(TFC) – George Soros. The name sends chills up many peoples’ spines. He’s a billionaire power broker on the international scene implicated in dirty dealings the world over. He’s got a crazy backstory stretching back to Nazi-occupied Hungary. He’s about the closest the world has ever come to a Bond villain.
Because of the activities he has been involved in, he’s become a boogeyman. He’s a scary story politicos tell their children at night. “If you don’t support our cause, George Soros will reign supreme.”
The latest dust-up involving Soros revolves around his alleged payments to Anti-Trump protesters. It’s quite a claim. Evidence of this could actually land Soros in criminal court. How could we prove this allegation? We’d need evidence of money flowing from Soros to Open Societies to a local organization and then to protesters. A tall order, but not impossible.
The Fifth Column placed a bounty on such information. We offered $100 for proof. Then a reader matched that offer, then another, then another offered $1000 to a charity of the recipient’s choice, then the editor of another outlet offered an additional $1000. By the time it was said and done, someone with evidence could have made a pretty penny by sending a message or an email.
We received dozens of tips pointing us to Craigslist ads. Most were for activities before the election. Others were for canvassing areas to gain signatures on petitions. Still others were for phone bank operators. A few were for “grassroots community organizers”. That last one sounded like it might have been for organizing protests. Separate from tips, it was noted that MoveOn.org was organizing protests. While the overwhelming majority of Craigslist ads were not for paid protesters, there was a small amount of reason to continue to dig, even though MoveOn.org released a statement clearly denying it had paid any protester to be in the streets.
We moved to establishing a connection between the organizations and George Soros. There it was. Money had certainly flowed from Soros to these organizations. Three in particular.
United We Dream: This organization received $75,000 from Open Societies.
Clean Water Action: Received about $36,000 from an organization called America Votes that draws funding from an organization Soros is said to support.
Washington CAN!: This organization received $50,000 from Open Societies.
While this may seem like concrete evidence, there’s a problem. United We Dream received that money in 2010. Clean Water Action obtained their funds two years ago. Washington CAN! obtained its money seven years ago. Incidentally, their funds were used to purchase telemarketing equipment.
As a side note, many articles mention $1.46 million being donated from Soros to MoveOn.org. That money was transferred 13 years ago. We did find $150,000 from Open Societies last year, though, it’s just not mentioned in any of the articles on the subject.
It should be noted that America Votes also funds The International Association of Firefighters, the Teamsters, Planned Parenthood, People for the American Way, Rock the Vote, the Sierra Club, and many, many others. Certainly, people wouldn’t say “the Soros-funded Firefighters” with disdain.
If these circumstantial ties through years-old financial deals are enough to make you believe Soros is in control of these organizations, then it doesn’t matter what the protesters do because Soros is in control of President Trump. Soros funded Trump Tower. In 2008, Trump and Soros were both defendants in a RICO complaint. Trump and Soros are such good friends, they spent Christmas Eve together. Those are the same sort of open-ended ties that are being used to confirm this theory.
There is no evidence of George Soros influencing protesters. There is no evidence of paid demonstrators. A pro-immigration group is campaigning against an anti-immigration President. A clean water group is campaigning against a President fond of fracking. A social justice organization is campaigning against a President who stands for everything they oppose. Then there are organic protests in the streets and protests organized by MoveOn.org.
There is no evidence of protesters being paid. None. In fact, one of the most cited Craigslist ads, clearly states it’s office work:
“At Washington CAN! you will work at our Home Office here in Seattle. You will regularly meet with our Organizers, Lobbyists, and Executive Director, and have a real sense of being directly involved in our work.”
What is the likelihood of an organization asking for office workers, only to send them out to incite riots and face down police?
What does this mean about Soros?
He’s still a bad actor on the international stage. This doesn’t prove he’s not influencing the dissent over the election, but you can’t prove a negative. This simply shows that a story carried by dozens of outlets is without evidence. George Soros undoubtedly engages in influence peddling and underhanded dealings. However, it should be noted that many of the causes that Open Societies funds are good causes. Many are not. It’s up to the reader to make informed, intelligent decisions regarding any organization accepting his money.
Amnesty International, American Library Association, The ACLU, openDemocracy, and The Bill of Rights Defense Committee are organizations I personally support that have also been supported by George Soros.
The other side of the coin includes organizations like Center for American Progress, Brookings Institution, and the Center for Responsible Lending that couldn’t get my help if their buildings were on fire, while Soros is happy to send them money.
It’s important to remember that Bond villain or not, he’s just a person.
What does this say about independent media?
We’re losing our way. This story should have never progressed to the point where dozens of outlets ran it without checking to see if there was enough evidence to support it. While I didn’t read every article about it, I read about 30. Only one attempted any real investigation. I’ve made it a point to not call out the outlets that deliberately misinformed their readers, so I won’t openly celebrate this journalist, beyond saying that she is a free thinker.
At a time when the corporate press is in its death throes, we can’t start running articles without evidence. If the independent media can’t be trusted because it has succumbed to a desire to obtain clicks at any cost, it can’t be trusted period. If we’re going to begin presenting theories as facts, we should just go work at CNN, Fox, or one of the other major outlets. When we start manufacturing stories without evidence, we cease to be journalists.
Much of this investigation was conducted by James Job, you can follow him on Facebook here.