$12 Million Buys Soros, Steyer White House Meeting; Media Ignore

Networks complain about conservative donor influence in politics, ignore blatant liberal donor connection.

Money may not buy happiness, but it certainly buys access. Liberal billionaires George Soros and Tom Steyer met with John Podesta, the counselor to the president, to advise him on environmental policy.

Both Soros and Steyer have donated millions to the Center for American Progress, a liberal group Podesta founded and led until December 2013. Steyer has given $3,850,000 to CAP since 2008, while Soros more than doubled that at $8,067,186.

Despite repeatedly hyping liberal fears about conservative donors influencing politics, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN and major newspapers all ignored the meeting. Soros’ spokesperson and advisor Michael Vachon, who was also in attendance, told E&E News that the men “discussed a variety of topics,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.

Since 2012, ABC, CBS and NBC have covered the libertarian Koch brothers nine times more than they covered George Soros and Tom Steyer combined. Media is home turf for Soros. He has poured more than $65 million into media and journalism groups through his Open Society Foundations since 2000.

“The three met to discuss global climate change negotiations, and the process of the 2015 United Nations climate change convention to be held in Paris,” according to The Hill, which cited a White House Official. The Hill also noted that Steyer met with Podesta again in March.

The meeting occurred in February, but details are just now being published.

Podesta was the founder and president of the liberal Center for American Progress (CAP), before being tapped by the White House to focus on health care law and climate change issues.

CAP is a policy writing and advocating organization, complete with its own media outlet, Think Progress. Podesta previously co-chaired the transition team when Obama first came into office, and was White House chief of staff under Clinton.  Neera Tanden, who has worked for both Obama and Hillary Clinton, currently runs CAP. 

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