On February 8, KSFO Morning Show hosts Melanie Morgan, Lee Rodgers, and Tom Benner, known on the show as Officer Vic, repeated and expanded upon the false accusation that billionaire philanthropist and progressive financier George Soros collaborated with the Nazis as a 14-year-old boy in Hungary. Rodgers claimed that Soros "apparently very cheerfully and willingly went to work for the Nazis," and Officer Vic added that "he just kind of complied willingly," while Morgan alleged -- without explanation -- that Soros did so "[i]n order to further his own career." Morgan went on to claim that Soros' "left-wing political protégés," as Rodgers described them, take money from Soros "even though that money may be tainted." Morgan has previously referred to Media Matters for America as "an organization that is aligned with George Soros."
As Media Matters for America has noted, the tired smear of Soros as a Nazi collaborator has been propagated by right-wing pundits David Horowitz and Richard Poe, who wrote in their discredited book, The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party (Nelson Current, August 2006), that Soros "survived [the Holocaust] by assimilating to Nazism." More recently, Martin Peretz, editor-in-chief of The New Republic, called Soros "a young cog in the Hitlerite wheel."
In fact, according to Michael T. Kaufman's biography of Soros, Soros: The Life and Times of a Messianic Billionaire (Knopf, February 2002), Soros' father attempted to protect his family from Nazi persecution by paying an employee of Hungary's Ministry of Agriculture named Baumbach to take in Soros, "ostensibly as his godson." From Page 37 of Kaufman's book:
Shortly after George went to live with Baumbach, the man was assigned to take inventory on the vast estate of Mor Kornfeld, an extremely wealthy aristocrat of Jewish origin. The Kornfeld family had the wealth, wisdom, and connections to be able to leave some of its belongings behind in exchange for permission to make their way to Lisbon. Baumbach was ordered to go to the Kornfeld estate and inventory the artworks, furnishings, and other property. Rather than leave his "godson" behind in Budapest for three days, he took the boy with him. As Baumbach itemized the material, George walked around the grounds and spent time with Kornfeld's staff. It was his first visit to such a mansion, and the first time he rode a horse. He collaborated with no one and he paid attention to what he understood to be his primary responsibility: making sure that no one doubted that he was Sandor Kiss. Among his practical concerns was to make sure that no one saw him pee.
From the February 8 broadcast of KSFO's Morning Show:
RODGERS: Now, here is the inconsistency problem that Mr. Soros, like so many Democrats, displays. Given his personal history, a cynical person might think George Soros would be delighted to see the Nazis in charge, because in 1944, when the Germans invaded his native country, Hungary, and took over, Mr. Soros hid the fact that he's a Jew -- you can't really blame him for that --
OFFICER VIC: No.
RODGERS: -- it's about survival; a lot of people did it. But then, he, apparently very cheerfully and willingly, went to work for the Nazis, as other Jews were being killed or shipped off to the death camps, he ran around Hungary with Nazi officials, serving eviction notices to people who were going to be shipped out on the death trains --
OFFICER VIC: Oh, my God.
RODGERS: -- so his Nazi buddies could come in and confiscate their property. Now, if you doubt this -- any of you whiny liberals -- "Well, I heard that on a conservative program. They had to have made it up" -- just do a little Internet search of your own, go to Yahoo or Google or whatever you want, and write in "George Soros," plus the word "Nazis," plus "1944." Take a look. See what comes up. See for yourself.
MORGAN: So, you're saying that the Nazis didn't hold a gun to his head, saying that you will do this --
OFFICER VIC: You have to -- he just kind of complied willingly, I would guess --
MORGAN: Hmm-mm. In order to further his own career, and his survival -- ensure his survival.
RODGERS: Yeah, I wouldn't argue about trying to survive, but still, well, you know --
RODGERS: -- and he has admitted this by the way. He went on, I think it was Press the Meet [sic] with Tim Russert, and admitted it, so --
OFFICER VIC: But that was years ago, and a long, long time --
RODGERS: That was years ago; that's old news, that's old news now. But, you know, do with it whatever you want, but this is something his left-wing political protégés I guarantee you will not be speaking about.
MORGAN: And you know what? It doesn't seem to slow them down when it comes to taking his money, does it? Even though that money may be tainted.
RODGERS: No. No.