$15.4 Million from Soros Funds Outlets Attacking O’Reilly

Liberal ‘echo chamber’ helps push liberal attacks on Fox News host.

Liberal groups attacking Fox News host Bill O’Reilly about his past reporting got more than $15 million from left-wing billionaire George Soros. The story, questioning claims O’Reilly made as a reporter early in his career, was broken by Mother Jones, a project of the liberal Foundation for National Progress.

From Mother Jones, the story was picked up by a variety of Soros-funded outlets, including Alternet (a project of the Independent Media Institute), NPR, The Nation, Media Matters for America and the Columbia Journalism Review – all funded by Soros’ Open Society Foundations. Out of the $10.6 million that Soros has given to Columbia University, at least $500,000 went directly to the Review.

Media Matters was particularly interested in keeping this story alive. According to Politico, the entire operation was focused on what would be the culmination of “more than a decade [of] trying to bring down Bill O’Reilly” for Media Matters chairman David Brock.

The Media Consortium, to which Alternet, Mother Jones and The Nation belong, was created to be a progressive "echo chamber," where 63 separate left-wing media outlets can network and share ideas, as well as cross-promote stories.

Even some outlets pushing this story that are not funded by Soros have Soros connections. The wife of Washington Post reporter Erik Wemple works for Mother Jones. When Wemple wrote about the O’Reilly story for the Post, he failed to note this connection until the very end of his piece. After the MRC questioned Wemple, he admitted that “your idea of higher placement makes sense” adding “[p]erhaps I'll try that in the next one.”

According to The New York Times, O’Reilly “had invited several former CBS employees to appear on his show, including Mr. Engberg, the anchor Dan Rather and Van Gordon Sauter, who was president of CBS News” to address this issue. All three turned down the offer.

This isn’t the first time that Soros groups have been involved in breaking and promoting a developing scandal. Before it came out that the IRS was targeting conservative groups, Soros-funded groups had been petitioning the IRS to do just that.

Soros Groups Involved:

  • Alternet: $495,000
  • Columbia University School of Journalism: $10,577,745
  • Mother Jones: $645,000
  • Media Consortium: $675,000
  • Media Matters for America: $600,000
  • The Nation: $77,000
  • NPR: $2,300,000

— Mike Ciandella is Research Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Mike Ciandella on Twitter.