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Aaron Klein: News You May Have Missed


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Obama Tied To Controversial Media Matters Group

President Obama served for eight years on the board of a charity that is a top donor to the embattled Media Matters for America progressive activist organization.

Obama is also tied to numerous other top Media Matters donors and fundraisers, including a foundation run by the finance chair of his 2008 presidential campaign, WorldNetDaily has learned.

Last week, the Daily Caller released a list of grants to Media Matters. A review of the donor list by this reporter found multiple ties to Obama.

This information comes amid reports that White House staffers held regular meetings with Media Matters, which is under fire for unusual tactics, including compiling a de facto enemies list; announcing an all-out campaign of “guerrilla warfare and sabotage” aimed at the Fox News Channel; and reportedly seeking to investigate the personal lives of targeted reporters and news personalities.

The Media Matters donor list includes the Pritzker Family Foundation, which donated a total of $400,000 to the progressive attack group in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

The Pritzker family is most famous for owning the Hyatt hotel chain and is considered to be one of America’s wealthiest families.

The family foundation is directed by Penny Pritzker, who served as the national finance chair of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Penny Pritzker is currently a member of Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, which formulates and evaluates economic policy for the Obama Administration.

Another top donor to Media Matters, according to the released donor list, is the Joyce Foundation. Obama served on the Joyce Foundation board from 1994-2002.

Joyce gave a $400,000 grant to Media Matters in 2010, purportedly to “support a gun and public safety issue initiative.”

While Obama was on the Joyce Foundation board, the organization granted tens of millions of dollars to gun control organizations. Also numerous large grants were provided to a group called Leadership for Quality Education, which was run by John Ayers, the brother of Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers.

Also while Obama was at Joyce, the foundation gave numerous grants to the Small Schools workshop at the University of Chicago which was founded by Bill Ayers and is run by avowed communist activist Mike Klonsky, who served with Ayers in the Students for a Democratic Society group.

Another key funding tie for Media Matters is the Center for American Progress led by John Podesta, who directed Obama’s transition team into the White House. Media Matters reportedly entered into a fundraising-sharing agreement with the Center for American Progress, or CAP.

The CAP’s extensive reports and research reportedly help to inform Obama administration policy. A 2008 Time magazine article profiles its influence in the formation of the Obama administration, stating that “not since the Heritage Foundation helped guide Ronald Reagan’s transition in 1981 has a single outside group held so much sway.”

The CAP has received large grants from the Tides Foundation, which, according to the published donor list, is the single largest donor to Media Matters, with over $4 million in donations to the group. This journalist was first to report last week on the Tides’ donations to Media Matters.

Tides is a controversial far-left clearinghouse that funds groups such as MoveOn.org, ACORN and a litany of anti-war organizations. The Tides Foundation is funded in part by billionaire George Soros, himself a prominent Media Matters donor via his Open Society Institute.

Tides functions as a money tunnel in which major leftist donors provide large sums that are channeled to hundreds of radical groups.

Tides documentation reviewed by WND shows that the group provided a total of $4.1 million to Media Matters during the fiscal years of 2004-2009. During that same time period, Tides provided an additional $110,000 to the Media Matters Action Network, the group’s affiliated progressive lobby.

The Tides Foundation funding to Media Matters was most significant during the progressive news organization’s startup year in 2004, when Tides granted it $2.2 million.

In 2005, Tides sent another $1.1 million to Media Matters. The years 2006 and 2007 saw smaller Tides donations of $56,223 and $38,225 respectively. In 2008, a significant Tides donation of $659,500 came in to Media Matters, with another $106,038 in 2009.

In 2010, the Tides Center expressed public support for Media Matters when the media group stepped up its activism against Fox News by posting a webpage dedicated to anti-Fox material along with an online petition that pressed Fox’s advertisers to “Drop Fox.” At the time, Tides chief executive and founder, Drummond Pike, endorsed Media Matters’s campaign.

Media Matters has already admitted to taking $1 million directly from Soros. The billionaire has donated more than $7 million to Tides over the years.

Now the revelation of Tides donations to Media Matters may raise more questions about the partiality of the media group. Tides is one of the biggest financial backers of progressive and radical left groups in the U.S.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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