The Boogeyman

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The Right is still trying to whip up hysteria over Moveon.org. Now they’re dredging up association with The Boogeyman — George Soros. Investors Business Daily is running an article called “George Soros: The Man, The Mind And The Money Behind MoveOn.” Folks, this is a textbook example of first-rate propaganda.

One paragraph popped out at me:

Best known among these groups is MoveOn.org, a previously small fringe-left group to which Soros has given $5 million since 2004. Bulked up by cash, the group now uses professional public relations tactics to undercut the Iraq War effort, with its latest a full-page New York Times ad that branded Gen. Petraeus “General Betray Us.”

First: The truth is that Soros gave Moveon.org $5 million IN 2004, and as near as I can tell from googling he’s not given them a penny since. Soros threw a lot of money around in 2003 and 2004 to try to defeat George Bush, but he was MIA in 2006 and I haven’t heard that he has any plans regarding next year’s elections. Yet the Right continues to evoke the name of the evil Soros as if he were the mastermind behind all their opposition.

The consensus among lefties of my acquaintance, btw, is that Soros spent his money in stupid ways, and if he really wanted to help us he would bankroll leftie media infrastructure. But as far as U.S. politics is concerned he seems to have taken his wallet and gone home.

Also, before Soros gave them money Moveon had already moved on from “small fringe-left group” status. “By early 2003, MoveOn boasted more than 750,000 members in the United States and hundreds of thousands more overseas,” it says here.

But I have to hand it to the IBD editorialists — this is how propaganda is written. They juxtapose the names of Soros and Moveon in paragraph after paragraph to make it appear there’s actually a connection. They patch together some semi-true statements — Soros did give Moveon $5 million — in a way that conveys an impression of wrongdoing without making explicit accusations. And Captain Ed fell for it, hook, line, and sinker.

And, frankly, it wouldn’t bother me if there were an ongoing relationship between Soros and Moveon, but I am reasonably certain the only real connection was the $5 million Soros gave Moveon in 2004.

Toward the bottom of the IBD editorial:

Soros usually doesn’t offer up or endorse specific candidates for office. His chief aim seems to be tearing down Bush, driving the Democrats to the far left and enforcing party discipline through fear. In fact, he seems to like keeping Democrats guessing whether or not he’s offended.

The strategy seems to be working. No Democrat had the courage to cross MoveOn.org after its libelous Petraeus ad. On Thursday, a symbolic vote in Congress censuring MoveOn.org for the Petraeus ad passed, but with the notable absence of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Election looming, neither wants to cross Soros’ MoveOn.org.

I know for a fact that Soros had absolutely nothing to do with the “betrayus” ad. And it’s us liberal bloggers the Dems are afraid of, not Soros. Not yet afraid enough, but we’ve made some progress since 2004.

Update: I see that several of Captain Ed’s commenters are repeating the old lie (perpetrated by Bill O’Reilly) that Media Matters is also funded by Soros. Media Matters says it “has never received funding from Soros, either directly or indirectly.”

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18 Comments

16 Comments

  1. c u n d gulag  •  Sep 22, 2007 @10:02 am

    “and enforcing party discipline through fear.”

    Maha,
    Aren’t you afraid?
    I know I am.
    Mr. Soros bitch-slapped me when I didn’t lean left enough during our gay sex excapade on a greased trampoline last night.
    I’m still hurting. But, don’t worry about me. It’s the gerbil that needs everyone’s prayers.

    Jesus, what idiot’s. Just because the right-wing is run like a fascist dictatorship, they think we on the left operate the same way.

    Hey, IBD!
    We’re liberals. We think for ourselves.
    We’re not lemmings, like those on the right.
    I’m not sniffing Soros’ ass as we dive off a cliff. Maybe if you got your nose out of Bush’s, we might all be saved.
    STUPID WANKER”S!!!

  2. A Canadian Reader  •  Sep 22, 2007 @10:45 am

    I’m sure you’ve said it many times before, Maha: The right masters the technique of lying, half-lying and repeating these lies louder and louder and more and more often until its opponents–who try to present well-thought-out, logical arguments–just give up in disgust.

    I have just gone through such a situation and I feel truly sickened. There’s a hard-core of angry white men out there (sorry guys, but for the most part, they’re the ones leading it and they’re definitely the bulk of the ground troups) that will only back down when they die. They’ve got strong lungs, stamina and are totally unphased by the innate contradictions and lack of logic in their ideas. But most of all, they revel in cruelty and that’s what scares me. It scares me a lot. They are the kinds of people who would have been sunning themselves on their days off work at Auschwitz http://www.ushmm.org/research/collections/highlights/auschwitz/

    Maha, I don’t know how you survive. After two days of debating a wingnut, I feel like I’m developing a case of post-traumatic stress syndrome.

  3. DK  •  Sep 22, 2007 @11:23 am

    If Soros were a right-winger instead of a leftist exerting this kind of influence on American politics, you folks would be baying at the moon. You are just not being honest here. And I believe you know that. Really, how can you defend Soros by accusing others of “propaganda”? It’s ridiculously absurd. I’m genuinely embarrassed for you.

  4. Swami  •  Sep 22, 2007 @11:26 am

    It’s good to see that Move-on is getting maximum bang for their buck with the betrayus ad. It’s like a Chinese handcuff where the harder you fight against it, the tighter its grip becomes. All the righties can do is bellyache about how mean it is while at the same time increasing its exposure.
    It was just a rhetorical question where the reader supplied the value.

    The IBD editorial board claims that the betrayus ad was libelous.. Well, how come nobody cared to challenge it before the law if it was so libelous?

    Maybe they should spent more time licking their wounds and not running their mouths.

  5. maha  •  Sep 22, 2007 @11:50 am

    If Soros were a right-winger instead of a leftist exerting this kind of influence on American politics, you folks would be baying at the moon.

    And exactly what influence would that be, dear? Soros dropped $5.5 million on the 2004 election and got zip in return. We lefties haven’t heard much from him since. If that’s “influence,” I’m Santa Claus.

  6. maha  •  Sep 22, 2007 @12:03 pm

    Maha, I don’t know how you survive. After two days of debating a wingnut, I feel like I’m developing a case of post-traumatic stress syndrome.

    That’s why I keep a tight lid on right-wing comments here. I debated these people before there was an internet, and I debated them on the old USENET forums, and before I started this blog I debated them on web forums. I decided my time and energy are better spent communicating with people who can, you know, think.

  7. jpe  •  Sep 22, 2007 @12:13 pm

    If Soros were a right-winger instead of a leftist exerting this kind of influence on American politics

    The Scaifes, the Waltons, the Olins, etal, all bankroll the FoxNews stable of pundits. Generally, lefties understand that people are free to donate and free to try to alter the political landscape. A handful of right-wing foundations have much, much more influence than Soros, and, as a liberal, I say “good for them!”

  8. J. A. Baker  •  Sep 22, 2007 @1:14 pm

    One paragraph pooped out at me:

    Fixed your typo.

  9. Bonnie  •  Sep 22, 2007 @1:40 pm

    Take the IBD article and insert Scaife supported right wing idolatries; and, it will no longer be propaganda, it will be the truth.

  10. paradoctor  •  Sep 22, 2007 @5:12 pm

    Swami: yes, it’s amazing to see the IBD give that ad free publicity. Alas, they only publicize the ad’s title, not its content. Also, the whole fuss is slightly unfair to the general. After all, he did admit to the senators that he’s unsure that the occupation has made us any safer. It seems that, despite working for Bush, he still has some judgement and integrity.

    But not enough. Supposedly Petraeus is a smart man. Why then did he not realize that siding with Bush is a career-limiting move? And he’s far from the only one in this march of folly. Why?

  11. No More Mr. Nice Guy!  •  Sep 22, 2007 @5:28 pm

    Personally, I think “One paragraph pooped out at me” is a pretty fair summary of the IBD article.

  12. joanr16  •  Sep 22, 2007 @5:45 pm

    Mr. Soros bitch-slapped me when I didn’t lean left enough during our gay sex excapade on a greased trampoline last night.
    I’m still hurting. But, don’t worry about me. It’s the gerbil that needs everyone’s prayers.

    Oh gulag, thanks, I needed the laugh!

  13. c u n d gulag  •  Sep 22, 2007 @7:45 pm

    joanr16,
    Thanks, I’m glad someone appreciated my snark:-)

  14. Doug Hughes  •  Sep 22, 2007 @9:41 pm

    I belong to a union forum, which should be friendly to Democrats, but there are a few wingnuts who spout off and I have taken to challenging them. Usually, it’s good natured, but one twit has taken to name calling, and wants me to move to Canada. Oddly, the crap has created a backlash; righties who disagree on principle, have given me points in the ‘debate’.

    The only reason I bring it up here is to thank Barbara; this blog has been an invaluable source of information. The loudmouth started on a Churchill bit and I hit back with the quote from Winnie on Iraq. ButI have made my arguments rationally, with facts, quotes and statistics, a lot of them directly or indirectly from here.

    The forom has come down on me for going off-topic, and I have assured them I won’t start anything off-topic, but if the moderator does not squash off-topic comments from wingnuts, I WILL refute. They can’t take over the forum. The lies will not go unchallenged. Thanks for ammo in the war, Barbara.

  15. A Canadian Reader  •  Sep 22, 2007 @11:25 pm

    Alas, I agree with Doug: it IS a war.

  16. Doug Hughes  •  Sep 23, 2007 @9:17 am

    It just occurrred to me. At the Emmy Awards show, it was Fox who cut off Sally Field in her acceptance speech whe she went off about the war. That was censorship, though legal, and the Left needs to hit with that word, every time the Righties try to thwart free speech. Had I been in the Senate (stop lauging – it’s hypothetical) I would not have voted against the ad or the organization. Off the floor, I might have had some criticism for the ad, but I would have emphasized the importance of free speeh far overrides the damage that might have been suffered by a public figure, for criticism of his testimony in a public forum.

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