Sunday, February 25, 2018

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 & 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)

Monday, February 19, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a "parallel left" media network--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)

Sunday, February 18, 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)

Friday, February 16, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 5

NY Daily News Owner Mort Zuckerman: Paid Democracy Now! Co-Host's Salary
In The Pay of Foundations—Part 5

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

By the early 1990s, the producer at Pacifica’s WBAI radio station in Manhattan who had produced the stations’s late 1980s daily evening news show, Amy Goodman, was, instead, now the producer of WBAI’s daily morning news show in New York City. According to the former Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio journalist who was program director at WBAI between 1989-1994, Andrew Phillips, he “instituted substantial program changes” at WBAI during this period, “including moving Amy Goodman to morning drive.”

Then, two years after accepting a “silver baton” duPont-Columbia award of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund-subsidized Alfred I. duPont Awards Foundation at the ceremony in Columbia’s Low Library, Goodman joined with a columnist of neo-con real estate developer Mort Zuckerman’s New York Daily News non-alternative, mainstream daily newspaper, Juan Gonzalez, to produce and co-host the new Democracy Now! daily radio news show that the Pacifica network launched in early February 1996—with the $25,000 in grant money Pacifica obtained from the Carnegie Corporation of New York foundation in 1996.

Prior to being appointed Secretary of State by Bill Clinton in the early 1990s, former Carnegie Corporation of New York trustee Warren Christopher was the chairman of the “Clinton Transition Team,” that helped determine, before the Democratic president’s Jan. 20, 1993 inauguration, which people should be appointed U.S. federal government posts during the first term of the Clinton administration. Another early 1990s Carnegie Corporation of New York trustee, then-Goldman Sachs co-chair Robert Rubin, was appointed U.S. Treasury Secretary by Clinton in 1995, a year before the Carnegie Corporation of New York grant to launch Democracy Now! was given to Pacifica.

According to the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s 1995 Annual Report, a $200,000 [equal to over $329,000 in 2018] grant was given between 1994 and 1995 to the WNYC Foundation on whose board sat then-Carnegie Corporation of New York trustee Wilma Tisch; and 5 grants, totalling $2.7 million [equal to over $4.4 million in 2018], were given during the same period to Stanford University, whose then-provost was Carnegie Corporation of New York trustee Condoleezza Rica and whose university board of trustees included then-Carnegie Corporation of New York trustee Henry Muller.

Yet since 1996, Democracy Now! listeners and viewers have not been provided with much specific information about the role the Carnegie Corporation of New York and its trustees have, historically, played in U.S. political and economic life; or how the foundation’s board of trustees has, historically or currently, obtained and distributed its grant money.

While continuing to write columns for the corporate media world’s New York Daily News mainstream newspaper and continuing to collect a regular paycheck from Zuckerman’s newspaper during the next two decades, Gonzalez also remained the part-time co-host on over 1,000 radio broadcasts of the “parallel left” Democracy Now! radio show during the same two decades; including the years after 2001 when it became a “parallel left” cable television show as well.  And, not surprisingly, during the past twenty years, few radio or tv segments that were specifically critical or unflattering about either Mort Zuckerman, Mort Zuckerman’s specific historic real estate business operations or the specific news content of Mort Zuckerman’s stable of non-alternative media reporters were aired on Democracy Now!.

But between 2001 and 2003, for example, the Canadian-born Zuckerman was the Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations anti-Palestinian self-determination rights lobbying group; and during most of the 21st-century the New York Daily News owner who employed Gonzalez was the honorary president of the American-Israel Friendship League [AFIL] whose “sole purpose is to make friends for the State of Israel through activities intended to improve the general perception of Israel,” according to the AFIL’s website. The same website also posted an article indicating how Zuckerman became involved in this pro-Israeli government group:

“The teamwork forged between Zuckerman, [American-Israel Friendship League Chairman Kenneth] Bialkin, and the rest of the AIFL team coalesced almost two decades ago, when a high-level request came in. ``Sometime in the late ‘90s each of us was contacted by the [Israeli] consul general of New York to ask if we would come in to help with the promotion of the AIFL,’ Bialkin remembers.

"Zuckerman views the work of the AIFL, in fostering better understanding between Israel and America, as a vital element in keeping the world safer. `I’ll put it this way: I think it is very important that there is more than one audience we should focus on. Number one: senior government officials. Number two: public opinion. Some would say the latter is the foundation of what affects the former. We need to continually develop that relationship.’”

An article by Christopher Walsh, titled “Pro-Israel Pundits Speak Out on Middle East,” that appeared in the September 4, 2014 issue of the East Hampton Star, described how the New York Daily News owner, whose newspaper Gonzalez continued to work for while co-hosting Democracy Now! for two decades after 1996, supported the Israeli war machine’s 50-day war against people in Gaza in the summer of 2014 (that killed 1,462 Palestinian civilians, including 551 Palestinian children, according to a June 2015 UN Human Rights Council report):

“…At the Jewish Center of the Hamptons… pro-Israel panelists from the worlds of media and academia discussed the seven-week war in Gaza…Mortimer Zuckerman, an East Hampton resident who is the publisher of the New York Daily News and editor in chief of U.S. News and World, expressed the panelists’ united defense of the Israeli military’s conduct in the war….He also sought to provide context to reports that more than 2,000 Palestinian civilians had been killed in the war by noting that 378,000 German civilians and 580,000 Japanese civilians were killed in World War II. `This is not a moral strike against Israel,’ he said….”

Yet during the over two decades that Zuckerman owned the New York Daily News, antiwar and Palestinian solidarity movement activists in the United States were rarely invited to appear on Democracy Now! to specifically highlight and criticize the role that Zuckerman may have personally and specifically played, historically, in supporting Israeli militarism and war crimes in the Middle East. (end of part 5)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 4

LBJ with 1992 duPont-Columbia award winner Bill Moyers in White House in late 1963.
In The Pay of Foundations—Part 4

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

Between 1984 and the year before the future Democracy Now! co-host, Amy Goodman, accepted her duPont-Columbia “silver baton” award at the 1994 Low Library ceremony on Columbia University’s campus, the former president of the CBS News corporate media organization, Bill Leonard, was the director of the  Alfred I duPont—Columbia University Awards in Broadcasting Journalism program.

A CBS News radio and television show producer during the McCarthy era, Leonard apparently participated in the blacklisting and exclusion from the radio airwaves and tv screens of anti-war leftist U.S. citizens in the 1950s by the CBS mass media conglomerate, on whose board of directors sat former Columbia University trustees William Paley and William A.M. Burden. As the former Alfred I. duPont—Columbia University Awards in Broadcasting Journalism director recalled in his 1987 autobiography In The Storm of the Eye: A Lifetime At CBS:

“…We were all asked to sign what amounted to—hell, what was—a loyalty oath. CBS was the only network to require such an oath…The paper did not say one would be fired for not signing. But…I signed…There was not only the loyalty oath but a system whereby every guest on my several programs had to be cleared in advance through an appointed CBS executive to make sure he or she was not on a blacklist…”

In the same book, Leonard also noted that “in January 1965 I found myself a vice-president of CBS News” and was a CBS “vice-president of programming” who “was involved with everything at CBS News” between 1965 and 1975, when he then began representing the CBS media conglomerate’s special economic interests in Washington, D.C. as CBS’s vice president for government relations between 1975 and 1977.

In his autobiography, former duPont-Columbia awards director Leonard noted that his job as CBS’s vice president for government relations made him “CBS’s chief lobbyist with Congress, the Federal Communications Commission [FCC], the White House—its major interests in Washington” and “learned more about how government really works in my…years as a Washington lobbyist.”

A year after former Columbia University President (and former member of the Texaco oil company board of directors) William McGill gave the Shah of Iran’s wife, Empress Farah Pahlavi, a Columbia University presidential citation in July 1977, former duPont-Columbia awards director Leonard returned to New York City in July 1978 as CBS News’ executive vice president and chief operating office. And while visiting Iran during the same year--when the dictatorial Shah of Iran unsuccessfully tried to retain political power in Iran by ordering his troops to shoot down unarmed Iranian civilian demonstrators and killing over 60,000 Iranian civilian demonstrators—Leonard was honored at a reception held in the Tehran home of the Shah of Iran regime’s ambassador to the United States. As the former duPont-Columbia awards director wrote in his 1987 autobiography:

“The situation was already quite tense in Iran in December [1978]…but I decided to stop there. I was pretty well connected in Iran, albeit primarily with the Shah’s regime, through his Washington ambassador, Ardeshir Zahedi. I had known our own ambassador, Bill Sullivan, over the years, and I now arranged a couple of talks with him in Tehran…Through my connections with Zahedi, I managed to arrange an interview with the Shah’s wife, Empress Farah Dibah…Later that evening, I set up a circuit to New York and reported on my interview with the Empress over the CBS Radio Network. The next day a reception was given in our honor by Ambassador Zahedi in his magnificent home, not far from the palace…”

The U.S. ambassador who, “over the years,” Leonard “had known” and “arranged a couple of talks with” in Tehran in December 1978, William Sullivan, was described in the following way in an obituary  of him that appeared in the London Telegraph’s Nov. 4, 2013 issue:

“William Sullivan, who has died aged 90, was the American diplomat who directed the `secret war’ in Laos, and later, as the US ambassador to Iran during the Islamic Revolution, recommended that Jimmy Carter reach out to Ayatollah Khomeini… From 1964 to 1973 US bombers dropped more than two million tons of ordnance on Laos, making the country the most heavily bombed country per capita in history…. As American Ambassador to Laos from 1964 to 1973, Sullivan served as field commander of the operation and, although his precise role remains undocumented, one former colleague was quoted as saying that `there wasn’t a bag of rice dropped in Laos that he didn’t know about.’

“As late as October 1978, a couple of months before the Shah fled into exile, Sullivan sent a cable backing the vacillating monarch. Two weeks later…he changed his mind. The Shah, he now argued, was finished, and America should reach out to Khomeini to maintain its influence in Iran….”

While presiding over the Establishment’s CBS News mainstream media organization between 1979 and 1982, Leonard also hired a former Johnson White House press secretary and chief of staff between late 1963 and 1967--when LBJ sent U.S. troops to the Dominican Republic and escalated U.S. military intervention in Vietnam in 1965--named Bill Moyers, to again work for the CBS commercial media conglomerate’s news department between 1981 and 1986.

After leaving CBS in 1986, Moyers was mostly then seen on U.S. television hosting the programs that his U.S. power elite foundation-funded Public Affairs TV Inc. media firm produced for foundation, corporate and U.S. government-funded PBS-affiliated television stations to broadcast; and, in addition, at the same time he was the executive director of his foundation-funded media firm, Moyers also was the president of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy Schumann Foundation and a trustee of billionaire speculator George Soros’ Open Society Institute foundations, that each dished out millions of dollars in grants to various “parallel left” alternative media groups between 1990 and 2018.

Not surprisingly, the duPont-Columbia awards program jury, on which duPont-Columbia awards program director and former CBS News president Leonard sat next to former CBS News correspondent Marlene Sanders (along with folks like then-Columbia Journalism School Dean Joan Konner and then-Hearst media conglomerate president for new projects Philip Balboni),  gave the former CBS News journalist that Leonard had hired to work for him in 1981 a duPont-Columbia “gold baton” award in 1992, “for the body of his work over 20 years in broadcasting,” according to a Feb. 7, 1992 Columbia Records article. And, also not surprisingly, the duPont-Columbia awards jury that awarded the executive director of Public Affairs TV Inc. a “golden baton” in 1992 was chaired by a former business partner of Moyers:  then-Columbia University Journalism School Dean Joan Konner, who was the Public Affairs TV Inc. president between 1986 and 1988, before being hired as the Columbia’s journalism school dean in 1988; and, subsequently, becoming board chair of Moyers’ Schumann Foundation.

After retiring as CBS News’ president in 1982 and beginning to direct the duPont-Columbia awards program in 1984 that a decade later gave a “silver baton” award to future Democracy Now! Productions president Goodman (a year after Leonard stopped directing the duPont-Columbia awards program) in 1994, Leonard was a consultant to both CBS and the National Association of Broadcasters [NAB] lobbying organization of U.S. commercial broadcasting corporations after 1982. In addition, during the 1980s he was also a board member of the corporate and foundation-funded NPR and a member of the World Press Freedom Committee’s board (during a decade in which this organization opposed UNESCO’s 1980s call for a New World Information Order and democratization of the global mass media and newsgathering system; apparently because it felt UNESCO’s call threatened the dominant position of global news agencies such as Reuters, Associated Press and AFP and the commercial interests of privately-owned global  corporate media conglomerates, like CBS).

In 1993, a year after Leonard’s duPont-Columbia awards program gave Bill Moyers its “golden baton” award in 1992, Moyers, not surprisingly, hosted the annual duPont-Columbia awards ceremony in Low Library in which Moyers’ former Public Affairs TV Inc. business partner Konner presented Leonard, himself, a “silver baton” duPont-Columbia award, prior to the former CBS News president’s 1993 retirement as director of the duPont awards program at Columbia.  According to a Feb. 5, 1993 Columbia Record article Leonard  was given his award “for his service to the awards and to broadcast journalism in a career spanning five decades” in the corporate media.

Yet three years before the Low Library ceremony at which future long-time Democracy Now! Productions Inc. president Goodman was given a duPont-Columbia award for producing the MacArthur Foundation subsidized Pacifica/WBAI radio documentary about the Indonesian military’s 1991  massacre in East Timor, 200 grassroots anti-war movement demonstrators had picketed the 1991 duPont-Columbia awards ceremony. As Danny Franklin noted in an article, titled “Anti-media protest held outside Low,” that appeared in the Columbia Daily Spectator’s Jan. 30, 1991 issue:

“About 200 people gathered outside the duPont Awards for Broadcast Journalism held in Low Library last night to protest the media's coverage of both the war in the Persian Gulf and the anti-war movement. After marching around Low Library, the crowd gathered at the top of the steps where Columbia Security guards blocked the entrance to the building….A few shoves were exchanged between a security guard and one protester as she approached the building. Tova Wang, CC '91, a spokesperson for the Barnard-Columbia Anti-War Coalition, said that a security guard pushed her with the long end of his nightstick… Protesters chanted `Two, four, six, eight. Separate the press and state’ and `TV news, you can't hide. We know you don't show both sides.’…” (end of part 4)

Monday, February 12, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 3

In The Pay of Foundations—Part 3

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

In its 1991 edition, Louis Rukeyser’s Business Almanac estimated that “the duPonts are the wealthiest and most powerful dynasty in the United States.” As Gerard Colby also observed in the 1984 edition of his DuPont Dynasty: Behind The Nylon Curtain book:

“No family in America has been richer longer than duPonts…The family has developed many ruses for avoiding any public control over its wealth. Besides their 11 personal trusts, the duPonts have established 37 tax-free foundations…Most of the duPonts, plus the first line of their in-laws and a few of the second line, make up the 250 `big’ duPonts…These are the duPonts who comprise the richest family in the world…These are the duPonts who own more estates, more thoroughbred horses, more yachts, more servants than the Queen of England and the royal family…It has been precisely by `hard bargaining,’ by exploitation of labor at home and abroad, by fat government contracts, that the duPonts amassed their $10 billion [equivalent to over $23.7 billion in 2018 dollars] fortune.”

Yet since 1996, Democracy Now! has not seemed eager to produce many radio or tv news show segments that critically examine how the super-rich duPont dynasty members specifically obtained their wealth, historically, and have, specifically, retained their individual wealth since 1996. One reason might be because a Columbia University School of Journalism-administered program funded by the Alfred I. duPont Awards Foundation gave the Pacifica Foundation’s WBAI station a “silver baton” Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award in Broadcast Journalism, for the MacArthur foundation grant-subsidized 1991 “radio documentary on East Timor” that Democracy Now! Productions president Goodman produced; which she personally accepted, at a Jan. 27, 1994 ceremony in Columbia’s Low Library, from corporate media journalist Mike Wallace of CBS News, who was the event’s MC.

DuPont Awards Foundation “silver baton” awards were also distributed to the news departments and professional journalists of mainstream corporate media organizations like ABC, NBC, CNN and PBS-affiliated television stations at this same ceremony, which was broadcast nationally by PBS-affiliated stations. According to the Jan. 28, 1994 issue of Columbia Daily Spectator , “hundreds of radio and television news professionals” from the U.S. mainstream corporate media world “gathered in the rotunda of Low Library” for this annual self-promotional event to celebrate the reporting of mainly Establishment media journalists. 

Created in the early 1940s by Jessie Ball duPont in memory of her deceased husband, Alfred I. DuPont, the Alfred I. duPont – Columbia University Awards in Broadcast Journalism, which Columbia University’s School of Journalism has administered since 1968, is funded by the Alfred I. DuPont Awards Foundation that, in turn, receives grants from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. For example, between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2016, the Alfred I. duPont Awards Foundation gave Columbia University’s School of Journalism 3 grants, totalling $1,220,000, to fund the duPont awards program; and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, whose assets exceeded $291 million in 2013, in turn, gave 3 grants, totalling $807,000, to the Alfred I. duPont Awards Foundation. And one year before Goodman was presented with her “silver baton” duPont-Columbia award, Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, itself, was directly given a $1.25 million gift in January 1993 by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, to continue the Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Awards and other duPont awards program-related activities at Columbia.

As the Jessie Ball duPont Fund website notes, Jessie Ball duPont “re-established an earlier friendship with Alfred I. duPont, a member of one of America’s most distinguished families and a man of great wealth” in 1920; and “they were married in 1921 and by 1927 had built their estate, Epping Forest, in Jacksonville, Florida.” In her 2004 book Dream State, University of Alabama Professor of English Diane Roberts indicated why Alfred I. duPont apparently moved from Delaware, the state in which economic and political life has been dominated by duPont dynasty members for over a century, to Florida, after Florida amended its state constitution in 1924:

“…In 1924 the state amended its constitution to outlaw income tax. Even better, the constitution also prohibited inheritance taxes. If you had it, Florida would let you keep it. So Alfred du Pont, of the more money than Croesus duPonts, cast an eye on Florida and saw potential….Delaware was run by a cabal of his megabucks with whom Alfred did not get along…Alfred packed up his young wife Jessie Ball duPont, her business savvy little brother, Edward Ball and a few bank accounts, and moved south…”

In his 1989 book Some Kind Of Paradise: A Chronicle of Man and Land in Florida, Mark Derr described what happened after Alfred I. duPont--for whom the “silver baton” award that Democracy Now! producer Goodman accepted in Columbia University’s Low Library in 1994 is named—moved to Florida with his wife and brother-in-law Ed Ball, who later became one of the first trustees of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund that funds the Alfred I. duPont Awards Foundation:

“From the start of the Depression, Alfred I. duPont, traveling with his brother-in-law Ed Ball, bought played-out north Florida farmland, cut-over pine forests, and failing banks. He wanted to establish across the land-and water-rich, transportation-poor Panhandle and north peninsula, from Pensacola to Jacksonville, a quasi-feudal state…After duPont’s death…Ball became sole trustee of the duPont estate and the most powerful man in Florida, a racist, union-busting anti-communist vilified by his opponents, fawned over by the people he supported until his death…During his 30-year reign in the state, Ball became so powerful that it was, in the words of his biographer, `difficult to go 50 miles in any part of Florida without coming in contact with a portion of the empire [he] built.’

“DuPont started the St. Joe Paper Company in Port St. Joe, and his estate eventually came to own one million acres of pineland in the Florida Panhandle and south Georgia, along with 23 box plants in the United States and Europe, 31 banks in Florida, the Florida East Coast Railway, and its assorted properties. Ball bought the railroad’s bonds at 16 cents on the dollar when it was in receivership in the 1930s and gained control of it…Ball broke the railroad unions in Florida during the 1960s by provoking a strike noteworthy for its duration, violence, and lack of substantive negotiations.

“For three decades the duPont estate, as a `testamentary trust’ was exempt from provisions of the federal Bank Holding Act prohibiting banks from owning other major businesses, a bit of largesse that allowed Ball to purchase the railroad…’

According to Diane Roberts’ Dream State, former Jessie Ball duPont Fund trustee Ed Ball “admired J. Edgar Hoover and may have been an FBI informant;” and among the failed banks that Ball acquired for Alfred I. duPont in the late 1920s, were banks in Miami, St. Petersburg, Daytona and Orlando. The same book also noted that, as late as 2004, the 1 million acres of Florida Panhandle and south Georgie pineland, equal to the land area of Delaware, that Ball had purchased for duPont was still nearly all owned by a company controlled by the Alfred I. duPont estate; and “Ball and others of his ilk had terrorized the Florida legislature when, in 1935, lawmakers had flirted with repealing the state’s prohibition on an income tax.”

In 2013, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund was still earning over $3.8 million in dividends and interest from the over $101.5 million in corporate stock, over $56.1 million in corporate bonds and over $123.5 million in mutual funds shares that it owned, according to its Form 990 financial filing for 2013. The same 2013 financial filing indicated, for example, that it owned over $140,000 worth of Comcast stock, over $220,000 worth of Google stock, over $91,000 worth of Facebook stock, over $90,000 worth of Occidental Petroleum stock, over $134,000 worth of Halliburton stock, over $165,000 worth of Amazon stock, over $321,000 worth of Apple stock and over $180,000 worth of Starbuck’s stock in 2013. The Alfred I. duPont Awards Foundation, which also funded the duPont-Columbia awards program that gave its “silver baton” award to Goodman in 1994, still owned over $700,000 in corporate bonds and over $2.1 million in corporate stock in 2016, including over $5,000 worth of Chevron stock, over $5,000 worth of ExxonMobil stock, over $6,000 worth of Comcast stock, and over $6,000 worth of Northrop Grumman stock, according to its 2015 Form 990 financial filing for the period between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016.

And nine years after the CIA-backed 1965 military coup (that established a right-wing military dictatorship under Suharto and quickly led to the massacre of between 500,000 and 1 million Indonesian leftists by right-wing death squads) and one year before the Indonesian military invaded the former Portuguese colony of East Timor in 1975 (and then killed over 25 percent of East Timor’s inhabitants by the time Goodman accepted her 1994 duPont journalism award), the Delaware-based duPont dynasty’s E.I. DuPont company also established a subsidiary in Indonesia, PT.DuPont/PT DuPont Indonesia, which then invested more than $100 million in Indonesia during the next four decades. (end of part 3)

Saturday, February 10, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 2

In The Pay of Foundations—Part 2

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

Within New Left Movement anti-war activist circles in New York City prior to the 1980s, it was considered morally and politically contradictory and hypocritical for individuals on the U.S. left, who claimed to be working to build a grassroots-based U.S. left anti-war movement in political opposition to the U.S. power elite, to rely on grant money from foundations--like the Carnegie Corporation and the Ford Foundation—of this same U.S. power elite to fund their “Movement” work projects. In addition, individuals on the U.S. left who were into middle-class professional “Movement careerism,” left celebrity/”Movement media super-star” status-seeking, individual monopolization of radio-tv media and left-wing microphone access, censorship or exclusion of dissident grassroots anti-war New Left viewpoints or individual “Movement empire-building” entrepreneurial work projects and “Movement profiteering, were generally seen as acting in an undemocratic and politically contradictory way.  As the radical feminist journal Women In Revolution reported in its Summer 1970 issue, the Class Workshop was formed “as a reaction to the oppression working class women experienced in the Movement” and proposed a radical feminist media strategy “in the interests of most women, not in the interests of the privileged few who want to make it on our backs.” Among the media strategy proposals made by the Class Workshop in 1970, for example were the following:

“Anyone who appears in the media is to be drawn by lot from her group. No one is to participate in the media alone…No member of a group can appear as an independent feminist…No individual or group can earn a living by writing or speaking about women’s liberation…Anyone who wants to write should write for the Movement.”

Yet for over 20 years, Democracy Now! accepted foundation money from U.S. power elite foundations and was mainly hosted and produced by just two professional upper middle-class journalists: Amy Goodman and a columnist of the New York Daily News mainstream newspaper  (and former Philadelphia Daily News mainstream newspaper columnist), Juan Gonzalez.

A daughter of Multimillionaire New York City real estate developer Bruce Ratner (whose personal worth was estimated to be $400 million in 2017), Lizzy Ratner, worked at Democracy Now! from September 2001 to July 2002: and, after subsequently being hired to be a senior editor at The Nation magazine, noted in a May 2005 article in The Nation, titled “Amy Goodman’s `Empire’,” that “Goodman grew up in the cozy middle-class suburb of Bay Shore” on Long Island, “her father was an ophthalmologist” and “her mother was a social worker and teacher of women’s literature and history.”

Like her brother, journalist David Goodman, Democracy Now! Productions president Goodman is a Harvard graduate, who received a Harvard-Radcliffe B.A. in anthropology in 1984.  Not long afterwards, according to the “Amy Goodman’s `Empire’” article, “Goodman landed an apprenticeship” at WBAI-FM and “started out making documentaries, then moved to covering local news stories, and two years later she was running the WBAI newsroom.”

According to WBAI’s Australian-born and raised program director between 1989 and 1994, a former Australian Broadcasting Corporation journalist named Andrew Phillips, after immigrating to New York City in late 1975, he “introduced Amy to WBAI in 1985” when he “was teaching radio documentary production at Hunter College.”

While “running the WBAI newsroom” in 1987, “Goodman encouraged” David Isay “to produce his first radio piece,” according to the “Amy Goodman’s `Empire’” article. The same May 2005 Nation article also quoted Isay as saying that "for the first couple of years, Amy was the person I learned everything from.”

Subsequently, Isay produced a radio piece for corporate and foundation-sponsored National Public Radio [NPR] in 1989, was given a “Livingston Award for Young Journalists” money grant by the Molly Parnis Livingston Foundation (whose grant money was obtained from the profits of a fashion designer’s New York City garment industry firm) in 1990, and set up his own “non-profit” media firm Sound Portraits Production in 1994—the same year he was also given Guggenheim Fellowship money (from the foundation whose tax-exempt wealth originally came from money the Guggenheim family obtained, historically, in the late 1800s and early 1900s by owning Kennecott Copper, Anaconda and Asarco mines and smelters, utilizing cheap labor and making windfall profits from the lifting, refining and marketing of metals during World War I).  A July 1, 2003 Transom article that Sydney Lewis edited, titled “David Isay and Sound Portraits,” quotes Goodman’s former colleague as recalling in 2003:

I’ve been doing radio since a year out of college – fell into it through a series of strange, wonderful, serendipitous events that happened over a 24-hour period, and never turned back. I was fortunate to get a [U.S. government-funded] CPB [Corporation for Public Broadcasting] grant early on, so had the time to make stories that I could use to snag more CPB grants. I…eventually formed a non-profit so I could get foundation money (only CPB gives to individuals, everyone else gives to non-profits). The Company started to grow and it’s the best thing that ever happened….”

After forming his “non-profit” Sound Portraits media firm “so” he “could get foundation money” in 1994, Isay’s then-Brooklyn-based radio segment production firm was given a $50,000 [equivalent to over $76,000 in 2018] grant by the Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation to fund his “StoryCorps” oral history project--one year after the Carnegie Corporation of New York foundation gave Pacifica its $25,000 grant to launch Goodman’s Democracy Now! radio show. Three years later, Goodman’s former colleague at WBAI was given a $500,000 [equivalent to over $717,000 in 2018] individual MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” in 2000--payable in $100,000 chunks a year in each of the following five years.

 As David Plotz noted in a July 7, 2000 Slate website article, the then-$4 billion MacArthur Foundation “ is the estate of John D. MacArthur, a skinflint who became the second-richest American” and “his son Rod grabbed control of the trust after John's 1978 death and pushed the genius project.” Plotz also described the secretive and undemocratic way recipients of the MacArthur Foundation’s big money individual “genius grants” are chosen:

“…Several hundred talent scouts, whose identities are secret, suggest nominees to the selection committee. The committee, whose members are also secret, covertly gathers dossiers on the nominees and selects two-dozen-odd winners….”

In 2003, the same year the Sound Portraits Productions was renamed “StoryCorps,” the MacArthur Foundation gave the StoryCorps media firm of the 2000 MacArthur “genius grant” recipient Isay a $75,000 [equivalent to over $100,000 in 2017] grant “in support of StoryCorps.” The following year, “to help create a cash flow reserve fund,” another grant of $50,000 was given to Isay’s “StoryCorps” by the MacArthur Foundation; and in 2006, yet another $200,000 [equivalent to over $245,00 in 2017] in MacArthur Foundation grant money was shifted to Goodman’s former WBAI colleague “in support of general operations” of his StoryCorps media business. In addition, five more MacArthur Foundation grants, totalling $2.6 million, were collected between 2009 and 2016 by StoryCorps; prior to Isay’s media firm being given a $1 million grant by the Rockefeller Foundation in October 2017. In the Rockefeller Foundation’s October 26, 2017 press release announcing this $1 million grant to StoryCorps, Rockefeller Foundation President Rajiv Shah claimed that ”Our partnership with Story Corps’ is `one small step’ toward rebuilding trust among the American people through transparency, respect and candor” and “We can think of no more appropriate a partner to fund in this effort than Story Corps.”

As the 2005 “Amy Goodman’s `Empire’” article recalled, “in 1990 Goodman headed over with fellow journalist Allan Nairn” to East Timor for the first time and, during her second trip to the Indonesian military-occupied island country in November 1991, “she and Nairn were nearly killed in a massacre of at least 271 Timorese” by Indonesian soldiers that became known as the Santa Cruz Massacre. Also in 1991, the MacArthur Foundation, that began subsidizing Isay’s Sound Portraits Productions in 1997, also gave the Pacifica Foundation, whose WBAI News Department Goodman headed, a $5,000 [equivalent to over $9,000 in 2018 dollars] grant “to support a radio documentary on East Timor.” (end of part 2)

Thursday, February 8, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 1

Carnegie Corp.of NY President Gregorian, Afghan President Karzai, James Billington in Jan. 2013 with then- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2013
In The Pay of Foundations

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

If you check out many of the left alternative media radio/tv shows, publications, websites or blogs that receive grants from the U.S. power elite’s liberal foundations, you'll notice that they rarely provide their listeners, viewers or readers with much critical news reporting or unflattering historical information about their foundation funders; and they generally also block U.S. left-wing grassroots anti-war activist viewpoints that are not within the parameters approved by the establishment liberal board members and program managers of their foundation funders from being heard on their shows, printed in their publications or featured on their websites or blogs very often.

Yet as long ago as 1915, a Colorado miners’ representative, John R. Lawson, in a statement before the U.S. Commission on Industrial Relations, noted that a “skillful attempt” was “being made to substitute Philanthropy for Justice” and there was “not one of these foundations, now spreading their millions over the world in showy generosity, that does not draw these millions from some form of industrial injustice,” since their millions represented “the withheld wages of the…working-class.” And as the now-deceased former CounterPunch co-editor Alexander Cockburn wrote on February 5, 2010:

“There are two important reminders about political phenomena...which help explain the decline of the left: first is the financial clout of the `nonprofit’ foundations, tax-exempt bodies formed by rich people to dispense their wealth according to political tastes. Much of the `progressive sector’…now owes its financial survival—salaries, office accommodation, etc.—to the annual disbursements of these foundations which cease abruptly at the first manifestation of radical heterodoxy. In other words, most of the progressive sector is an extrusion of the dominant corporate world, just as are the academics, similarly dependent on corporate endowments. A second important reminder concerns the…collapse of the organized…left which used to provide a training ground for young people…”

According to the code of ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists, U.S. journalists are supposed to:

"Avoid conflicts of interests, real or perceived.

"Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.

"Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel, and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office, and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.

"Disclose unavoidable conflicts.

"Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable. [Note: Including those who hold power within the U.S. multi-billion dollar foundation world]

"Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.

"Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money."

But during the last 25 years, some U.S. “parallel left” journalists and “parallel left” alternative media organizations have been funding their news operations by accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in “charitable grants” from the tax-exempt foundations of the same U.S. power elite whose undemocratic abuses of power, crimes and immoral policies they claim to be—unlike the corporate-sponsored mainstream media—exposing and holding accountable in their “independent journalism” work and reporting. Take, for example, the foundation-sponsored Democracy Now! Productions radio-tv show which is broadcast on over 1,440  radio and television stations daily around the globe, according to the Democracy Now! Productions website.

 In the early 1950s--when the CIA was using the Ford Foundation to help fund a non-communist "parallel left" as a liberal Establishment alternative to an independent, anti-Establishment revolutionary left--the Pacifica Foundation was given a $150,000 [equivalent to over $1.4 million in 2018] grant in 1951 by the Ford Foundation's Fund for Education, whose “first chief was Alexander Fraser, the president of the Shell Oil Company,” according to James Ledbetter's Made Possible By… book..

Besides subsidizing the Pacifica Foundation in the early 1950s, the Ford Foundation also spent a lot of money subsidizing many other noncommercial radio or television stations in the United States. According to Ledbetter's Made Possible By..., between 1951 and 1976, the Ford Foundation "spent nearly $300 million on noncommercial radio and television."

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Pacifica relied primarily on listener-sponsor contributions to fund the operations of its radio stations. And in the early 1970s, Pacifica also began to accept funds from the U.S. Establishment's government-funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting [CPB], according to Rogue State author William Blum--who worked as a KPFA staffperson in the early 1970s. By the early 1990s, according to the January/February issue of Extra! magazine, Pacifica was accepting nearly $1 million [equivalent to over $1.6 million in 2018 dollars] in "Community Service Grant" program money annually from the CPB to finance about 17 percent of "listener-sponsored" radio stations network's annual operating budget. 

In the early 1990s, some Pacifica administrators also then decided to again seek grants from the Ford Foundation and other U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations. As former Pacifica Development Director Dick Bunce wrote in the appendix to the "A Strategy for National Programming" document which was prepared for the Pacifica National Board in September 1992, entitled "Appendix Foundation Grantseeking National Programming Assumptions for Foundation Fundraising":

“The national foundation grantseeking arena has changed enough in recent years to make activity in this arena potentially worthwhile--for organizations prepared to be players and partners in the same field as NPR…Foundation fundraising at this level has extraordinary payoffs... It also requires `venture capital visits' to the foundations to open doors and conversations that lead to partnerships.

“In initiating three top level contacts in April, May and June, and attempting to capitalize on the opportunities apparent to us, we have already been stretched beyond our capacity to really interface effectively with these funders...

“Short-Run Strategies for Developing a Foundation Grantseeking Program

“Seek Development Committee leadership in planning for Foundation grantseeking.

“Pursue 3 `anchor' grants to acquire funding beginning in FY'93 from the Big 3 foundations we've already begun to work with.

“Long-Range Strategies for Developing a Foundation Grantseeking Program

“Initiate an informal `feasibility inquiry' of foundation support for Pacifica's objectives by requesting visits with the dozen top prospects to shape proposals and establish relationships...

“Foundation Grants Summary: Late this spring we began our first efforts in national foundation grantseeking on behalf of national programming. We have a good chance of securing six figure grants in the coming fiscal year from any or all of the 3 foundations we're working with…, The second tier of foundation prospects is more challenging, and will require increased staff resources, a modest feasibility inquiry and active planning with the Board Development Committee.”

By 1995, billionaire speculator George Soros' Open Society Institute foundation had given the Pacifica Foundation’s KPFA radio station in Berkeley, California a $40,000 [equivalent to over $64,000 in 2018] grant. And in 1996, the Carnegie Corporation of New York foundation gave Pacifica a $25,000 [equivalent to over $40,000 in 2018] grant to launch a daily radio news show, Democracy Now!, hosted and produced by long-time WBAI Evening News producer Amy Goodman, that was initially broadcast from Pacifica’s New York City area WBAI radio station in Manhattan on February 19, 1996.

Sitting on the board of trustees of the Carnegie Corporation of New York (whose assets had increased to $3.3 billion by 2017) in 1996, when it provided Democracy Now! with its initial foundation funding, were U.S. power elite-connected Establishment folks like then-Chevron board member and future Bush II administration National Security Advisor and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the managing editor of the Time Warner mainstream media conglomerate’s Time magazine, Henry Muller, and the multi-millionaire wife of then-U.S. Senator and future 2004 Democratic presidential candidate and Obama administration Secretary of State John Kerry, Teresa Heinz.

And in 2017, the Carnegie Corporation of New York board of trustees included former New Jersey Governor and 9/11 Commission Report Chair Thomas Kean, former New York Times Company CEO and president Janet Robinson, PBS NewsHour Co-Anchor/Managing Editor and Duke Endowment Chairperson Judy Woodruff and the former Commander of U.S. Central Command [CENTCOM) from 2013 to 2016, (Ret.) Genaral Lloyd Austin III, who “was responsible for military strategy and joint operations throughout the Middle East and Central and South Asia” during the Obama administration, according to the Carnegie Corporation website. The same website also noted that Carnegie Corporation of New York trustee Austin helped “to spearhead the 2003 invasion of Iraq as the assistant division commander for the 3rd Infantry Division” and in 2008 “returned to Iraq as the commanding general of the Multi-National Corps-Iraq during the period when the surge forces were drawing down under Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

 But the Democracy Now! Productions show, not surprisingly, has apparently never been very eager to provide its viewers, listeners or website readers with much news reporting that examines how the Carnegie Corporation of New York which initially funded it has, historically and currently, been controlled by members of the U.S. power elite, undemocratically concentrates institutional economic power and accumulates wealth from an economic system that exploits workers and middle-class consumers, and works to perpetuate a militaristic, plutocratic, politically undemocratic society in the United States. (end of part 1)