|Schumann Media Center, Inc. and Democracy Now! Funder Bill Moyers|
In The Pay of Foundations—Part 25
How U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations fund a “parallel left” media network of left media journalists and gatekeepers.
As Robert Arnove and Nadine Pinede observed in a 2007 article, titled “Revisiting The `Big Three’ Foundations,’ that appeared in the Critical Sociology journal:
“It is still the foundations, with the profits that they have derived from the given social system, that determine what issues merit society’s attention, who will study these issues, which results will be disseminated, and which recommendations will be made to shape public policy. Decisions that should be made by publicly elected officials are relegated to a group of institutions and individuals who cannot conceive of changing in any profound way a system from which they derive their profits and power. The United States class system and its worldwide hegemonic power remains…still largely intact…”
And as Inside Philanthropy media site editor David Callahan noted in his book The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy In A New Gilded Age in 2017:
“Leaving a foundation to your kids actually gives them more influence in society than passing down the wealth directly…We’re seeing a marked expansion of the kind of sophisticated elite power that so many Americans find unnerving…We’re talking about elites who are born into that power and come to exercise it at considerable expense to U.S. taxpayers, who help foot the bill when the family foundations are created…Most Americans are unaware of the huge power that heirs are coming to wield through philanthropy…
“Giving by the wealthy is amplifying their voice at the expense of ordinary citizens, complementing other tools of upper-class dominance…In a democracy, all powerful institutions that affect our lives need vigilant oversight. Philanthropy is no exception. Right now, it’s one of the last major sectors of U.S. society that gets to basically do as it pleases, answering to no one…Americans are getting nervous about how the wealthy are using philanthropy as a tool of influence in an age of inequality…Most people are in fact clueless about just how much influence philanthropy really does wield in U.S. society…”
Yet in 2013, the parallel left Democracy Now! Productions media firm accepted a $750,000 [equal to over $811,000 in 2018] grant from Bill Moyers’ Schumann Media Center, Inc. foundation, according to the Schumann Media Center, Inc.’s Form 990 financial filing for the year beginning Jan. 1, 2013 and ending Dec. 31, 2013.
The same 2013 Form 990 financial filing also indicated that Moyers’ previously Montclair, New Jersey-based Schumann Media Center, Inc. (which used to operate first under the name “Schumann Foundation” and, subsequently, under the name of “Schumann Center for Media and Democracy” prior to 2011) now had its principal tax-exempt foundation office located in Suite 715 at 250 West 57th Street in Manhattan. And, coincidentally, the office of Democracy Now! Funder and long-time Schumann Foundation/Schumann Center for Media and Democracy/Schumann Media Center, Inc. President Bill Moyers’s Public Affairs Television, Inc. firm was also located at 250 West 57th Street in Suite 718--on the same floor as the Schumann Media Center, Inc.’s principal office.
According to the Schumann Media Center, Inc.’s bylaws that were amended and restated on Nov. 11, 2013, its “Board of Trustees shall authorize and approve all expenditures of money” and its “President” (former CBS and long-time PBS show host/journalist and Public Affairs Television, Inc. Executive Bill Moyers) “shall be the chief executive officer of the Corporation and shall in general supervise and control all of the business and affairs of the Corporation.”
|Bill Moyers and his 1970s PBS show managing editor Charlie Rose in 2006|
Yet as Michael Getler wrote in a July 20, 2009 article, titled "Journalistic Foundations,” that was posted on the internet:
“…Is it not inconsistent with the role of `journalist’ to be the head of a foundation that funds a wide-range of organizations, many of which are linked to public policy positions?...Working journalists usually don't also run foundations that provide financial support to other organizations that, in turn, sometimes provide guests for your own program, or other programs or projects and issues you care about…Is there any other high-profile, or low-profile for that matter, working journalist who is involved in this kind of arrangement?...”
According to Article XIII, Section 13.2, titled “Lobbying and Political Action, of its Nov. 11, 2013 “Amended and Restated” bylaws, “No substantial part of the activities of the” Schumann Media Center, Inc. “Corporation shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the Corporation shall not participate in, or intervene (including the publishing or distribution of statements) in any political campaign on behalf (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office;” and, according to section 13.1, titled “Exempt Activities,” of the same Article XIII, “No trustee, officer, employee or representative of this Corporation shall take any action or carry on any activity by or on behalf of the Corporation which is not permitted to be taken or carried on (a) by an organization exempt from federal income tax…”
Yet besides giving the parallel left Democracy Now! Productions media firm a $750,000 “charitable grant” between Jan. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2013, Moyers’ Schumann Media Center, Inc. also gave a “charitable grant” of $301,139 [equal to over $325,000 in 2018] to the parallel left “Institute for Public Affairs”/In These Times magazine media firm, a “charitable grant” of $295,000 [equal to over $319,000 in 2018) to the parallel left Nation Institute/The Nation magazine media firm, a “charitable grant” of $93,250 [equal to over $100,000 in 2018] to the parallel left Foundation for National Progress/Mother Jones magazine media firm and a “charitable grant” of $250,000 [equal to over $270,000 in 2018] to help fund the parallel left Common Dreams website, during this same period. In addition, between Jan. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2013 another “future” $103,125 grant to Foundation for National Progress/Mother Jones magazine was also authorized in a vote by the Schumann Media Center, Inc.’s Board of Trustees.
And, like in previous years, the “charitable grant” money that Moyers’ Schumann Media Center, Inc. foundation used in 2013 to help fund politically partisan parallel left media outlets like the Democracy Now! show, In These Times magazine, Mother Jones magazine, The Nation magazine/Nation Institute and Common Dreams was apparently derived from owning stock and investing in corporations that exploit workers and consumers at home and abroad. As Section 12.1 of Article XII, titled “Reinvestment” of the Schumann Media Center, Inc.’s “Amended and Restated” bylaws of Nov. 11, 2013 noted:
“The Corporation shall have the right to retain all or any part of any securities…acquired by it in whatever manner, and to invest and reinvest any funds held by it…without being restricted to the class of investments…”
In 2013, for example, the market value of the Schumann Media Center, Inc.’s investment in the American Growth Funds exceeded $21 million; and in 2014 the portfolio of the American Growth Funds included ownership of corporate stock in corporations like the following: Amazon, Comcast; Goldman Sachs; CBS; Microsoft; Philip Morris; Berkshire Hathaway; Halliburton; Facebook Inc.’ DowDuPont; JP Morgan; Nike; AIG; Starbuck’s; Apple; Wells Fargo; Coca Cola; Sony; Chevron; General Dynamics; Lockheed; Time Warner; Citigroup; Raytheon; Uber; United Technologies; and Royal Dutch Shell. And according to the U.S. News.com website, as of Sept. 10, 2018, the American Growth Funds had “ assets totaling almost $194.79 billion;” and “its portfolio” consisted “primarily of U.S. stocks, which make up more than 80 percent of the portfolio…with Amazon, Gilead Sciences and Comcast rounding out the top three holdings.”
|Ex-LBJ Special Assistant/Schumann Media Center Prez Moyers With LBJ|
Long-time Schumann Media Center, Inc. foundation president Moyers used to be Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Special Assistant and White House press secretary during the Vietnam War Era of the 1960s. So, not surprisingly, between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2016 Democracy Now! funder Moyers’ Schumann Media Center, Inc., besides giving an additional $250,000 “charitable grant” to Democracy Now! Productions, also, according to its 2016 Form 990 financial filing, gave a $100,000 “charitable grant” to the Texas-based Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation—whose board of trustees includes, coincidentally, Luci Baines Johnson, the founder and limited Partner of LBJ Family Wealth Advisers.
(end of part 25 )