Move over, MoveOn. Another well-funded propaganda organ of the Left is coming, operating under the guise of charitable public service.
Herb and Marion Sandler, legendary capitalist multi-billionaire builders of a financial empire, and philanthropic allies of Peter Lewis and George Soros, are ponying up $10 million a year for a charitable venture to supply investigative reporting at no cost to newspapers, which are laying off editorial employees (and others) as their business model becomes obsolete.
Efforts are being made to wrap this nascent propaganda venture in the cloak of pure public interest, as its Latinate (pesudo-academic?) name "Pro Publica" suggests, but we are skeptical. The board comprises a distinguished multi-ethnic panel that even includes a white male former Republican Congressman, Jim Leach of Iowa. Former Wall Street Journal editor Paul Steiger is in charge (for the time being).No doubt there will be window dressing stories going after subjects who could be described as "liberal" in some sense.
But given the background of the holders of its purse strings, there is reason to suspect the venture will be used to go after opponents of the Left. Even Jane Mayer of the New Yorker described them and their circle as "hard core partisans." And the Sandlers are famous/celebrated/notorious for their policy of not spending a penny without getting their money's worth and more.
The venture will hire up to 24 journalists, and pay salaries and benefits comparable to the biggest newspapers. In essence, this is a safety net for some of the journalists who lose their jobs, and offer others still with work the hope of a rescue if and when the workforce reduction reaches them.
No longer tethered to the responsibility of earning their way in the marketplace, this talent pool can be turned loose on potentially anyone. If you look hard enough, you can find all sorts of difficult-to-explain matters that, at a minimum can tie up and distract even the most innocent paragon of virtue. For real people, born as sinners, there is always something you can find.