As the nation endured hearing hosanna after hosanna toward Clinton, Obama, Gore, and various Clinton team members, a name popped up that few people would recognize: Steve Bing.
He provided the airplane that flew the Clinton team in and out, with the journalists in tow on the way back.
Steve Bing is heir to a large real estate fortune who produces forgettable, inane movies. But, more importantly, he is (along with George Soros) one of the prime funders of 527 groups in America. These are often partisan groups posing as "activist" groups-and contributions to them are tax-deductible (though they should not be when such groups engage in politics; the IRS has never scrutinized these groups-and they certainly will not do so under Barack Obama who relied on them to win the Presidency). MoveOn.Org is a 527 group, for example.
Today he is a close friend and associate of the billionaire financier George Soros.
A notorious playboy and tabloid magnet, Bing is deeply devoted to the Democratic Party and its affiliated causes. In 1998 he ranked as the 13th leading campaign donor to the Democrats. Beyond contributing $759,000 to assist individual Democratic candidates in the late 1990s, Bing provided $1 million to help bankroll the party's 2000 national convention. During the 2000 election cycle, he gave $200,000 to Democratic nominee Al Gore's presidential campaign. A report by the Center for Public Integrity further found that, between August 2000 and August 2004, Bing wrote checks totaling $15,382,555 to pro-Democratic "Section 527 organizations," tax-exempt activist groups unofficially allied with the Democratic Party (for instance, the MoveOn Voter Fund), making Bing the third leading contributor to the Democratic party behind George Soros and Progressive Corp Chairman Peter Lewis.
Bing is part of the nexus of wealthy Democratic Party activists that operate behind the scenes. Here he provided a plane to help burnish the image of leading Democrats to "rescue" some journalists out to make a name for themselves. I am surprised (no, not really) the media has not pointed out who Bing is and the role politics may have played in his providing a plane to stage this rescue.
It is not surprising that Bing is part of a heavily-subsidized effort to rescue agents of Al Gore from a situation that they never should have been part of. It is nice that they are safe, but they never should have been where they were. I agree with John Podhoretz
Ling and Lee deserve to be held accountable, at least in the realm of public opinion, for the unthinkably bad judgment they displayed in their preposterous, vainglorious, and astoundingly naive venture. Possessing some fantasy about presenting an inside look at North Korea on an justifiably unwatched (because unwatchable) cable channel called Current TV, they thought they could sneak undetected into a Gulag state, film some footage with a DV camera, and then sneak back out to the hosannas of the Peabody Award committee. This is something they chose to do and were given license to attempt by their employers, and for which they paid a horrific, far too horrific, a price. That must be the case as well for Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, the co-owners of Current TV, who have doubtless existed in a state of terrible "what have I done" anxiety about this since the arrests.
But none of them cannot be simply excused for the way in which their foolishness has exacted a price from the government of the United States, which has been at a loss under administrations Democratic and Republican for more than two decades as to what to do about North Korea and its threat. The interpolation of this melodrama and its resolution have made this nation's policy toward North Korea even more messy, though that hardly seemed possible, entirely due to a preventable error on the part of two amateurish journalists and their amateurish network.