December 20, 2007

MinnMon-- A Soros Joint

Over the last few months, we've watched the growth of leftward media outlets like the Minnesota Monitor spring up, not just here in Minnesota but nationwide. Many suspected that its parent, Center for Independent Media, operated as a firewall of sorts for George Soros. When some pundits have speculated on that being the source of the funding, accusations of paranoia usually follow.

It's somewhat surprising, then, to see both an admission of the Soros financing and an implied accusation of paranoia come from MinnMon contributor, Eric Black:

I’ve always meant to write piece titled “Who Pays Me?” Never got around to it. But if I had, I would have said that I was working under a contract with the Center for Independent Media (CIM), a Wasington-based non-profit, which is the parent organization of the Monitor and three other similar state-based sites. And I would have said that the silly attack meme of some conservative bloggers that the Monitor was staffed by George Soros sock puppets was nonsense. Soros’ foundation is one of several that contribute to the CIM so I guess I have some Soros money in my checking account, but I was never asked, pressured or even encouraged to promote any particular point of view and the same goes for the Monitor’s other writers.

Learned Foot and Mitch Berg dissect the argument about pressure to promote a point of view:

Say your house has a mouse infestation. And further assume that you are an old-timey sort that doesn’t believe in exterminators or mouse traps. So instead, you buy a cat.

Do you have to tell a cat to go hunt the mice? ....

Every member of the Minnesota Monitor was recruited because they are a reliable, left-leaning voice. They are paid their “stipends” (at one point, $1,500 a month - unheard of for most E-list bloggers) because they will deliver what is expected of them. The notion that any of them are going to go maverick and turn into low-tax, pro-defense, law-and-order conservatives on the Monitor’s dime is absurd.

The insistence that CIM and its spinoffs are "independent" in any sense except as not actually being subsidiaries of the Democratic National Committee is silly. Quite obviously, the money behind CIM is interested in a particular point of view and hires people that will provide it, and that money comes from George Soros, at least in part. There's nothing wrong with that, except that by denying it and writing it off to paranoia, CIM's subsidiaries have not told the truth -- which makes their credibility very, very suspect.

Why doesn't George Soros work with more transparency? Why create the illusion of the "independent" nature of CIM and its subsidiaries, like MinnMon? It clearly indicates that they intend to quietly influence people via the use of front organizations that appear disconnected to Soros and other Democratic Party activists, fundraisers, and donors. Otherwise, CIM and MinnMon would not have obfuscated their financing nor accused their critics of mental illness.

I think Eric Black does good work and would not have sold out to anyone. However, I also think that Black owes some of us an apology, as well as owing himself a little more introspection on his recruitment. His well-deserved reputation as a journalist allowed Soros to hide the natire of CIM and MinnMon until this admission.

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers! I cleaned up a couple of typos, too.


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