|Gave Pacifica $25,000 Grant in 1998 To Fund Democracy Now! Show|
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...”
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:
|Former Public Welfare Foundation Board Chair and Member Peter Edelman|
“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….”
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:
|Opposed U.S. Antiwar and Palestine solidarity movement's BDS Campaign|
“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 www.nasdaq.com 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)