Sunday, October 7, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 24

Bill Moyers and  his 1970s PBS show managing editor Charlie Rose in 2006 

In The Pay of Foundations—Part 24 

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

Although parallel left media firms like Democracy Now! do not generally directly fund their operations by selling advertising time to corporations for the broadcasting of commercials as do corporate media firms like CBS, the U.S. power elite foundations and liberal establishment foundations that fund parallel left media groups like Democracy Now! Productions obtain the grant money they distribute by obtaining, buying and selling stock of the corporations that exploit working class people and middle-class consumers around the globe and receiving dividends from the profits of these same corporations. As Aquarian Weekly observed in its Feb. 12, 1997 issue, during the 1980s Democracy Now! funder Bill Moyers’ Schumann Foundation, for example, “invested in the Philip Morris tobacco company.” And in the same issue, Aquarian Weekly also noted:

“On Dec. 31, 1983, the Schumann Foundation’s portfolio contained $34 million [equal to over $86 million in 2018] in corporate stock, including $1 million [equal to over $2.5 million in 2018] in Philip Morris stock. Other companies in which the Schumann Foundation invested in 1983 were IBM ($14.6 million), GE ($1.7 million), Nabisco ($1.2 million), Standard Oil of Indiana ($1 million), Exxon ($882,000), Johnson & Johnson ($817,000), and Atlantic Richfield ($756,000). 

Democracy Now! Funder-Schumann Foundation President Moyers

And according to its Form 990 financial filings from the late 1990s, only a few years before Democracy Now! received its first grant money from Moyers’ Schumann Center for Media and Democracy/Schumann Foundation, the Schumann Foundation was still investing in environmentally destructive energy corporations like British Petroleum (2,000 shares of stock), Columbia Gas Systems (5,000 shares of stock), Conoco, Inc. (4,200 shares of stock), Pioneer Natural Resource Company (10,200 shares of stock), Royal Dutch Petroleum Company (10,000 shares of stock) and Shell Transportation and Trading Company (10,000 shares of stock), as well as in automobile corporations like Ford Motor Company (12,500 shares of stock).

Democracy Now! Funder Moyers With LBJ in White House

When Democracy Now! Productions! was given a grant of $300,000 [equal to over $350,000 in 2018] by the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy in 2009, Bill Moyers’ foundation was still obtaining its grant money by either obtaining dividends from the corporations it owned stock in or selling some of the corporate stock of corporations it had been given or purchased in previous years. For example, in 2009 the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy earned $988,640 [equal to over $1.1 million in 2018] in “dividends and interests from securities” it owned; and, during that same year, it obtained $11,401,043 [equal to over $13.3 million in 2018] from the sale of a portion of shares of stocks it had owned in corporations (like Dell, Bank America, Wells Fargo, ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil, Sara Lee, General Electric, Dow Chemical, Time Warner, Yahoo, Delta, Borg Warner, Best Buy, Gannett and Microsoft, etc.) at the beginning of the year, according to the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy foundation’s Form 990 financial filing for 2009.

The Schumann Center for Media and Democracy 2009 Form 990 financial filing also indicates that the market value of the foundation’s corporate stock investments at the beginning of the year, of $29,775,884, increased by over $2 million, to $31,928,576 by the end of the year of 2009. And, according to the same 2009 Form 990 financial filing, during the same year that the parallel left Democracy Now! Productions media firm accepted its $300,000 grant from the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, this foundation continued to own:

1. 1,150 shares of Google stock--worth $712,977;

2. 11,000 shares of Pepsico stock—worth $668,800;

3. 3,700 shares of Goldman Sachs stock—worth $624,708;

4. 11,700 shares of Target stock—worth $565,929;

5. 7,200 shares of Royal Dutch Shell A stock—worth $432,792;

6. 9,628 shares of JP Morgan stock—worth $401,199;

7. 10,080 shares of Merck stock—worth $368,323;

8. 6,000 shares of Wal-Mart stock—worth $320,700;

9. 3,572 shares of Chevron stock—worth $275,008;

10. 4,400 shares of Procter and Gamble stock—worth $266,772;

11. 1,200 shares of Apple stock—worth $252,878;

12. 7,700 shares of Walt Disney-ABC stock—worth $248,325;

13. 8,400 shares of Kraft Foods stock—worth $228,312;

14. 2,500 shares of Monsanto stock—worth $204,375;

15. 2,700 shares of Johnson and Johnson stock—worth $175,907;

16. 11,650 shares of CBS stock—worth $163,683;

17. 1,900 shares of Colgate stock—worth $156,085;

18. 2,700 shares of Coca Cola stock---worth $153,900;

19. 5,300 shares of Home Depot stock—worth $153,329;

20. 1,100 shares of IBM stock—worth $143,990;

21. 4,500 shares of Microsoft stock—worth $137,160;

22. 4,350 shares of Viacom stock—worth $129,326;

23. 2,842 shares of Time Warner Cable stock—worth $117,630;

24. 2,200 shares of Hewlett-Packard stock—worth $113,322;

25. 2,600 shares of Scripps Network stock—worth $107,900;

26. 7,100 shares of General Electric [GE] stock—worth $107,423;

27. 2,900 shares of Honda Motor stock—worth $98,310;

28. 1 share of Berkshire Hathaway stock—worth $99,200;

29. 3,200 shares of United Health stock—worth $97,536;

30. 1,700 shares of United Parcel stock—worth $97,529;

31. 1,380 shares of ExxonMobil stock—worth $94,102;

32. 2,500 shares of Aetna stock—worth $79,750;

33. 1,354 shares of Royal Dutch Shell B stock—worth $78,708;

35. 1,400 shares of Boeing stock—worth $75,782;

36. 2,300 shares of AT and T stock—worth $64,469;

37. 800 shares of United Technologies stock—worth $55,528;

38. 1,700 shares of Unilever stock—worth $54,961;

39. 3,600 shares of Gannett media conglomerate stock—worth $53,460;

40. 1,200 shares of Marathon Oil stock—worth $37,464; and

41. 1,100 shares of Bank NY Mellon stock—worth $30,767.

In addition, the 2009 Form 990 financial filing of the foundation that helps fund Democracy Now! Productions also indicates that its longtime president and trustee, former Johnson White House Special Assistant and Press Secretary Bill Moyers, received a total annual compensation of $65,839 from his Schumann Center for Media and Democracy gig in 2009; and the same corporate tax-exempted and “non-profit” foundation also paid Schumann Center for Media and Democracy Vice-President-Administration Lynn Welhorsky in 2009 a total annual compensation of $186,551 [equal to over $218,000 in 2018], while only just paying $15,239 in “excise taxes.”  (end of part 24)