In a game previously reserved for fans of Kevin Bacon, Fox News contributed an entire segment of Fox & Friends today to playing six degrees of separation between financier and philanthropist George Soros and various media outlets. Co-host Steve Doocy and Media Research Center (MRC) Vice President for Business and Culture Dan Gainor had a grand time screaming about Soros's so-called bid to "buy" his way into the media because he was tenuously "tie[d]" to 30 different news organizations. Not mentioned in the segment? That if you're claiming that Soros is or was tied in a somewhat convoluted manner to various media outlets, then one of those outlets is - you guessed it - Fox News.
According to Doocy, "transparency is supposed to be the foundation of journalism." So why, then, did Doocy fail to mention that News Corporation--the media conglomerate that owns Fox News--indeed had ties to Soros? The media outlets that were mentioned in the MRC's study include NPR, PBS, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, NBC and ABC, all of whom have previously been criticized by right-wing outlets as having politics that are supposedly too far to the left. But these "ties" are little more than extremely convoluted connections between media personnel and Soros. In a nutshell, their logic goes like this: A journalism professional sits on the board of an organization that once received Soros-linked donations. Therefore, the organization said journalism professional works for is "[l]inked to George Soros." So, for example, according to the MRC, ABC News and the Washington Post are "[l]inked" to Soros because "prominent journalists like ABC's Christiane Amanpour and former Washington Post editor and now Vice President Len Downie serve on boards of operations that take Soros cash."
By this logic, one could connect Soros to Fox News.
Observe: After Soros announced that he had for the first time contributed money to Media Matters, some on the right discovered that Soros's investment fund had once been "heavily invested" in News Corp and that Soros could have--gasp!--used the money he made off News Corp to fund Media Matters. Indeed, Doocy himself was aghast at the possibility. So, if one were to extend the MRC's criteria to Soros's reported investment in News Corp., one must naturally assume that Fox News itself is "[l]inked to George Soros."
Or how about this? Last November Salon.com's Justin Elliot reported that one of Fox News contributor Sarah Palin's "top aides has been on Soros' payroll for years." Yes, according to Elliot, "Republican lobbyist Randy Scheunemann, Palin's [then-] foreign policy adviser," is a paid lobbyist for the Open Society Policy Center, "a DC-based advocacy group founded and funded by Soros." Now, Palin has since cut ties with Scheunemann, but surely if The Atlanta Journal- Constitution is tied to Soros because "the editor of the editorial page" sits on the board of an organization that once received money from Soros, then Fox News is certainly connected to Soros due to the fact that one of its contributors employed a Soros employee while under contract with Fox News.
Then there's this: The Glenn Beck Program, a Fox News factual catastrophe, has hosted members of The Cato Institute, which is a George Soros grantee. As Media Matters has previously documented, "a simple Google search reveals that in 2010 Cato received a grant from Soros' Open Society Institute" - the very same Soros organization that donated money to the Amanpour-affiliated Center for Public Integrity. Kevin Bacon, eat your heart out.
It gets better. During the segment, Doocy said, "You know what Dan, if, for instance, the Koch brothers were going to donate money to organizations the outcry would be enourmous." Gainor replied, "Well, you know, you also wouldn't see top journalists serving on that board." Guess who gets money from the Koch brothers? That's right, the MRC. According to the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the Media Research Center--yes, the very people who put out this ridiculous Soros linked media report--has recently received at least $15,000 from the Koch brothers, a fact not mentioned by Doocy or Gainor. Gainor, however, was right about one thing, you certainly "wouldn't see top journalists serving on" the MRC's board, unless of course they wanted all of their credibility destroyed.
Putting Fox's entire argument that the MRC's report exposes a travesty of "journalism ethics" to bed is this - Bill Sammon, chief of the media bias department of Fox News, is still employed. Furthermore, it's no secret that Fox News is a virtual soapbox for the GOP.