Thursday, March 29, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 12

Ford Foundation Founder gets German Eagle Grand Cross from Nazi officials, 1938.
In The Pay of Foundations—Part 12

How U.S. power elite and liberal establishment foundations fund a “parallel left” media network of left media journalists and gatekeepers.
In the same year that the U.S. power elite’s Ford Foundation gave the historically MacArthur Foundation-funded Deep Dish TV  a “charitable grant” of $75,000 [equal to over $104,000 in 2018] “for the television news series, DEMOCRACY NOW!, to continue incorporating the aftermath of the September 11th attack into future broadcasts,” Pacifica Radio’s Democracy Now! co-hosts and producers transformed themselves into the “Democracy Now! Productions Inc.” media firm that was now defined as being separated from the Pacifica Foundation. As the Nation magazine senior editor who worked at Democracy Now! from September 2001 to July 2002, Lizzy Ratner, noted in her May 2005 “Amy Goodman’s `Empire’” article:

“…In June 2002 Goodman reached an agreement with Pacifica to turn Democracy Now! into a separate nonprofit organization that would continue to broadcast on the network but would also be free to build up its TV program. The deal generated some grumbling at the time from those who felt that Democracy Now! was abandoning Pacifica…”

Yet according to the same article, in 2005 Pacifica continued “to provide the show with $500,000 in operating support,” although the Democracy Now! Productions firm also collected money “from its TV broadcasters, Link TV and Free Speech TV, as well as through foundation grants, individual donations and sales from its online store.” In April 2004, for example, the U.S. power elite’s Ford Foundation gave Democracy Now! Productions Inc. a $150,000 [equal to around $200,000 in 2018] grant “to produce, broadcast and distribute a series of radio, television and internet reports,” according to the Ford Foundation’s 2004 Form 990 financial filing. And the following year, the Ford Foundation also gave a $50,000 [equal to around $64,000 in 2018] grant to Democracy Now! co-host Gonzalez to support the research for the News for All the People book that the then-NY Daily News mainstream corporate media columnist and former National Association of Hispanic Journalists [NAHJ] president co-authored with former NAHJ deputy director Joseph Torres.  Gonzalez’s News for All the People book co-author is currently the senior external affairs director of the parallel left Free Press media group—which, coincidentally, received 9 grants, totaling $9.5 million, from the Ford Foundation between 2006 and 2017, according to the Ford Foundation website’s grants data base.

At an Oct. 2, 2010 board of directors meeting of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers [NALIP], former NAHJ deputy director Torres was also unanimously nominated to sit on the NALIP board of directors; and in a “Spotlight” item that appeared in the Oct. 18, 2011 issue of the NALIP’s “Latinos In The Industry” newsletter, titled “NALIP Board Member Launches National Book Tour,” described how the Democracy Now! show-linked authors of the Ford Foundation-subsidized News for All the People book, not surprisingly, apparently promoted and marketed their book at events in some of the cities where  Democracy Now! was being aired or televised on a daily basis in 2011:

“NALIP Board Member Joseph Torres' new book News for All the People…,co-authored with Juan Gonzalez, is being launched with a national book tour, starting in NYC with multiple stops in California, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and Washington, DC.

“The first stop will be on Thursday, Oct. 20, in NYC. Joseph and Juan will be interviewed by Amy Goodman on the stage of the Great Hall of Cooper Union. 7-9 pm…This will be followed by events in San Francisco and Oakland on Friday, Oct. 21. Stops after that include Santa Cruz, Fresno, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Northridge, San Diego, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, San Antonio, Houston, Denver, and Washington DC.”

Democracy Now! host Goodman had also used the daily parallel left media show on Oct. 13, 2011 to help promote and market the Ford Foundation-funded book of the show’s NY Daily News corporate media columnist co-host and the Ford Foundation-funded Free Press parallel left media group’s senior external affairs executive director; by staging an interview with Gonzalez and Torres on its Oct. 13, 2011 broadcast which ended with the following promotional sales pitch by Goodman:

“Well, this is part one of our conversation. Congratulations on this remarkable work, News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media , by Juan Gonzalez and Joe Torres. They’re traveling across the country. They will be in New York next Thursday night. We’ll be having a major event with them at Cooper Union, then to Friday it will be in Oakland. You can go to our website for all the dates—Santa Cruz, Fresno, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Northridge, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, San Antonio, Houston, Denver and Washington, D.C. Go to for all of those details that document the book tour of Juan Gonzalez and Joe Torres.”
And, also not surprisingly, when Torres noted that “we got some funding from the Ford Foundation, and it led to—to work on this book,” Goodman, whose own daily news show had been funded with $300,000 in Ford Foundation grant money between 1998 and 2004, failed to ask Torres and Gonzalez how much “funding from the Ford Foundation” they got “to work on” their “book;” or whether or not the Ford Foundation still obtains its grant money by investing in corporations that exploit workers and middle-class consumers of all racial backgrounds at home and abroad.
Yet the Ford Foundation was created in 1936 by an early 20th-century exploiter of automobile industry workers and middle-class consumers named Henry Ford, who also apparently provided support for Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party in Germany during the 1920s. As a muckraking journalist named George Seldes observed in his 1943 book Facts and Fascism:

“Henry Ford’s picture for years hung over Hitler’s desk in the Brown House in Munich. The Nazis in their early days boasted that they had the moral and financial support of the richest man in America…

“To many persons Ford has always been our No. 1 Fascist. (Newspapermen usually give that spot to William Randolph Hearst, and there is an unending argument as to which of the two has done more harm to the mind of America, but no one doubts that both have spread more fascist poison in this country than any other pair of prominent men…)

“It was general knowledge in the early 1920s, when it was not treason to aid Hitler, that Henry Ford was one of his spiritual and economic backers…The most credible evidence regarding Ford’s financing of early Nazism was given in the treason trial of Herr Hitler himself…On Feb. 7, 1924, Herr Auer, vice-president of the Bavarian Diet, testified in the Hitler trial as follows:

“`The Bavarian Diet has long had the information that the Hitler movement was partly financed by an American anti-Semitic chief, who is Henry Ford. Mr. Ford’s interest in the Bavarian anti-Semitic movement began a year ago…Herr Hitler openly boasts of Mr. Ford’s support…A photograph of Mr. Ford hangs in Herr Hitler’s quarters...’”

Funded Democracy Now! with $300,000 in "charitable grants" 1998 to 2004
The reason Billionaire Ford established the Ford Foundation was to enable his family members to both retain control over his Ford Motor Corporation and avoid paying a fair share of federal taxes after he died. As University of Virginia Commonwealth Professor of History Professor Oliver Zunz recalled in his 2012 book, Philanthropy In America: A History (that he wrote with “the support” he “received from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation”):

“The New Deal inheritance tax was directly responsible…for the creation and vast expansion of the biggest American philanthropic institution of the postwar era—the Ford Foundation…The act went into effect on Jan. 1, 1936. The same month, Henry and his wife Clara, and their son Edsel incorporated the Ford Foundation…The foundation gave the Fords the means simultaneously to avoid the huge inheritance tax and to pass on the company to the next generation without losing control of it…

“…In 1947, the foundation received about 90 percent of the non-voting stock in the company. By this means the Ford family avoided much of the tax burden and Henry II, Edsel’s son, kept full control over the automobile company his grandfather was leaving behind. If it had not been for the foundation, Henry and his two brothers would have paid an estimated federal estate tax of $321,000,000 [equal to around $3.6 billion in 2018] and lost control of the company…Hence the commonly heard charge that the leading American foundation of the 1950s began as a tax-dodge…”

Carl Bakal’s 1979 book, Charity USA: An Investigation into the Hidden World of the Multi-Billion Dollar Charity Industry, also observed:

“All the stock that was given to the foundation was nonvoting. The 10 percent retained by the family had total voting power, maintaining the family domination of the company. Moreover, the voting stock passed to the family tax free, saving another $42 million [equal to around $481 million in 2018], because the wills of Henry and Edsel provided that the taxes on the bequest be paid by the foundation.”

In the late 1940s and 1950s, during the Cold War era of U.S. history, the Ford Foundation began to collaborate with the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] in support of the U.S. power elite’s anti-communist and economically imperialist foreign policy objectives. As Philanthropy In America: A History noted:

“…America’s largest foundations provided funds and collaborated in organizational strategies with the U.S. government…In devising Cold War strategies, the alliance between American diplomats, intelligence agents, and a small group of foundation officials was held together not only by common institutional goals but also by a tight professional and social network linking them. The early history of the Ford Foundation—then a newcomer to the big philanthropic scene…suggests the closeness of these ties….Ford officials conferred directly with officials from the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency…”

In her 1999 book The Cultural Cold War, Frances Stoner Saunders also recalled how the Ford Foundation collaborated with the CIA in the past--on behalf of the Ultra-Rich families of the U.S. Establishment's power elite--to perpetuate a globalized corporate economic system which denies political, economic and cultural freedom and equality to the majority of humanity:

"The foundation had a record of close involvement in covert actions in Europe, working closely with…CIA officials on specific projects...On 21 January 1953, Allen Dulles, insecure about his future in the CIA under the newly elected Eisenhower, had met his friend David Rockefeller for lunch. Rockefeller hinted heavily that if Dulles decided to leave the Agency, he could reasonably expect to be invited to become president of the Ford Foundation. Dulles need not have feared for his future...Allen Dulles was to become Director of Central Intelligence.

"The new president of the Ford Foundation was announced shortly after. He was John McCloy...By the time he came to the Ford Foundation, he had been Assistant Secretary of War, president of the World Bank...In 1953 he also became chairman of the Rockefellers' Chase Manhattan Bank, and chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations. After John F. Kennedy's assassination, he was a Warren Commission appointee...McCloy took a pragmatic view of the CIA's inevitable interest in the Ford Foundation when he assumed its presidency. Addressing the concerns of some of the foundation's executives, who felt that its reputation for integrity and independence was being undermined by involvement with the CIA, McCloy argued that if they failed to cooperate, the CIA would simply penetrate the foundation quietly by recruiting or inserting staff at lower levels. McCloy's answer to this problem was to create an administrative unit within the Ford Foundation specifically to deal with the CIA. Headed by McCloy and two foundation officers, this three-man committee had to be consulted every time the Agency wanted to use the foundation, either as a pass-through, or as cover…

"With this arrangement in place, the Ford Foundation became officially engaged as one of those organizations the CIA was able to mobilize for political warfare...The foundation's archives reveal a raft of joint projects. The East European Fund, a CIA front in which George Kennan played a prominent role, got most of its money from the Ford Foundation...The foundation gave $500,000 to Bill Casey's International Rescue Committee [of which Nation editor Vanden Heuvel's father was also an official], and substantial grants to another CIA front, the World Assembly of Youth. It was also one of the single largest donors to the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent think-tank which exerted enormous influence on American foreign policy, and which operated (and continues to operate) according to strict confidentiality rules which include a twenty-five-year embargo on the release of its records...McGeorge Bundy, became president of the Ford Foundation in 1966 (coming straight from his job as Special Assistant to the President in Charge of National Security, which meant, among other things, monitoring the CIA)...The Congress for Cultural Freedom...was one of Ford Foundation's largest grantees, receiving $7 million by the early 1960s..."

A Ford Foundation executive in the early 1950s named Richard Bissell--who later became the CIA Deputy Director For Plans responsible for the unsuccessful 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba and a “president of the Institute for Defense Analyses [IDA], a think-tank that had been formed by a dozen universities (including MIT and Columbia University] to recruit scientific personnel for the evaluation of weapons systems” between 1962 and 1964, according to Bissell’s autobiography Reflections of A Cold Warrior—simultaneously worked, for example, as a CIA consultant. As Bissell recalled in his 1996 book:

“In January 1952 I joined the Ford Foundation…I worked out of a small office in Washington…The arrangement allowed me to work for the foundation while engaging in outside consulting assignments…Working in Washington…enabled me to maintain my close professional relationships…with people like Frank Wisner, Sherman Kent, Desmond Fitzgerald, Tracy Barnes and Max Milliken, all of whom were in the CIA and close to Allen Dulles…

“In the fall of 1952, I became part of the CIA’s Princeton Group of consultants (so named because it met on the university’s campus)…In late 1952…Max Milliken resigned as an assistant director of the CIA…to become director of MIT’s Center for International Studies [CENIS]…I was able to get the trustees of the Ford Foundation to fund research at CENIS.”

During the same decade that the foundation, which in later decades helped fund Democracy Now!,  collaborated with the CIA in support of U.S. power elite foreign policy goals, it apparently did not use its special political influence and economic power in the 1950s to eliminate Jim Crow laws and legalized racial segregation in the southern region of the United States. As the Philanthropy In America: A History book observed, “the Ford Foundation did not come out in favor of racial integration until the 1960s.” (end of part 12)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

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

Funded `Democracy Now!' Show Between 1998 and 2004
In The Pay of Foundations—Part 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Funded Deep DishTV  That Ford Foundation Used To Fund Democracy Now!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Former NBC News Anchor/Downtown Community Television Board Member Tom Brokaw in 2002
Also, coincidentally, sitting on the Downtown Community Television Center’s board of directors, when Democracy Now! began broadcasting in September 2001 from Downtown Community Television’s building at 87 Lafayette St. in Manhattan a televised version of its “parallel left” daily radio news show, according to the Downtown Community Television Center’s 2001 Form 990 financial filing, was Tom Brokaw--the then-anchor and managing editor of the NBC Nightly News which the NBC corporate media network, that GE owned at that time, broadcast each evening. Brokaw, the husband of longtime Gannett corporate media conglomerate board member Meredith Brokaw, continued to sit on the Downtown Community Television Center’s board of directors until 2004, the same year he retired as the long-time NBC Nightly News anchor.

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

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

Monday, March 12, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edelman also apparently “tapped” Hillary Rodham (despite her previous work in election campaigns for 1964 GOP presidential nominee Barry Goldwater and in Republican Nelson Rockefeller’s unsuccessful campaign to obtain the presidential nomination at the 1968 GOP national convention) as a possible future leader in the Democratic Party in the late 1960s, before he was later appointed to a position in her husband’s Democratic administration in the early 1990s. As Edelman noted in his 2004 oral history interview:
“…In 1969 the League of Women Voters asked me to coordinate a conference….In fact I think it was my idea and somebody asked me what to do. Younger leaders would come together with older leaders….So there was a steering committee and we identified various elected and non-elected people over 30 who we thought would be admirable for younger people to meet, and we identified some younger people.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And in the same late 1999 article Parenti also observed:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 8, 2018

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

Public Welfare Foundation Founder and Texas Media Baron Charles Marsh
In The Pay of Foundations—Part 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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