Media Matters and Tides Foundation have a tough new recruit in their war against Fox News: People for the American Way. How tough? Behind PFAW's "ain't-we-wonderful" public face looms a crushing political force.
PFAW is a lobbying organization with its own foundation, two 527 electioneering groups, a political action committee, and total revenues probably north of $20 million. PFAW is a 501(c)(4) and doesn't reveal its income, but its foundation alone listed $13.4 million in the most recent report.
That's nothing to trifle with when it comes to flooding advertisers with angry "Drop Fox News" messages. But it was to be expected: Tides CEO Drummond Pike, who signed the anti-Fox campaign letter, helped television mogul Norman Lear create PFAW in 1980.
Since 1999, Tides has given PFAW over $1.5 million, so it's hard to say no to Drummond.
And, even though George Soros didn't give PFAW a special million-dollar Destroy Fox News gift like it did Media Matters, his Open Society Foundations have sent over $3.3 million their way since 1999.
Soros, of course, is good at making big headlines, but he's a lot better at making big money (Forbes estimates $14.4 billion net worth), which is how he supports his big global system (more than 60 operations) of big impact foundations (about $600 million per year).
Michael T. Kaufman, a Soros biographer, made two intriguing points about Soros the man: As a child, he felt a messianic calling, and as an adult he underwent extensive psychotherapy that only made it worse.
So, while Soros thinks he's messiah of the world, he's actually the messiah of money. His Soros Fund Management's remarkably successful hedge funds, including its flagship Quantum Fund, invest according to Soros' uncanny feel for when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.
His company oversees about $24 billion, which it uses to buy large stakes in just about the dirtiest, most politically incorrect investments you can imagine. Right now it's concentrated in energy, transportation, financial, retail (including Chinese drug stores) and other industries.
Soros holds Ford Motor, Duke Energy, El Paso (natural gas), Encana (Canada, natural gas), BPZ Resources (oil and gas, no relation to BP, which he does not hold), Hess, Anadarko Petroleum, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Occidental Petroleum, Devon Energy, smaller amounts of Chesapeake Energy, Apache and Marathon Oil. You get the point -- and that's not half of it.
He holds McDonald's, Wendy's, Arby's, Yum! Brands, Burger King Holdings, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, and so on down the fast-food list.
He holds MFA Financial (mortgage-backed securities); Philip Morris International (tobacco products); Alliance One International (tobacco products); Autochina International (sells and services cars in China); Global Industries (offshore oil and gas rigs, many built in foreign locations); Liberty Global (communication cables, based in Europe).
Oh, yes: Soros bought a position in Lehman Brothers just before the investment bank failed in 2008. (Read his whole June 30, 2010, SEC Form 13F Holdings Report at left-tracking-library.org/soros-and-pike.htm.)
In all, it's possible that Soros has helped ship more American jobs overseas, made more people homeless and sick, nudged more people into obesity, spewed more CO2 into the air, bought into more corporations that would outrage the green lefties, than any investor on Earth.
To give him his due, Soros holds First Solar, GT Solar, SolarWinds (but that's a software company), and Solar Capital (but that's an investment firm that buys mostly subordinated debt -- how names can fool us).
I suggest that Media Matters, Tides Foundation, People for the American Way and all the folks who take money from Soros for the war on Fox News accept no more of his dirty money until he cleans up his investment act. Then play holier-than-thou with your fellow citizens.
Examiner contributor Ron Arnold is executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.