a loan of $375,000 whose loan repayment schedule had been suspended, according to the television center’s 2001 financial filing.

Coincidentally, Democracy Now! Productions, itself, would later receive in December 2007 “an interest free loan” of $6 million [equal to over $7.3 million in 2018] “from a private foundation, due on July 1, 2012…to finance the acquisition of their new office and production studio” at 207 W. 25th Street in Manhattan, according to its 2007 Form 990 financial filing; and “as part of the loan agreement” with this “private foundation,” whose name the Democracy Now! Productions firm does not fully disclose, “the Organization received a conditional promise to give of $2 million dollars from this private foundation, which is contingent upon the organization’s meeting the loan repayment terms of $4 million dollars by July 1, 2012,” according to the same 2007 financial filing. (end of part 11) 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 10

Gave Pacifica $25,000 Grant in 1998 To Fund Democracy Now! Show
In The Pay of Foundations—Part 10

How U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations fund a “parallel left” media network of left media journalists and gatekeepers.  

Sitting on the Public Welfare Foundation’s board of directors when the foundation, that super-rich  Texas corporate media baron Charles Marsh established, gave Pacifica its $25,000 [equal to nearly $40,000 in 2018] grant in 1998 to help fund Democracy Now! was a long-time Democratic Party political operative, a long-time friend of Hillary and Bill Clinton and a former government official in the Democratic administrations of Kennedy, Johnson, Carter and Clinton named Peter Edelman. Between 1994 and 2012 Edelman sat on the Public Welfare Foundation’s board of directors as a member of either its grant review, finance, appropriations, nominating or policy and planning committees; and between 2007 and 2012 Edelman chaired the Public Welfare Foundation’s board.

In a 1998 book that was subsidized by the MacArthur Foundation, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation, entitled The Color of Truth: McGeorge Bundy and William Bundy: Brothers In Arms, a contributing editor of Katrina vanden Heuvel's Nation magazine, Kai Bird, recalled that in June 1968, the former Johnson White House National Security Affairs Advisor (who shared responsibility for the decision to begin bombing North Vietnam in early 1965) and then-Ford Foundation President McGeorge "Bundy arranged fellowships totaling $131,000 [equal to over $950,000 in 2018] for eight members of" the mysteriously-slain Robert F. "Kennedy's campaign staff." Bird also noted that recipients "included Frank Mankiewicz ($15,000 for a study of the Peace Corps in Latin America), Adam Walinsky ($22,200 for a study of community action programs) and Peter Edelman ($19,090 [equal to over $138,000 in 2018] for a study of community development programs around the world)." As longtime Public Welfare Foundation board member Edelman recalled in a May 24-24, 2004 oral history interview with the University of Virginia-affiliated Miller Center:

“When RFK died, [McGeorge] Mac Bundy gave about eight senior members of Bobby’s staff, including me, a year of Ford Foundation support….Number one, the Ford Foundation is very generous to us, so we come back six months later and… it says in the New York Times that we were going on a honeymoon courtesy of the Ford Foundation…It said Marian [Wright Edelman] and I were getting married and we were going on a honeymoon courtesy of the Ford Foundation….”

Prior to working as a presidential campaign staffperson for RFK and then receiving a Ford Foundation fellowship from former National Security Affairs advisor Bundy, Public Welfare Foundation board member Edelman had worked as a law clerk to a Supreme Court Justice named Arthur Goldberg in 1962, as a special assistant in the Democratic Kennedy and Johnson Administration’s Justice Department in 1963 and 1964, as a political operative in RFK’s successful campaign in 1964 for New York’s seat in the U.S. Senate and as RFK’s legislative assistant in the U.S. Senate between 1965 and 1968.

According to the 1982 book Rooted In Secrecy: The Clandestine Element in Australian Politics by Joan Coxsedge, “Arthur Goldberg, the General Counsel of the CIO engineered the expulsion of the Left from this organization;” and “after the left-wing purge of the CIO, Goldberg worked to achieve union with the conservative American Federation of Labor [AFL] headed by rabid anti-communist and long-time CIA stooge, George Meany, and what was left of the CIO." Yet as longtime former Public Welfare Foundation board member Edelman noted in his 2004 oral history interview:

“My relationship with Justice Goldberg was wonderful…. Goldberg was this warm, effusive person. Anybody who had anything to do with him was invited to his home….Passover Seder was a cast of 30 or 40 people at Justice Goldberg’s house….Anyway, he became a friend for life, and I ran the issues in his campaign for Governor in 1970 if you want to get to that. So we had a wonderful relationship…”

In an interview that appeared in the April 2008 issue of Washington Lawyer magazine, Edelman also recalled:

“At the suggestion of Justice Goldberg, I went to work in the U.S. Justice Department. This was 1963, the third year of the Kennedy administration, and I remember Justice Goldberg telling me, `There won’t be many administrations like this in your lifetime. You need to be part of this.’”  

When the then-U.S. Attorney General Bobby “Kennedy decided to run for the Senate” in 1964, Edelman “said to John Douglas [the Assistant Attorney General for whom Edelman worked as a special assistant], `Do you think I could get involved in the campaign?’,” according to the text of the longtime Public Welfare Foundation board member’s May 24 and 25, 2004 interview with the University of Virginia-affiliated Miller Center. And in RFK’s successful 1964 campaign, Edelman “was assigned to Bill vanden Heuvel, the chief issues person on the research side” of RFK’s 1964 campaign, according to the text of the same 2004 interview.

Coincidentally, Bill vanden Heuvel was the father of Katrina vanden Heuvel, the editor, publisher and part-owner for over two decades of The Nation magazine, whose senior editor, Lizzy Ratner, worked at Democracy Now! from September 2001 to July 2002. And Nation editor-publisher Vanden Heuvel’s father is mentioned in Frances Stoner Saunders’ The Cultural Cold War book in the following reference to the CIA-linked Farfield Foundation:
"First president of the Farfield [Foundation], and the CIA's most significant front-man, was Julius `Junkie' Fleischmann, the millionaire heir to a high yeast and gin fortune...He had helped finance The New Yorker [magazine]...`The Farfield Foundation was a CIA foundation and there were many such foundations,' Tom Braden went on to explain...Other Farfield directors included William vanden Heuvel a New York lawyer who was close to both John and Bobby Kennedy."

Besides working in as a staff person for Democratic candidate RFK’s 1964 and 1968 election campaigns and Democratic candidate Arthur Goldberg’s unsuccessful 1970 election campaign for New York’s governorship , Edelman also worked as a political operative in the unsuccessful presidential campaigns of Democratic candidates Walter Mondale in 1984 and Michael Dukakis in 1988. As the longtime Public Welfare Foundation board member and former board chair said in a 2004 oral history interview:
“…In any case, I was very close to Fritz [Walter] Mondale. I had met him the day he was sworn into the Senate, because I’m from Minnesota, as we said…When he was thinking about running for President in ’74 and I was living in Boston, I would drive him around New Hampshire. We were really very close….Yes, I was co-chair of a task force on employment issues [in his 1984 presidential campaign]….I was the chief coordinator of speechwriting in the Dukakis campaign [in 1988] after Labor Day….” 

Edelman also apparently “tapped” Hillary Rodham (despite her previous work in election campaigns for 1964 GOP presidential nominee Barry Goldwater and in Republican Nelson Rockefeller’s unsuccessful campaign to obtain the presidential nomination at the 1968 GOP national convention) as a possible future leader in the Democratic Party in the late 1960s, before he was later appointed to a position in her husband’s Democratic administration in the early 1990s. As Edelman noted in his 2004 oral history interview:

“…In 1969 the League of Women Voters asked me to coordinate a conference….In fact I think it was my idea and somebody asked me what to do. Younger leaders would come together with older leaders….So there was a steering committee and we identified various elected and non-elected people over 30 who we thought would be admirable for younger people to meet, and we identified some younger people.

“Hillary graduates from Wellesley and she makes that speech where she upbraids Senator [Edward] Brooke…It gets into Time and Newsweek and so on….So I called her up and I said, How do you do, I’m—and would you come to my conference? She says Sure. So that’s where it started…. Marian [Edelman’s wife] then gets appointed to be on the Carnegie Council on Children, which was a big thing that the Carnegie Foundation invested in….And Hillary comes to work summers and part time for the commission…She goes through law school, comes to work for Marian as her first full-time job out of law school…Then we hear that she’s gone off to Arkansas to marry this guy…In ’78, he’s elected Governor… We’re seeing Hillary right along. By this time she’s on Marian’s board, and after we move back to Washington in ’79 she comes and stays with us and we talk on the phone quite a lot….

“All the way through the ’80s we saw each other a lot, saw her more than him, but saw each other a lot... We had some meetings in Little Rock. I stayed at the mansion. I would go see him...We thought he was a person of great integrity…. I put her on the board of something called the New World Foundation that I was on the board of in about 1983 or ’84. We served on that board together for four or five years…. I really did want to be involved in the administration...”  

Former Public Welfare Foundation Board Chair and Member Peter Edelman 
A year after the Public Welfare Foundation gave its $25,000 grant to Pacifica to help fund the Democracy Now! show, the Clintons’ Democratic administration ordered the Pentagon to attack Yugoslavia/Serbia; and, in his late 1999 article, titled “The Rational Destruction of Yugoslavia,” anti-war writer Michael Parenti described what happened:
“In 1999, the U.S. national security state…launched round-the-clock aerial attacks against Yugoslavia for 78 days, dropping 20,000 tons of bombs and killing thousands of women, children, and men….Up until the bombings began in March 1999, the conflict in Kosovo had taken 2000 lives altogether from both sides, according to Kosovo Albanian sources. Yugoslavian sources had put the figure at 800. In either case, such casualties reveal a limited insurgency, not genocide. The forced expulsion policy began after the NATO bombings, with thousands being uprooted by Serb forces mostly in areas where the KLA was operating or was suspected of operating…During the bombings, an estimated 70,000 to 100,000 Serbian residents of Kosovo took flight (mostly north but some to the south), as did thousands of Roma and other non-Albanian ethnic groups….

“NATO's attacks on Yugoslavia have been in violation of its own charter, which says it can take military action only in response to aggression committed against one of its members. Yugoslavia attacked no NATO member. U.S. leaders discarded international law and diplomacy…While professing to having been discomforted by the aerial destruction of Yugoslavia, many liberals and progressives were convinced that “this time” the U.S. national security state was really fighting the good fight… Even if Serbian atrocities had been committed, and I have no doubt that some were, where is the sense of proportionality? Paramilitary killings in Kosovo (which occurred mostly after the aerial war began) are no justification for bombing fifteen cities in hundreds of around-the-clock raids for over two months, spewing hundreds of thousands of tons of highly toxic and carcinogenic chemicals into the water, air, and soil, killing thousands of Serbs, Albanians, Roma, Turks, and others, and destroying bridges, residential areas, and over two hundred hospitals, clinics, schools, and churches, along with the productive capital of an entire nation..”

Yet in his 2004 oral history interview, former Public Welfare Foundation board member and board chair Edelman said he still thought that the Clintons “did the right thing in Kosovo.”

Coincidentally, after antiwar MIT Professor Noam Chomsky asserted in an interview on Democracy Now!’s April 12, 1999 show that “other effects” of the U.S./NATO bombing “were to wipe out a very promising and courageous democratic movement in Belgrade, which was the best hope for getting rid of this gangster Milosevic, with whom we’d been dealing,” longtime Democracy Now! co-host Goodman did not question either the moral and political basis or the accuracy for Chomsky’s assertion. But as Michael Parenti wrote in his late 1999 “The Rational Destruction of Yugoslavia” article: 
“During my trip to Belgrade in August 1999, I observed nongovernmental media and opposition party newspapers going strong. There are more opposition parties in the Yugoslav parliament than in any other European parliament. Yet the government is repeatedly labeled a dictatorship. Milosevic was elected as president of Yugoslavia in a contest that foreign observers said had relatively few violations. As of the end of 1999, he presided over a coalition government that included four parties. Opposition groups openly criticized and demonstrated against his government. Yet he was called a dictator…”

And in the same late 1999 article Parenti also observed:

“The propaganda campaign against Belgrade has been so relentless that prominent personages on the Left — who oppose the NATO policy against Yugoslavia — have felt compelled to genuflect before this demonization orthodoxy. Thus do they reveal themselves as having been influenced by the very media propaganda machine they criticize on so many other issues. To reject the demonized image of Milosevic and of the Serbian people is not to idealize them or claim they are faultless or free of crimes. It is merely to challenge the one-sided propaganda that laid the grounds for NATO's destruction of Yugoslavia….”

Opposed U.S. Antiwar and Palestine solidarity movement's BDS Campaign
Besides sitting on the Public Welfare Foundation board of directors when that foundation gave Pacifica its $25,000 grant in 1998 to help support Democracy Now!, Edelman also, at the same time, sat on the board of directors in the late 1990s of the liberal Zionist New Israel Fund (that in more recent years has expressed opposition to the U.S. antiwar and Palestine solidarity movement’s BDS campaign). As Edelman recalled in a 2004 oral history interview:

“In the late 1980s I got involved with Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians…I was actually recruited to be the co-chair of the board...I’ve been very active on Israel ever since. I’m now the board president of something called the New Israel Fund, which is quite a substantial organization, a $20 million organization…”

The former longtime Public Welfare Foundation board member and chair is no longer the board president of the New Israel Fund, but in more recent years Edelman has continued to sit on the board of the New Israel Fund, whose annual revenues in 2016 exceeded $26.9 million, according to the “non-profit” organization’s 2016 Form 990 financial filing.

Of the over $26.9 million in revenues it obtained in 2016, over $9.9 million was used by the tax-exempt New Israel Fund to pay “salaries, other compensation and employee benefits,” including a total annual compensation for its Executive Director/CEO, a former Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties executive director named Daniel Sokatch, of $422,758.  And, not surprisingly, the New Israel Fund [NIF] website posted a March 10, 2015 press release on its website which stated that “The NIF does oppose the global (or general) BDS movement” and “NIF will not fund global BDS activities against Israel nor support organizations that have global BDS programs.”

Coincidentally, former New Israel Fund board president and Public Welfare Foundation board member Edelman apparently sat on a plane near the long-time Democracy Now! co-host Gonzalez’s then-employer, then-NY Daily News Owner Mort Zuckerman, when both men flew on the Clinton White House’s Air Force One in November 1995 to attend the funeral of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (who was assassinated by a right-wing extremist Zionist a few days before the funeral). As Edelman recalled in his 2004 oral history interview:

“The phone rings and it’s Hillary. She says, A seat has opened up on Air Force One because Jim Baker I think, has a bad back. She said, I’d like you to go…I said, Yes, of course, I’d be delighted. She said, Somebody will call you, you appear at such-and-such a place at Andrews Air Force Base. So that’s how I came to go….Was in a back compartment with former Secretaries of State and with the congressional leadership and a couple of other people like Mort Zuckerman….On the way over they had had everybody in that big conference room in the center of the plane to have a briefing about the political situation, what might some of them want to say if they’re asked by the press, and so on and so forth….I walk up there and sitting in that room are Clinton and Bruce Lindsey and Mort Zuckerman...”

And, not surprisingly, in his 2004 oral history interview, former longtime Public Welfare Foundation director and Clinton Administration official Edelman noted that “I’m the Board President of the New Israel Fund” and Bill  Clinton “came just last week, May 10, 2004, to New York City and was our speaker at our 25th anniversary;” and “I was ecstatic that he did that, and he was pleased to do it.”

In 2018, New Israel Fund board member Edelman no longer also sits on the board of directors of the Public Welfare Foundation that gave Pacifica its $25,000 grant in 1998 to help fund Democracy Now!. But in 2018 the Public Welfare Foundation board is now chaired by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom corporate law and lobbying firm partner Cliff Sloan, who is a former Associate Counsel to Democratic President Bill Clinton, a former Assistant to the Solicitor General in GOP President George W. Bush’s administration, a former Washington Post Online subsidiary’s General Counsel and a former Slate magazine website publisher. Other members of the Public Welfare Foundation board in 2018 include the following other U.S. Establishment folks:

1.       Former Goldman Sachs Foundation President Stephanie Bell-Rose, who is also a Knight Foundation trustee, a Stephen Rose Foundation trustee, a Council on Foundations board member and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations;

2.       Nation Insurance corporate board member Lydia Marshall, who is also a former Citibank/Citigroup vice-president;

3.       Former Democratic Obama Administration Under-Secretary of State Maria Otero, who is also a Kresge Foundation board member and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations;

4.       A former Deputy Assistant to Democratic President Bill Clinton and Deputy Chief of Staff to Hillary Clinton named Shirley Sagawa; and

5.       Former Hogan and Hartson/Hogan Lovells corporate law and lobbying firm partner Eric Washington, who is also now a D.C. Court of Appeals judge.

In addition, the current president of the Public Welfare Foundation, Candace Jones, is a former program officer at the Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation.

For sitting on the Public Welfare Foundation board of directors for just 1 hour per week between Oct. 1, 2015 and Sept. 30, 2016, each member of the foundation’s board was paid $6,000, according to the Public Welfare Foundation’s 2015 Form 990 financial filing. In addition, during that same period the “non-profit” Public Welfare Foundation paid its president a total annual compensation of $400,569, according to the same financial filing.

Between Oct. 1, 2014 and Sept. 30, 2016, the Public Welfare Foundation gave at least two grants, totalling $160,000, to help fund the “parallel left” Institute for Public Affairs/In These Times magazine/website media organization, according to the foundation’s Form 990 financial filings for 2014 and 2015. Yet much of the grant money used to help fund In These Times magazine (whose editor and publisher, Joel Bliefuss, was paid an annual compensation of $83,194 in 2016, according to the Institute for Public Affairs' Form 990 financial filing for 2016) was obtained by the Public Welfare Foundation’s investments in the corporate stocks and bonds of corporations that profit from the exploitation and manipulation of workers and middle-class consumers in the USA and around the globe.

On Sept. 30, 2016, for example, the “non-profit” Public Welfare Foundation’s assets exceeded $488 million, including over $126 million invested in corporate stock, over $137 million invested in corporate bonds and over $204 million invested in private equity or hedge funds; and $264,322 was paid by the Public Welfare Foundation to Common Fund for its “investment management”/stock speculation services, according to the foundation’s 2015 Form 990 financial filing.

Over $99 million, for example, was invested by the Public Welfare Foundation on Sept. 30, 2016 in the private equity or hedge funds of the Boston-Based Adage Capital Partners LP stock speculation firm, whose portfolio of over $44.2 billion worth of corporate stocks on Dec. 31, 2017 included (according to the website:
1. Over $1.2 billion worth of Apple corporate stock;
2. Over $1 billion worth of Microsoft corporate stock;
3. Over $938 million worth of Amazon corporate stock;
4. Over $749 worth of Deere & Co. corporate stock;
5. Over $668 million worth of Facebook Inc. corporate stock;
6. Over $582 million worth of Berkshire Hathaway corporate stock;
7. Over $579 million worth of Bank of America corporate stock;
8. Over $569 million worth of JP Morgan Chase corporate stock;
9. Over $500 million worth of Johnson and Johnson corporate stock;
10. Over $491 million worth of Aetna corporate stock;
11. Over $300 million worth of Boeing corporate stock;
12. Over $293 million worth of Chevron corporate stock;
13. Over $296 million worth of Comcast corporate media stock;
14. Over $264 million worth of United Technologies corporate stock;
15. Over $239 million worth of Philip Morris Int’l corporate stock;
16. Over $228 million worth of Citigroup corporate stock;
17. Over $210 million worth of McDonald’s corporate stock;
18. Over $193 million worth of Walt Disney/ABC corporate media conglomerate stock;
19. Over $186 million worth of Time Warner corporate media conglomerate stock;
20. Over $183 million worth of Walmart corporate stock;
21. Over $178 million worth of Altria corporate stock;
22. Over $155 million worth of Caterpillar corporate stock; and
23. Over $151 million worth of Exxon Mobil corporate stock. (end of part 10)

Thursday, June 14, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 9

In The Pay of Foundations—Part 9

How U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations fund a “parallel left” media network of left media journalists and gatekeepers.
Public Welfare Foundation Founder and Texas Media Baron Charles Marsh
Besides receiving the $10,000 grant from the J.M. Kaplan Fund in 1998 to support its Democracy Now! show, Pacifica was also given a $25,000 [equivalent to nearly $40,000 in 2018] grant in that same year by the Public Welfare Foundation to help fund the news reporting of the Democracy Now! show. So, not surprisingly, during the last two decades the Democracy Now! producers have not aired many radio or cable tv news segments that examine how the Public Welfare Foundation (whose current assets exceed $480 million) obtained its grant money historically or how this “non-profit” foundation currently obtains its grant money.

Yet, as the Public Welfare Foundation website indicates, the foundation was established in 1947 after an Austin, Texas corporate media baron named Charles E. Marsh “made a formal commitment to philanthropy by incorporating the Public Welfare Foundation and designating it to receive his newspapers’ assets upon his death;” and “Marsh oversaw the Foundation’s work until his health began to decline in 1953.” In addition, after Charles Marsh died in 1964, his third wife. Claudia Haines Marsh, “was the Foundation’s president from 1952 to 1974, and she remained a guiding influence until her own death, at the age of 100, in the year 2000.”

Until late 2011, “a granddaughter of Claudia Marsh” and “the daughter of Donald Warner who chaired the foundation’s Board for 10 years,” named Beth Warner, “was a valued member of the Board’s Finance committee,” according to a Nov. 8, 2011 Public Welfare Foundation press release; and Beth Warner’s 21st-century presence on the Public Welfare Foundation’s board of trustees continued “a tradition of family members and close associates of Charles Marsh serving on the board,” according to the same 2011 press release.

In his 2009 book, The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes, Bryan Burrough indicated how the Public Welfare Foundation founder who owned both the Austin-American and Austin Statesman newspapers (which later merged into the Austin American-Statesman newspaper in 1973), Charles Marsh, was a business associate of ultra-rich Texas oilman Sid Richardson during the 1930s:

“Charles E. Marsh, co-owner of several Texas newspapers, including the politically influential Austin-American…was using his spare cash to bankroll several Texas wildcatters… It is a measure of how totally Sid Richardson cloaked his business in secrecy that the name of Charles Marsh, the man whose backing made Richardson’s fortune possible, remained unknown to Richardson’s family…

“Marsh…had begun negotiating a complicated deal involving First National Bank of Dallas… It appears that Marsh agreed to guarantee Richardson’s debt to the bank. In return, the bank agreed to loan Richardson an additional $210,000 [equal to over $3.8 million in 2018], followed by another $150,000 [equal to over $2.7 million in 2018]… By the summer of 1935 Richardson had used most of Charles Marsh’s investment to buy land all around Gulf’s drill sites…"

Marsh also loaned Richardson $30,000 [equivalent to over $560,000 in 2018] in 1934 and when Richardson’s oil firm discovered oil in 1935 on its drill sites, the profits were split between Marsh and Richardson. But then, according to the same book:

“In 1938, Marsh encountered a sudden…financial reversal… From a single mention in a letter to Richardson — contained in Marsh’s papers at the Johnson Presidential Library — it appears that the Internal Revenue Service served Marsh with a request for $1.2 million [equal to over $20.5 million in 2018] in overdue taxes… Marsh was forced to repay much of the money. To raise it, he ended up selling all his Texas newspapers.”

Coincidentally, like Sid Richardson, former U.S. President Lyndon Johnson also apparently was backed by the founder of the Public Welfare Foundation (that helped fund Pacifica’s Democracy Now! show with a $25,000 grant in 1998) during the 1930s, when LBJ (also using $10,000 [equal to over $176,000 in 2018] that was given to him by the father of former First Lady Claudia “Ladybird” Johnson) decided in 1937 that he wanted to get himself elected as Austin’s representative in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1938. As Ronnie Dugger observed in his 1982 book The Politician: The Life and Times of Lyndon Johnson:

“Johnson had a special advantage: the partisanship of the Austin newspapers. Charles Marsh… was owner and publisher of the Austin American-Statesman as well as the dailies in 4 or 5 other Texas cities, and he was for Lyndon from the first. Marsh…had been in oil deals…since as early as 1934… Marsh was also… a director and president of Richardson Oils, Inc., which gave Johnson a direct connection to oilman Sid Richardson…

“Although the Austin dailies did not formally endorse anyone, Marsh turned them into Lyndon’s harmonicas. `These papers went all-out for him’ said Edmonds Travis, one of their earliest editors… From the time the Johnsons arrived in Washington they frequented `Longlea,’ the plantation home of their friend, publisher Charles Marsh, in Culpeper, Virginia…The publisher also flew Johnson about in his private plane….”

From the profits he obtained by co-owning a chain of newspapers in Austin, Waco, Wichita Falls, Breckenridge, Brownsville, Cisco, Cleburne, Corpus Christi, Eastland, Harlingen, Laredo, McAllen, Mineral Wells, Paris, Port Arthur, Ranger and Texarkana after World War I, Public Welfare Foundation founder Marsh had become a millionaire by the time he was in his early 40’s during the late 1920s.  A biographical entry for Charles Marsh on the website noted that, according to Robert Caro, the author of the 1982 book The Path To Power: The years of Lyndon Johnson, by 1936:
"Marsh owned newspapers in fifteen Texas cities, and in another dozen cities in other states... He was Richardson's partner in some of the most profitable oil wells in West Texas, and the sole owner of other profitable wells of his own. And in Austin, he owned the streetcar franchise and the largest single bloc of stock in the Capital National Bank, as well as vast tracts of real estate.”

The website also recalled another way that the Public Education Welfare foundation founder helped the future Democratic President (who would later be responsible for the post-1964 escalation of U.S. military intervention in Vietnam that caused the deaths of millions of Vietnamese people, as well as the wounding of over 153,000 and deaths of over 57,000 members of the U.S. military, during the 1960s and early 1970s):

Johnson complained that he found it difficult managing on his Congress salary. Marsh arranged for Johnson's wife to buy nineteen acres on Lake Austin for $8,000, which he knew was an area that was likely to be developed and would increase dramatically in value. Lady Bird Johnson later sold the land for $330,000. He also provided the money for Johnson to buy the Fort Worth radio station that he said would be `some day worth $3 million’. (end of part 9)

Friday, May 11, 2018

Newsreel's 1968 `Columbia Student Revolt' documentary film

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 8

Gave Pacifica $23,000 To Help Fund Democracy Now! in 1990s
In The Pay of Foundations—Part 8

How U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations fund a “parallel left” media network of left media journalists and gatekeepers.

After the then-NY Daily News owner, who employed one of the Democracy Now! show’s co-hosts for over two decades, expressed his support, in a late 2008 television interview, for using public funds to bail out the Wall Street banks, whose involvement in unethical subprime mortgage lending helped trigger the Great Recession of 2008, Wayne Barrett noted, in a Nov. 25, 2008 Village Voice article, that “when Zuckerman isn’t running his media properties…he’s the chairman of Boston Properties, the largest office real estate company in the country;” and “that Citigroup rents more than a million square feet from Zuckerman’s company — trailing only the federal government and Lockheed Martin on its list of top 20 tenants.” So one reason Mort Zuckerman argued on television that “we cannot allow a major institution like” Citigroup “to collapse,” and his NY Daily News newspaper argued in an a November 2008 editorial that the U.S. government should “prevent major banking houses like Citigroup from collapsing,” was apparently because the commercial rental income that Zuckerman’s real estate dealmaking firm gained from its Citigroup tenant would be lost if Citigroup, despite having made $300 billion in unethical “toxic” subprime mortgage-related loans, was allowed to collapse, according to Barrett’s Voice article.

When Zuckerman had purchased his NY Daily News newspaper in 1993 for $36.3 million [equal to over $64 million in 2018], his personal worth was then $265 million [equal to over $468 million in 2018]. And during the 20 years that the weekly salary of the part-time co-host of the “parallel left” Democracy Now! show was being provided by Zuckeman’s tabloid corporate newspaper, Zuckerman’s personal wealth increased to around $2.8 billion by early 2018. But, not surprisingly, not many news segments examining how Zuckerman, who also sat on the board of trustees of both NYU and New York City’s WNET-TV affiliate of PBS during these two decades, was accumulating more personal wealth through his commercial real estate dealmaking firm while the gentrification of the Big Apple intensified, were apparently aired or broadcast on a sustained, regular basis by the Democracy Now! producers during these two decades. Yet in just the one year alone of 1999, the gross profits of the NY Daily News owner’s Boston Properties’ firm jumped by 50 percent.

After moving into his NY Daily News office in early 1993, Zuckerman immediately “fired 180 out of 540 members of the Newspaper Guild” at the NY Daily News, “axed two-thirds of the African-American reporters, including all Black males,” and “dismissed [the now-deceased] veteran reporter Dave Hardy, who was one of the Black journalists who won a racial discrimination suit against the newspaper in 1987” when it was still owned by the Tribune media conglomerate, according to the Daily News Workers Campaign for Justice. So, not surprisingly, the Daily News Workers Campaign for Justice then urged people in New York City to boycott Zuckerman’s NY Daily News in 1993. Yet one of the “parallel left” Democracy Now! show’s co-hosts continued to work as a columnist for Zuckerman’s newspaper until 2016; in the year before Zuckerman, a Canadian immigrant, who didn’t become a U.S. citizen until he reached the age of 40 in 1977, finally sold the NY Daily News in September 2017, while still continuing to own his U.S. News and World Report corporate media outlet.

A year after the Carnegie Corporation of New York gave Pacifica the $25,000 grant in 1996 to launch the Democracy Now! show, the J.M. Kaplan Fund foundation, in 1997, gave Pacifica a $13,000 [equal to over $20,000 in 2018] to “support Democracy Now! show;” and in 1998 an additional $10,000 [equal to over $15,000 in 2018] grant to help fund Democracy Now! was given to Pacifica by the J.M. Kaplan Fund foundation. And, not surprisingly, few radio or cable tv segments examining either how the J.M. Kaplan Fund’s founder obtained the money he needed to establish his foundation or how the J.M. Kaplan Fund historically acted as a conduit for the Central Intelligence Agency [C.I.A.] during the Cold War era were aired by Democracy Now! during the last two decades.

Yet as U. of California-Santa Cruz Professor G. William Domhoff noted in his 1970 book The Higher Circles: The Governing Class in America:

“The CIA did not exhaust its labor organizing efforts with its involvement in unions and training organizations related to the AFL-CIO. It also speculated in the activities of the `democratic left.; Through the J.M. Kaplan Foundation, which was founded originally through the beneficence of the president of Welch Grape Juice Company, the CIA gave $1,048,940 between 1961 and 1963 to socialist Norman Thomas’ Institute of International Labor Research…”

In a Sept. 3, 1964 article, titled “Kaplan Fund, Cited as C.I.A. `Conduit,’ Lists Unexplained $395,000 Grant,” the New York Times also observed:

“Charges that the J.M. Kaplan Fund Inc. of 55 Fifth Avenue has acted as a `secret conduit’ for transmission of funds abroad for the Central Intelligence Agency has met a wall of silence at the fund.

“A copy of the report made by the Kaplan Fund…for 1963, however, shows an unexplained grant of $395,000 [equal to over $3.1 million  in 2018] for that year to an Institute operated by a man who has long been identified with anti-communist causes in Europe and Latin America. The grant was by far the largest made by the Kaplan Fund last year in a total of $1,645,390 [equal to over $13.2 million in 2018].

“The recipient of the $395,000 was the Institute of International Labor Research Inc….Its secretary-treasurer is Sacha Volman…For years in Paris he headed a group called Free Trade Unions in Exile that worked with underground anti-communist forces in Eastern Europe…Norman Thomas is listed as chairman of its board of directors…Mr. Volman denied by telephone from Washington last night that he knew of any C.I.A. connection…It was his recollection that the fund had also made grants in 1960, 1961 and 1962…

“The charge that the New York…organization was being used as a `secret conduit’ for C.I.A. funds was made…by Representative Wright Patman…The Kaplan Fund has been under investigation both by the House and by the Internal Revenue Service. Mr. Patman had charged the fund with using some of its monies in business operations…”

In his 2012 book, Philanthropy In America: A History, University of Virginia Commonwealth Professor of History Olivier Zunz (who was “grateful also for the support” he “received from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation”—while writing a book about foundations like the ones supporting him) indicated why Rep. Patman initiated his Congressional investigation of foundations like the J.M. Kaplan Fund in the 1960s:

“Patman pursued his investigation of foundations throughout the 1960s. He argued that the proliferation of foundations was evidence not of increased…generosity but rather of growing fiscal abuse, which removed `over $11.5 billion [equal to over $91.9 billion in 2018]’ from taxation. He was determined to expose philanthropy as yet another pretext the wealthy used to avoid inheritance taxes, keep control of companies from one generation to the next, and receive handsome tax deductions when dumping unwanted assets. He also believed philanthropy was a means to avoid antitrust legislation, hide dubious financial transactions from scrutiny and influence the public through the funding of media…Patman was…the first person to reveal that the CIA had been using private foundations as fronts to channel money to anti-communist activities in Europe…Embarrassed, the White House quickly pressured the congressman to abandon that part of his investigation…”

The J.M. Kaplan Fund that gave Pacifica $23,000 in grant money in 1997 and 1998 to help fund Democracy Now! was established in 1945 by a former New School for Social Research/New School University board of trustees chair and former Freedom House trustee named Jacob “Jack” Kaplan, who lived between 1893 and 1987; and “much of its asset base came from the sale in the 1950s of the Welch Grape Juice Company, long headed by Mr. Kaplan, to a grape growers’ cooperative in New York State and Pennsylvania,” according to the J.M. Kaplan Fund’s website. From the sale of his Welch Grape Juice Company corporate stock in 1956, for example, Kaplan received $28.5 million [equal to over $259 million in 2018].

A historical profile of Kaplan’s company posted on the website recalled how the Kaplan Fund’s founder increased the Welch Grape Juice Company’s profits during World War II and first gained control of the Welch Grape Juice Company:

“…Jacob `Jack’ Kaplan…had garnered…a multi-million dollar fortune in commodities trading and retailing in the early 20th century. In 1933, Kaplan and his brother Maurice [purchased]…the grape processing operation of the Chautauqua and Erie Grape Growers Cooperative (CLE) in Brockton, New York…He changed the company name to National Grapes Corporation [in 1939]…In order to circumvent wartime restrictions on corporate profits and price controls, Jack Kaplan spearheaded the creation of a large grape growers cooperative in 1945. The new organization would not only be immune from federal corporation taxes and pricing dictates, but would also guarantee his processing company a reliable supply of grapes…Kaplan and his team convinced 900 growers to join the newly formed National Grape Co-Operative…Jack Kaplan purchased a controlling interest in [Welch’s parent] company [American National]…By the mid-1950s, National Grape farmers—whose numbers had swollen to over 6,000 in the meantime—were supplying 90 percent of the grapes processed by Welch…”

According to Frances Stoner Saunders’ 1999 book, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters book, the same year that Kaplan sold his Welch Grape Juice Company stock for the $28.5 million, from which much of the J.M. Kaplan fund’s asset base was derived, he secretly offered his services to the Central Intelligence Agency. As The Cultural Cold War recalled:

"In 1956...J.M. Kaplan, president of the Welch Grape Juice Company, and president and treasurer of the Kaplan Foundation (assets: $14 million), wrote to Allen Dulles offering his services...Dulles subsequently arranged for a CIA `representative' to make an appointment with Kaplan. The Kaplan Foundation could soon be counted as an asset, a reliable `pass-through' for secret funds earmarked for CIA projects, amongst them the Congress for Cultural Freedom, and an institute headed by veteran socialist and chairman of the American Committee for Cultural Freedom, Norman Thomas.”

In the 21st-century, the J.M. Kaplan Fund, that helped fund Pacifica’s Democracy Now! in late 1990s, was still controlled by members of Jack Kaplan’s family (whose last names were now more frequently “Davidson” or “Fonesca” rather than “Kaplan,” as a result of marriage by Kaplan’s daughters, including the oldest one, Joan Davidson, who still owned an 85-acre estate in Germantown, New York in 2013). In 2010, for example, eleven grandchildren, children or other relatives of Kaplan were each being paid between $4,000 and $9,000 for only 3 to 5 hours of “weekly work” sitting on the J.M. Kaplan Fund board of trustees, according to the foundation’s Form 990 financial filing for 2010. And in 2016, Kaplan’s surviving children and grandchildren were now being paid between $5,000 and $10,000 for only 3 to 5 hours of “weekly work” sitting on the J.M. Kaplan Fund’s board, according to the Form 990 financial filing for 2016.

The market value of the J.M. Kaplan Fund’s assets in 2010 still exceeded $139 million, including its investments of over $72 million in limited partnership shares, over $56 million in corporate stock and over $800,000 in corporate bonds. Over $16 million of the foundation’s inherited wealth was now invested in Westgate Associates, over $13 million in Brookside Capital and over $8 million in Emerging Markets Growth Fund, for example, by the J.M. Kaplan Fund; and the dividends and interest obtained from the corporate securities owned by the “non-profit” foundation produced a net investment income of over $2.1 million in 2010.

In 2010, the J.M. Kaplan Fund apparently used some of the money it obtained from investments in corporations that exploit working-class people and middle-class consumers around the globe to provide “charitable grants” to U.S. university book publishing firms like Princeton University Press, University of North Carolina Press and Penn State University Press, as well as to “parallel left” publishers like The New Press (which was given a $5,000 grant “for `The World According To Monsanto’), according to its 2010 Form 990 financial filing.  And during that same year, the “non-profit” J.M. Kaplan Fund paid $459,000 to Brandywine Management Services “for investment services” (of apparently speculating with the foundation’s money on stock markets around the globe) and paid a total annual compensation of over $291,000 to the J.M. Kaplan Fund’s executive director, according to the same 2010 financial filing.

In 2016 the market value of J.M. Kaplan Fund’s assets still exceeded $130 million, including the over $97 million it invested in hedge funds, according to its 2016 Form 990 financial filing. From its investments in the stocks and bonds of corporation and governments that still exploit working-class people and middle-class consumers around the globe, the J.M. Kaplan Fund received over $1.8 million in dividends and interests in 2016. According to the same 2016 financial filing, the market value of J.M. Kaplan Fund’s investment in the Brandywine Mutual Strategy hedge fund exceeded $54 million and the market value of its investment in the Brandywine Global hedge fund was over $35 million in 2016; and, in that same year, J.M. Kaplan Fund paid the Brandywine Management Company stock and bonds speculation firm $563,934 for its “investment services” on behalf of the “non-profit” foundation.

Since the J.M. Kaplan Fund gave a $10,000 grant to Pacifica in 1998, Brandywine Management Company/Brandywine Global Inc. has been a subsidiary of Legg Mason Inc., that, with its 9 subsidiary investment affiliates managed over $779 billion worth of assets in early 2018, including over $216 billion worth of stock in corporations that exploit workers and middle-class consumers around the world. As the Brandywine Global website notes:

“Brandywine Global incorporated in 1986 as Brandywine Asset Management, LLC….In January 1998, Legg Mason, Inc., a New York Stock Exchange-listed company which has been providing investment services to institutions and individuals since 1899, acquired Brandywine Asset Management…. “

In late 2017, over $74 billion in corporate stocks, corporate bonds, corporate senior notes and government bonds were being managed by Brandywine Global; and in late December 2017, $7.4 million worth of Apple stock, $7.4 million worth of JP Morgan Chase stock, $7.2 million worth of Citigroup stock, $6.3 million worth of Disney/ABC corporate media conglomerate stock, $6.3 million worth of Comcast corporate media conglomerate stock, $4.4 million worth of United Technologies stock, $3.9 million worth of Goldman Sachs stock, $3.9 million worth of Lockheed Martin stock, $2.7 million worth of General Dynamics stock, $2.4 million worth of Exxon Mobil stock, $2 million worth of Chevron stock and $2.1 million worth of CBS corporate media conglomerate stock were contained in the stock portfolio that provides “investment services” for the J.M. Kaplan Fund which helped fund Democracy Now! in 1997 and 1998. (end of part 8)

Thursday, May 10, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media netowrk--Part 7

Gave $1 Million Grant To Democracy Now Co-Host's NAHJ In 2004
In The Pay of Foundations—Part 7

How U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations fund a “parallel left” media network of left media journalists and gatekeepers.

 While Democracy Now! co-host Gonzalez was the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ president, a grant of $1 million [equal to over $1.3 million in 2018] was also given to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in 2004 by the Chicago-based Robert R. McCormick Foundation to expand a “parity project” Gonzalez created to improve coverage of Latinos nationwide by the institutionally racist U.S. corporate media industry, in which Gonzalez had worked as a columnist during the previous 24 years. The institutionally racist Gannett media conglomerate’s Gannett Foundation had previously helped launch the National Association of Hispanic Journalists group in the early 1980s with “$50,000 [equivalent to over $131,000 in 2018] in seed money” according to the NAHJ’s website. As the NAHJ recalled on its website:

“The beginnings of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) can be traced back to a 1982 convention in San Diego….After obtaining $50,000 in seed money from the Freedom Forum (then the Gannett foundation), an organizing committee was formed…After two years of arduous work, the articles of incorporation for NAHJ were finally signed in February of 1984…. In 1985, NAHJ established its headquarters in the National Press Building in Washington, D.C….Today, there are more than 2,000 members nationwide. More funds were also attracted, from $150, 000 in the first year, to an annual budget of over $800,000 by the end of 2012.”

NAHJ’s current president, Brandon Benavides, is the executive producer of the Good Morning San Antonio corporate media show of the Graham Media Group’s KSAT-12 television station in Texas. The Graham Media Group is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings, whose corporate board includes former Washington Post Company corporate media conglomerate CEO Donald Graham, former Washington Post newspaper CEO Katharine Weymouth, Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, former General Motors CEO Richard Wagoner, former Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy, former Delaware Governor Jack Markel and a former vice-president for government affairs, Larry Thompson, of PepsiCo ( a U.S. corporation that also gave a contribution of $50,000 to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in June 2011). Besides owning the corporate media television station that employs the NAHJ’s current president, Graham Holdings also owns the Slate Group corporate media firm that publishes both the Slate online magazine and Foreign Policy magazine.

After receiving a $1 million grant from the Robert R. McCormick Tribune/Robert R. McCormick Foundation in 2004, the NAHJ also was later given a $100,000 grant by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation in 2010, according to the foundation website’s grants data base.

The New York Daily News mainstream newspaper that former National Association of Hispanic Journalists [NAHJ] president Gonzalez began working for, eight years before Carnegie Corporation of New York foundation funds were used to launch the “parallel left” Democracy Now! daily news show that he co-hosted, had been owned by the Chicago-based Tribune corporate media conglomerate since--in imitation of British press baron Lord Northcliffe’s London Daily Mirror tabloid newspaper--the Chicago Tribune newspaper firm began publishing the tabloid newspaper in 1919. The newspaper remained linked to the Chicago Tribune until it was sold by the Tribune Company for $295 million [equal to over $543 million in 2018] to British global media baron Robert Maxwell in 1991; prior to the New York Daily News  being subsequently purchased in 1993 for around $36 million [equal to around $63 million in 2018]  by the neo-con real estate dealmaker and owner of U.S. News and World Report magazine, Mort Zuckerman--an opponent of full national self-determination rights for the Palestinian people and the U.S. anti-war movement’s Palestinian solidarity activism.

Between 1919 and his death in 1946, day-to-day management of the Chicago Tribune’s New York Daily News tabloid subsidiary was handled by Joseph “Captain” Patterson from his Manhattan office building; while his cousin, Robert “Colonel” McCormick—with whom Patterson had jointly managed the Chicago Tribune between 1914 and his 1919 move to New York City—continued, in an autocratic way, to manage the day-to-day operations of the Tribune in Chicago until McCormick died in 1955.

During the 27 years when Patterson managed the Chicago Tribune newspaper tabloid subsidiary, that Democracy Now!’s future co-host began working  for after 1987, the Chicago Tribune first entered the U.S. radio broadcasting world. As John Tebbel recalled in his 1947 book, An American Dynasty:

“One of the astute moves that Colonel McCormick made in building his empire was to get in on the ground floor of radio, at a time when most publishers scoffed at the idea that it could ever be a serious rival of the newspaper….As early as 1921…he began the negotiations which ended in June 1924 with the purchase of WDAP, then Chicago’s most powerful station. Less than a month later the station had its call letters changed to WGN, meaning of course, `World’s Greatest Newspaper’…In 1934…WGN joined WOR, Newark, WLW, Cincinnati, and WXYZ, Detroit, in a network which expanded in time to the powerful 268-station…Mutual Broadcasting System. The Colonel owns 24 percent of Mutual stock, and W.E. MacFarlane, Tribune business manager, was president of the chain for several years…”

Around the time New York Daily News founder Patterson died, the value of the Chicago Tribune media empire, which he and McCormick had inherited, was worth about $100 million [equal to about $1.1 billion in 2018] and the Chicago Tribune’s newspaper chain, along with William Randolph Hearst’s newspaper chain and Roy Howard’s Scripps-Howard newspaper chain, was regarded by many people in the USA as a dangerous corporate media propaganda tool of the U.S power elite’s right-wing faction. As George Seldes observed in his 1943 book, Fact and Fascism:

“If the reader thinks of our chain newspaper owners, Hearst, Howard, Patterson and McCormick, as merely four of America’s 15,000 publishers, he fails to see the danger to America from an anti-democratic, anti-American press. These four publishers put out one fourth of all the newspapers sold daily on our streets, they own forty of the 200 big city papers which make American public opinion, they run not only the three biggest newspaper chains in the country, but two of the three big news services which supply news to a majority of America’s dailies, and because they have always been anti-labor, anti-labor, and anti-democratic…they constitute what I believe is the greatest force hostile to the general welfare of the common people of America…They are animated by nothing above their pocketbooks...”

Corporate Media Baron Robert R. McCormick: Foundation inherited his Tribune stock
After Robert “Colonel” McCormick died in 1955, leaving an estate of around $55 million [equal to over $507 million in 2018], the McCormick Charitable Trust/Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation was established; and the McCormick  Patterson Trust—which then controlled the Tribune Company and its New York Daily News subsidiary—was placed under the control of this newly-established foundation for the next two decades, until the Tribune Company was reorganized in 1975. Then, in the early 1980s, the Tribune Company corporate media conglomerate was again re-organized; and in 1983 Tribune Company stock began to be sold to investors other than Tribune Company executives, members of the McCormick-Patterson dynasty or the Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation.

According to a May 16, 2008 Chicago Tribune article, “at one time,” the Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation “was the largest shareholder” of the Tribune media conglomerate. But three years after the Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation gave its $1 million grant to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists [NAHJ] in 2004, to expand the “parity project” that Democracy Now! co-host Gonzalez created during his 2002 to 2004 term as NAHJ president, the foundation “sold all its shares” of Tribune media conglomerate stock “as the part of Tribune Co.’s process of going private, which was completed in late 2007;” and in 2008 the foundation’s board of trustees voted to drop “Tribune” from its name and just call itself the “Robert R. McCormick Foundation.” Yet despite the name change, according to the same article, in 2008 “neither its governance nor operation” was “to change as a result” of the name change; and “the foundation’s board always has consisted of current and former Tribune Co. executives.”

The foundation may no longer have owned stock in the Tribune corporate media conglomerate after 2008. But in 2018 the Robert R. McCormick Foundation board chairman, former Tribune Company Chairman/CEO and current Northwestern University Trustee Dennis FitzSimons, still sat on the board of directors of corporate media firms like Time Inc. and Nexstar Media Group/Media General Incorporated, according to the foundation’s website; and in 2016, the over $1.2 billion in Robert R. McCormick Foundation assets included investments in hedge funds ($411.4 million), private equity funds ($164 million), international equity funds ($124.5 million), domestic equity funds ($63.1 million) and publicly-traded corporate stocks and bonds ($180.3 million), from which $35.5 million in investment income was obtained in 2016, according to the foundation’s 2016 Form 990 financial filing.

The same Form 990 financial filing also revealed that the “non-profit” Robert R. McCormick Foundation paid former Tribune Company Chairman/CEO and current Northwestern University Trustee FitzSimons an annual compensation of $61,900 for working just 5 hours a week as the foundation’s board chair in 2016; and, for working just 4 hours a week, the four other members of the Robert R. MCormick Foundation board of directors each received an annual compensation of $55,000 in 2016.  In addition, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation’s president/CEO, a former Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune corporate media ceo named David Hiller, received a total annual compensation of $550,000 in 2016; and at least 12 other executives of the same “non-profit” foundation also were paid total annual compensations that were well above $150,000 in 2016.

Not surprisingly, the university on whose board of trustees the Robert R. McCormick Foundation board chair sits, tax-exempt Northwestern University, also, in 2016, received 8 “charitable” grants, totalling $2.1 million from the “non-profit” Robert R. McCormick Foundation which previously gave a $1 million grant in 2004 to the NAHJ organization that Democracy Now!’s longtime co-host headed between 2002 and 2004. (end of part 7)

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 6

Owned Philly Newspaper where Democracy Now! Co-Host worked & funded NAHJ 
In The Pay of Foundations—Part 6

How U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations fund a “parallel left” media network of left media journalists and gatekeepers.

Democracy Now! part-time co-host Juan Gonzalez’s career as a professional journalist in the corporate media world began in 1979 after his journalism course instructor at Temple University, who was a moonlighting editor at the Philadelphia Daily News evening newspaper of the Knight-Ridder corporate media firm, that also owned the Philadelphia Inquirer morning daily newspaper, encouraged Gonzalez to apply for a clerical job at the Philadelphia Daily News in late 1978; and he was soon promoted to be a full-time reporter for the newspaper by early 1979.

Prior to merging with the super-rich Ridder dynasty’s newspaper chain in 1974, to create a newspaper chain of 35 daily and 25 Sunday newspapers that made Knight-Ridder the largest U.S. corporate newspaper chain at that time, the super-rich Knight dynasty had purchased its two Philadelphia newspapers from the super-rich Walter Annenberg’s corporate media conglomerate for $55 million [equivalent to over $369 million in 2018] in 1969. When Gonzalez began working for the Knight-Ridder corporate media firm’s Philadelphia Daily News in 1979, John “Jack” Knight and James "Jim" Knight owned 30 percent of Knight-Ridder’s stock, three Ridder dynasty members owned 7 percent of Knight-Ridder’s stock and the Knight-Ridder board of directors included John Knight, James Knight and the three Ridder dynasty members.

After John “Jack” Knight died two years later, much of the $200 million [equivalent to over $542 million in 2018] worth of Knight-Ridder/Philadelphia Daily News stock which he owned in 1981 was left to the “non-profit” Knight Foundation, to avoid payment of heavy estate taxes. As the Knight Foundation’s 1995 Annual Report noted:

When John S. Knight died in 1981, he left to the Foundation most of his holdings in Knight-Ridder…James L. Knight succeeded his brother as chairman, and Lee Hills, former Knight-Ridder chief executive officer, was put in charge of planning the transition from a small foundation to one of the largest in the United States…The number of trustees was increased to 13, including two of James Knight’s daughters…”
Knight Dynasty Media Barons of 20th Century: John Knight and James Knight
And when Gonzalez left the Philadelphia Daily News between late 1987 and early 1988 to begin working for the New York Daily News  (which was then owned by the Chicago-based Tribune corporate media conglomerate that also owned the WPIX-TV station in New York City), the Knight Foundation still owned a big chunk of Knight-Ridder stock, James Knight personally still owned 14 percent of Knight-Ridder’s stock, now worth about $439 million [equivalent to over $987 million in 2018], and the three Ridder dynasty members also continued to own Knight-Ridder newspaper chain stock. Then, when James “Jim” Knight died in February 1991, he also left $200 million [equivalent to over $318 million in 2018] to the Knight Foundation.

So by early 1996, when Knight-Ridder’s former Philadelphia Daily News-turned New York Daily News columnist became Democracy Now!’s co-host, the Knight Foundation owned “2,630,451 shares…of common stock of Knight-Ridder Inc., which represented 17.2 percent…of the Foundation’s assets” that was worth around $165 million [equal to around $263 million in 2018], according to the Knight Foundation’s 1995 Annual Report. In addition, in 1996 the “non-profit” Knight Foundation also owned $409 million [equal to over $656 million in 2018] worth of stock in other profit-oriented corporations, as well as $52 million [equal to $83 million in 2018] worth of real estate. And according to its 1995 Annual Report:

“Overall, Knight Foundation’s portfolio returned 25.7 percent in 1995…The Foundation’s assets totaled $957.5 million [equal to over $1.5 billion in 2018] at the end of 1995, an increase of $212 million from the previous year…Investments added $195 million in value.”

Yet “the Foundation” was “not subject to federal income tax;” and only $26 million of the Knight Foundation’s $212 million increase in assets was redistributed to its grant recipients, according to the same annual report.

Besides having worked for a Philadelphia newspaper owned, in part, by the Knight Foundation during the 1980s, Gonzalez also helped establish the National Association of Hispanic Journalists [NAHJ] in 1984; and, while a co-host of Democracy Now! show, he was also the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ president between 2002 and 2004.  Coincidentally, between 2003 and 2011, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists group received grants of $240,000 from the “Challenge Fund for Journalism” program begun in 2003 by the Ford Foundation and the Knight Foundation-- which owned part of the institutionally racist Knight-Ridder newspaper that employed Gonzalez in the 1980s, but generally failed to hire many other Hispanic journalists from the Latino community or from Latino national ethnic backgrounds between 1979 and 2003. (end of part 6)