WHERE IS THE INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Nov. 5, 2018) — On October 28, 2018, mainstream media outlets issued respective reports stating that a spokesman for the Fox Business Network (FBN) banned Chris Farrell, Judicial Watch’s Director of Investigations & Research, from not only FBN, but also the Fox News Channel after Farrell told Lou Dobbs that the thousands-strong “caravan” of Central-American “migrants” heading toward the U.S. is funded in part by “the Soros-occupied State Department.”
Farrell was referring to billionaire and former hedge-fund manager George Soros, who has founded a number of left-leaning organizations to include the Tides Foundation, the Open Society Foundations and Open Society Institute. Soros has also used his wealth to support various media organizations and journalism schools.
The Tides Foundation states that it is “dedicated to building a world of shared prosperity and social justice.”
The Open Society Foundations’ “History” section states, in part:
Aryeh Neier joined the Open Society Foundations in 1993 as president after leading Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union. By the following year annual expenditures had reached $300 million, compared to less than $3 million in 1985, and the Foundations became known for the ability to respond rapidly with innovative programs to changing conditions.
Neier began to make the Open Society Foundations into a truly international organization. We provided support for Burmese refugees and dissidents suffering under the repressive military regime in that country; for the construction of low-cost housing and legal, economic, and political reforms in South Africa to help the fledgling majority-black government; and for regional initiatives in Africa and Central Asia.
In 1996, with the launch of our programs in the United States, we made an effort to address some of the flaws of an open society. Early programs focused on improving end-of-life care, reforming drug policies, changing the punitive criminal justice system, and challenging harsh immigration laws and practices. Baltimore was selected for a comprehensive approach to the root causes of poverty and injustice. The Foundations supported projects in Baltimore that helped boost reading and math test scores for public school students, expand after-school programs, double the number of people receiving drug treatment, and increase the state’s parole grant rate.
Dan Gainor of the Media Research Center (MRC) has drawn a number of connections between Soros’s support of media outlets, including NPR, and journalism schools. In his own Fox News opinion column from May 2011, Gainor wrote, “Soros, who spent $27 million trying to defeat President Bush in 2004, has ties to more than 30 mainstream news outlets – including The New York Times, Washington Post, the Associated Press, NBC and ABC.”
The media outlet Pro Publica received $250,000 from the Open Society Foundations, Gainor reported. Soros also supported Media Matters with a $1 million donation in 2010, The Washington Post reported the day after Farrell’s appearance with Dobbs.
In 2016, Soros reportedly funneled more than $2 million to the Democrat opponent of then-Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio. A November 4, 2016 editorial in The Arizona Republic titled, “Soros spends millions to oust Arpaio” reported, in part:
George Soros has sunk an astonishing $2.3 million into a campaign aimed at defeating Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, according to campaign-finance report filed Friday.
In all, Soros’ independent campaign, Maricopa Strong, has spent $3.2 million on ads attacking the six-term sheriff. Texas billionaire John Arnold has kicked in $500,000 and Laurene Powell Jobs of California, widow of Steve Jobs, another $250,000…
Soros is waging campaigns in law enforcement races in seven states, but his spending to oust Arpaio is his single biggest investment in a local race this year, according to Politico. A Soros spokesman said the liberal billionaire targeted Arpaio in large part because of his high profile on immigration.
The mainstream media quickly labeled Farrell’s statement to Dobbs a “conspiracy theory,” as has occurred with other controversial topics such as the authenticity of Barack Obama’s purported “long-form” birth certificate and the claim that a former DNC staffer may have been the source of thousands of emails and attachments provided to WikiLeaks in 2016 rather than “the Russians.”
October 3, 2018, Judicial Watch reported that in response to a 2017 FOIA lawsuit, it “obtained from the U.S. Department of State about U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funding for George Soros’s left-wing nonprofit organizations in Albania.”
In an April press release, JW wrote, “Judicial Watch obtained 32 pages of records showing the Obama administration sent U.S. taxpayers’ funds to a group backed by billionaire George Soros, which used the money to fund left-wing political activities in Albania, including working with the country’s socialist government to push for highly controversial judicial ‘reform.’ The records also detail how the Soros operation helped the State Department review grant applications from other groups for taxpayer funding.”
On October 30, JW reported, “Judicial Watch released 49 pages of new State Department documents showing top Soros representatives in Romania collaborating with the State Department in a program jointly funded by, among others, Soros’s Open Society Foundations – Romania and USAID, called the “Open Government Partnership.”
On April 19, 2017, JW reported that “The USAID website reports that between February 27, 2012, and August 31, 2016, USAID gave $4,819,125 in taxpayer money to Soros’s Open Society Foundation – Macedonia (FOSM), in partnership with four local civil society organizations. The USAID’s website links to www.soros.org.mk, and says the project trained hundreds of young Macedonians “on topics such as freedom of association, youth policies, citizen initiatives, persuasive argumentation and use of new media.”
A March 2, 2017 opinion/analysis column at The Washington Times, citing JW’s work, reported:
We have written before about how the George Soros-infested State Department is trying to impose its will in Albania.
Unfortunately, the problem is metastasizing like a virulent cancer, threatening to destroy conservative governments throughout the Balkans.
Farrell’s Judicial Watch bio states that he is a member of the organization’s board of directors, having joined in 1999. His background includes service as a military intelligence officer with specialization in the area of national security. According to the bio, Farrell’s professional associations include the National Military Intelligence Association; the Association of Former Intelligence Officers; Investigative Reporters and Editors; the Society of Professional Journalists; and the OSS Society. He is also an adjunct professor at George Mason University.
Following his controversial comments to Dobbs, The Washington Post reported that Farrell’s remark was viewed by some as “anti-Semitic.”
The Post quoted Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton as having responded “that Farrell’s comment ‘isn’t anti-Semitic and Chris isn’t anti-Semitic. To suggest that is absurd. We are concerned about government funding of Mr. Soros, not his religion.’”
Soros was born a Jew in Hungary in 1930. Contrasted with mainstream media characterizations responsive to a May 2018 tweet from Roseanne Barr, in 1998, Soros confirmed to then-“60 Minutes” host Steve Kroft that as a youth, he was involved in “helping in the confiscation of property from the Jews” while receiving protection from a man who identified Soros as his Christian godson.
“Was it difficult?” Kroft asked, referring to seeing his fellow Jewss property taken, to which Soros responded, “Not at all…It created no problem at all.”
“No feeling of guilt?” Kroft pressed, to which Soros answered, “No.”
The media focused on the fact that the Farrell-Dobbs interview was aired as a rerun on Saturday, October 27, the day that 11 worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA were brutally murdered, with six others injured, and the fact that Soros was born a Jew.
Prior to the October 28 Dobbs interview, Farrell was on location in Guatemala in an attempt to discover the origins and motivation behind the massive human caravan heading to the U.S. border. In a November 1, 2018 interview with Carter Clews, Farrell said he and journalists Sara A. Carter and Irene Garcia spoke directly with caravan members, who often reportedly provided what Farrell said were vague, rehearsed responses to their questions as to how they learned of the caravan and who was supporting it.
“Judicial Watch once again went out and committed an act of journalism,” Farrell told Clews at the opening of the conversation, sharing a laugh. “We went down to Guatemala because instead of talking about it, we decided to go and do our own reporting…we spent time actually out on the ground walking around and interviewing this sort-of wave of humanity flowing from south to north…but then we also went to the absolute top leadership of the country.”
Farrell also met with the country’s president, Jimmy Morales, who recently told a Latin American security conference that his country deported 100 members of the brutal terrorist group ISIS.
Just before the 28:00 mark in the interview with Clews, Farrell said of the financial support the caravan is receiving, “…it’s leftist organizations, many of whom have either affiliations, funding, ties, personnel, and at a minimum, sort-of philosophical objectives that are in allegiance with, among others, Open Society Foundation, which is a George Soros operation; but the Catholic Legal Immigration network, another non-profit that’s received millions of dollars from the U.S. government…there are a number, so it’s not fair to pin it on one…our colleague Irene has detailed the groups themselves.”
At 28:44, Farrell said, “They work in a unified way. I can almost guarantee you that U.S. taxpayer money is finding its way, directly or indirectly, to these various groups.”
Last week was not the first time Farrell has connected Soros to Guatemalan government affairs. In March, Farrell amplified on a JW press release which stated, in part:
The head of a U.S.-funded global commission operating under the famously corrupt United Nations (UN) is in Washington D.C. today to promote his leftist agenda in Central America. The Colombian attorney and former judge, Ivan Velásquez, runs the UN-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), a controversial body known to utilize measures that threaten the impoverished Central American nation’s sovereignty. Officially, the CICIG claims to strengthen the rule of law. Like many leftwing global organizations, its stated purpose is to protect “the right to life and to personal integrity” of citizens from vigilante groups that “commit illegal acts” — those linked to “agents of the State or [with] the capacity to generate impunity for their illegal actions.”
The reality is that Velásquez appears to be part of a broader effort launched under Barack Obama—and apparently supported by the Trump administration—to destabilize moderate and conservative governments abroad. Judicial Watch uncovered details of a similar initiative in Macedonia, where the Obama administration spent millions of taxpayer dollars to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government by colluding with leftwing billionaire philanthropist George Soros. In Guatemala, the Obama administration meddled to protect guerrillas backed by communist Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helped oust an attorney general that was replaced by a sympathizer of the guerrillas, Claudia Paz y Paz.
An April 17, 2018 JW report documents the organization’s findings on “George Soros’ Open Society Foundation Activities in Guatemala.”
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Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.