Thursday, May 31, 2018

In The Pay of Foundations: How U.S. power elite foundations fund a `parallel left' media network--Part 15

Microsoft Founder Gates and Ex-Microsoft VP/Democracy Now! Funder Rob Glaser 
In The Pay of Foundations—Part 15 

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

In his 2012 book Philanthropy In America: A History, University of Virginia Commonwealth Professor of History Oliver Zunz indicated why politically progressive people in the United States have, historically, been reluctant to accept U.S. power elite foundation funding of their politically left Movement projects and public libraries:

“…Muckrakers frequently denounced those who gave money away as hypocrites and their philanthropies as fronts to distract the public from illegal corporate strategies…In the 1890s, many communities…were reluctant to accept Carnegie libraries. Twenty of the 46 solicited towns in Pennsylvania turned down the offer…Social gospel minister Washington Gladden denounced `tainted money’…

“The [Rockefeller] foundation was denounced…as a `Trojan Horse’ ready to undo democracy. U.S. Attorney General George W. Wickersham criticized it as `an indefinite scheme for perpetuating vast wealth, ` believing it to be `entirely inconsistent with the public interest.’ Attorney Frank Walsh—who was pro-labor, denounced the Rockefeller family’s `huge philanthropic trusts as a menace to the welfare of society’…”

But between 2001 and 2016, fifteen “charitable grants”, totaling $1.1 million, were accepted from the Glaser Progress Foundation of Seattle-based RealNetworks/Progressive Networks Inc. founder, chairman of the Board and CEO Rob Glaser by the "parallel left" Democracy Now! show producers-hosts.

Yet according to the RealNetworks website, before establishing his Glaser Progress Foundation in 1993 and “prior to founding RealNetworks, Inc.” in 1994 ”Mr. Glaser worked for” Multi-billionaire Bill Gates’s “Microsoft for 10 years in a number of executive positions, including Vice President of Multimedia and Consumer Systems.” As Robert H. Reid’s 1997 book, Architects of the Web, recalled:

“…A lot about Rob said Microsoft, where he had spent …10 years of his career…College was Yale…During Rob’s senior year, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen came to town…Rob…signed up to interview and was soon offered a job…

“He started out by managing the company’s relationships with some outside engineering teams that were helping it develop products. After about a year of that he was staffed to relaunch Microsoft Word…By 1987, Rob’s responsibilities were touching on product planning for all of the company’s application software.

“Around that time…he was invited to join Microsoft’s networking group…He spent 2 years there. Then in the summer of 1989 CEO Bill Gates put him onto a project in the then-new area of multimedia computing…Rob’s task was to help IBM develop the specification of an MPC [Multimedia-enabled Personal Computer]…By the time it was over, Rob was Microsoft’s vice president of multimedia and consumer systems, and a de facto direct report to Gates himself…”

According to James Wallace’s 1997 book Overdrive: Bill Gates and the Race To Control Cyberspace:

“…In mid-September 1993, Gates called Glaser, who at the time was on a leave of absence and arranged a meeting at which he asked Glaser to prepare an analysis of how the Internet might affect the Marvel project, Microsoft’s…effort headed by Russ Siegelman to develop an online service…

“Glaser…had arrived at Microsoft in 1983, at age 21…He quickly became one of the key people in the organization who advised Gates...It was Glaser who pioneered Microsoft’s push into multimedia and oversaw Microsoft’s transformation from a software company focused primarily on Windows and DOS to one where content became increasingly important.

“`One of my jobs at Microsoft was to be something of an advance scout,’ said Glaser. `And one of the reasons that I had so much fun at Microsoft was there was a…role to play for being…one of the people who figured out how to get there from here.’

“…After a decade at Microsoft, Glaser…took his millions in stock options…A year earlier, Glaser…dipped into those stock options to buy a multimillion-dollar percentage of the [Seattle] Mariners baseball team…”

Besides using some of the big money he obtained, from his 1980s and early 1990s involvement in helping Bill Gates build his for-profit Microsoft business empire, to buy part of a baseball team and start his RealNetworks/ProgressiveNetworks Inc. for-profit company in 1990s, former Microsoft VP Glaser also used some of his Microsoft-obtained wealth to establish the Glaser Progress Foundation that has helped fund Democracy Now! Productions since 2001. And, not surprisingly, not many news segments letting listeners and viewers know how either Glaser, Bill Gates or Microsoft acquired their personal or corporate wealth during the 1980s and 1990s have been aired or broadcast by Democracy Now! since 2001.

Yet as Gary Rivlin’s 1999 book, The Plot To Get Bill Gates, observed:

“…Rob Glaser, a trusted lieutenant of Gates until he left to start his own company…described [in a 1993 Business Week interview] what he labeled the `Machiavellian poker games he had played as Gate’s designated negotiator on many a deal. `You hid things even if it would blindside people you were working with,’ he confessed.” (end of part 15)

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