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ProPublica Exposed: A Pseudo Alternative with $26 Million Dollars in Secret Mega-Donors Funding

By Sibel Edmonds | Boiling Frogs | September 8, 2013

On September 7, 2013, the daring website, Cryptome, published and publicized the tax reports filed by one of the dime-a-dozen pseudo alternative online publications-ProPublica. The stunning IRS 990 forms filed by this new flashy tax-exempt online news organization expose a secretive operation funded by millions of dollars received from secret entities:

ProPublica Tax Report for 2011 lists $10,000,000 (Ten Million Dollars) private funding from Anonymous (Secret) Donors: Click Here

ProPublica Tax Report for 2010 lists $10,000,000 (Ten Million Dollars) private funding from Anonymous (Secret) Donors: Click Here

ProPublica Tax Report for 2009 lists $ 6,000,000 (Six Millions Dollars) private funding from Anonymous (Secret) Donors: Click Here

That is correct. ProPublica, in the first three years of its existence and operation, has received $26,000,000 (26 Million Dollars) funding from secret donors.

The tax-exempt, 501 (C) (3) NGO was established and began operation in June 2008. When you look at the established date of their operation, and their first 990 tax form filed in 2009, you see that, right from the start, before even establishing any track record, their founders-operators were able to collect $6,000,000.

Well, if you look at ProPublica’s founders and operators the above facts will start making sense:

  • ProPublica was founded by Paul Steiger, the former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal
  • Propublica is managed and led by Stephen Engelberg, the former investigative editor of The New York Times
  • Propublica is run and directed by Richard Tofel, the former assistant publisher of The Wall Street Journal

Let’s sum it up: Three individuals, major participants and players from the US mainstream media, from entities long known as intimate propaganda arms of the US government, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, got together and said: The alternative media is taking off with the public, so let’s set up shop and pose as one. After all, the establishment is smart enough to not put all its eggs in one basket-in this case, the mainstream outlet.

With their established record as mainstream players who understood the importance of government-imposed propaganda and the role of controlled opposition fronts, the trio set up shop with window-dressing that distorted them and made them look like a Watch-Dog Independent Alternative media outlet – in a posh office with an Uber Expensive Manhattan address.

Right from the start, with the government and the establishment’s backing they positioned them in the forefront as a major player by: 1-quickly securing $6,000,000 upfront seed money from secret donors; 2-smoothly establishing  their shop-business as a tax-exempt 501 (C) (3) NGO with the US government

Isn’t it amazing how a supposedly alternative watchdog that is supposedly working to expose dark secret deals for greater transparency and public awareness happens to be a mega-funded business with secret mega-donors?!

I tried my best to comb through their site, hoping to get a glimpse of these generous funders who have given ProPublica $26,000,000. But, no such luck. If I were a betting woman, I’d put my money on the same-o-same-o mega corporate foundations- the 1%: Soros, Rockefellers, Carnegie, Ford … You know who we’re looking at and talking about here, no?

I would say that even more appalling than having $26,000,000 from secret donors is the fact that ProPublica wants much more: They want uninformed and gullible individuals, our average hard-working Janes & Johns, to dish out donations and recurring subscriptions, and enrich the already very rich operators of this so-called alternative business. How bold and daring of ProPublica !

Think about it, during these tough economic times, while even the mainstream is struggling to make ends meet (despite backing from billionaires, government and corporate advertisers), ProPublica has received $26, 000,000 and more from its secret admirers within the mega-billionaire circle. Why? Since when do the Uber Corporate players and their foundations have a desire for transparency-seeking and Pro-Public media sources? Obviously, they don’t want any transparency when it comes to their money and where their mega-dollars go. Otherwise, why remain so very anonymous and secret? Right?

~

Aletho News adds that ProPublica seems to have a thing about Iran and Hezbollah:

Salting “public interest” news and commentary with warmongering pieces furthering Israel’s aggressive aims deserves exposure and LobeLog has done just that. In July, Jim Lobe deconstructed the ProPublica piece, The Terror Threat and Iran’s Inroads in Latin America. His take on ProPublica’s smear Iran pieces:

What virtually all of them have in common is the heavy reliance on anonymous intelligence sources; a mixture of limited original reporting combined with lots of recycled news; a proclivity for citing highly ideological, often staunchly hawkish neoconservative “experts” on Middle East issues from such think tanks as the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC) without identifying them as such; a surprising deference (considering his status as an investigative reporter) toward “official” accounts or reports by friendly security agencies, some of which work very closely with their Israeli counterpart…

Lobe’s article, ProPublica and the Fear Campaign Against Iran is worth reading in its entirety.

~

BFP Update #1

In less than an hour after our report on ProPublica tax forms, their $26 Million-dollar budget and untraceable (at least not easily traceable) corporates and foundations funders, we received a threatening e-mail from their  President Richard Tofel asking us to retract since somewhere, out there, they have a list of some of their major donors. They sure made that info hard to find!

Now we have more documents, including the list of some of their major donors and a more exact dollar number for their operating budget. We are more than happy to release these documents and the links. You know what: This information proves every single point we made in our report and more! Here we go:

1- We had listed ProPublica’s funding at $26,000,000. Well, it happens to be much higher than that: ProPublica, during their first four years, received $37,000,000 in funding. They received $11,000,000 in 2012, and that brings the total for their four years in operation to $37,000,000 Million: Click Here

2- They have listed some of their big foundations- make that corporate-foundations, under a vague ‘Supporters’ page. Well, again, I was right: Ford, Soros, Rockefeller and Carnegie are there, but there are more …Hewlett Foundation, Lisa & Douglas Goldman Fund , Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge … and check this, even NBC4New York!! To read the list filled with mega billionaires and millionaires check out ProPublica’s list of Sugar Daddies here

Let me give you a couple of examples: Sandler Foundation gave ProPublica $4,000,000 in 2012, and Knight Foundation gave them $2,000,000 only in 2012 (for one year). Check them out here

3-ProPublica also lists its partners. Ladies and gentleman if we had to summarize the list it would read: The Entire US Mainstream Media. ProPublica partners list include: CNN, ABC News, CBS News, Chicago Tribune, NPR, CNBC, Fortune, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The New York Times, NewsWeek … Basically, the entire charlatan and propaganda machine called the US Mainstream Media. Not only that, they are also partner with Amazon! Please help yourself to this truly stinky list of ProPublica partners: Click Here

All right. I now have provided you with additional information related to ProPublica funding and partners, as I promised Mr. Tofel. And with all this, what have we got? Let’s recap:

An almost brand new business posing as a nonprofit alternative online publication received $37,000,000 since its operation began 4 years ago. This hefty $37,000,000 comes from all the nasty corporate moguls such as Rockefellers, George Soros, Ford, Carnegie Family, Hewlett Packard, Goldman, and  the like. ProPublica is also proud to announce the entire dirty despicable US mainstream media, outlets such as CNN, NBC, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, as its dear partners in its operations.

Now, I invite you to find one qualification here, whether in funding, or the background of its operators, or its partners, that makes this phony an Independent Alternative Media with only the public interest in mind. When ProPublica says, alternative, ask them exactly alternative to what?!

BFP Update #2

Today, after spending hours analyzing ProPublica’s tax forms, which list their enterprise’s expenses for 2012 (Click Here ), we have more shocking items to report. For this report we are concentrating mainly on the incredibly extravagant salaries listed for this newly created NGO enterprise, since the level of money they receive would even raise the eyebrows of the highest paid reporters-managers in mainstream media publications.

The average salary earned by Presidents-CFOs/CEOs within the NGO industry is $97,000 a year

The President and Editor in Chief for ProPublica, Paul E. Steiger (Position in 2012), made $570,000 + $14,914 = $584,914

The 2012 average salary for managing editors for major publications is $65,000

The Managing Editor for ProPublica, Stephen Engelberg, made $360,000 + $31, 758 = $391,758

The average salary for NGO general managers is around $60,000 a year

The General Manger for ProPublica (Position in 2012), Richard Tofel, made $335,000 + $28,600 = $363,600

The average salary for Vice President (VP) positions within the NGO community is $70,000

The average salary for editors for major publications in New York is $61,000

The Editor for ProPublica, Mark Schoofs, made $184,000 + $7918 = $191,918

The 2012 average salary for reporters in major publications in New York is around $67,000

A Senior Reporter for ProPublica (Position in 2012), Jesse Eisinger, made $218,500 + $29,682 = $248,182

Another Senior Reporter, for ProPublica, Dafna Linzer, made $212,000 + $18,534 = $230,534

Another ProPublica Senior Reporter, Charles Ornstein, made $192,500 + $$25,984 = $218,484

And yet another Propublica Senior Reporter, Tracy Weber, made $192,500 + $20,270 = $212,770

The last we heard (and read) journalists were crying out loud on the issue of shrinking and even disappearing already-meager salaries.  Well, the industry’s report on average salaries justifies them, since even within the major publications in New York many senior reporters are collecting less than $60,000. What do you know! They should be lining up for jobs with the NGO online publications!! ProPublica reporters are making quarter million dollars annual salaries and benefits ($248,000).

Same with managers and mid-level editors. The private publication business industry seems nothing compared to some start-up NGOs. Look, the general managers and mid-level VPs at ProPublica are raking hundreds of thousands of dollars ($363,600 & $260,135).

And check out the Wall Street man who had the nose to smell where the real money was going to come from: Mr. Paul E. Steiger with $584,914. And whoever said you can’t make millions of dollars within a couple of years using NGO models and dirty sugar daddies has been proven wrong!

September 8, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Bye, Bye, American Pie: US intransigence in the face of a war-weary world

US intransigence in the face of a war-weary world will mean the end of the country as we know it

By Daniel Patrick Welch | September 4, 2013

It actually shouldn’t be that much of a shock. For the last twelve years at least, Americans have watched their country drift into the shadows of international law abroad and onto the shoals of fascism at home. Inexorably, the weight of imperial overstretch has crippled an economy already on a constant war footing and led to the steady erosion of civil liberties once taken for granted.

At one point, Democrats cried out in (what turns out to be mock) horror when one of the Bushmen smirked at the Geneva Convention as ‘quaint.’ Outrageous! Squeaked the remnants of an American “Left.” No more. As drones are poised to darken the skies like a plague of locusts, intelligence agencies can read all of our communications even as we write them, and the general criminalization of dissent has accelerated without objection because, after all, the guy doing it has a -D after his name.

And now, nary a peep from so-called ‘progressives’ in Congress as a Democrat and his lurking, smooth-talking Consigliore use the same lies and fabrications to shove yet another war down our throats, all neatly packaged in Red, White and Blue, the specter of National Security—in short, the same old bullshit we’ve heard before.

But it’s not the same—that’s the point. And it’s a shame the fools in congress are too stupid (most of them, apparently) to see it. Showing the delusional thinking that is now seemingly required to hold and keep public office, one particularly deranged congresswoman actually told Wolf Blitzer that “dozens” of countries stood ready to support the US’ aggressive war against Syria, though she couldn’t name them offhand. Debbie Wasserman Schultz actually said “I mean we have, from the briefings that I’ve received, there are dozens of countries who are going to stand with the United States, who will engage with us on military action and also that back us up.”

Oh, okay then. Micronesia will send staples, and Samoa is serving drinks. The problem is that, inside the bubble of American “thought,” these people really think that mobilizing the ‘international community’ is the same a papering an audience for a bad musical on a weeknight. It is all just a cynical farce to them. They don’t know, or don’t care, that the whole world sees this for the fraud that it is. The Obama regime is about to make the biggest mistake in history.

This is not hyperbole. Bush had far more support going into Iraq, and Saddam had far less. His case for war, filled with lies and fabricated ‘evidence’ and ginned up ‘intelligence’ findings, is far better than the US’ current position—a complete crock of shit to the whole world, but that somehow smells like roses to the US Congress. The government has ceased to function as a representative body, and is completely divorced from the interests of the American people. Don’t want to trust such a judgment to an old commie like me? Take it from a former president—Jimmy Carter. Mr. Peanut himself admitted there is ‘no functioning democracy’ currently in the US. The arrogance of Obama’s War Council is stunning. Russia, China, and Iran have given repeated warnings—stern, clear, and unequivocal, against such an illegal and foolhardy course of action. The world has had it with American intransigence. It makes no difference whether an illegal war of aggression is ‘authorized’ by a compliant US Congress. Zero.

No matter what happens from here on out, the balance of power is already shifting, away from the US and its vassal states toward BRICS and the nations of the Global South. Even if the US regime does not attack (in itself a poor choice of words since it has been arming and funding foreign mercenaries in Syria for over two years), a too-patient world is ready to muzzle the rabid dog that is the US. China, while keeping mostly cool, has let it be known that if a strike does go ahead, that others should offer assistance to resist. This is as clear a shot across the bow as there is, and should give US warmakers pause.

What it means is that Syria, as a sovereign state, is justified in calling on its allies for help, by which it means Iran and its store of Russian Sunburn missiles, or Hezbollah and its own Chinese C-802 missiles, or Russia itself with its S300, S400 & S500 missiles. This is the real red line, and the US already crossed it in Libya. Putin has said that the Americans are acting like a monkey with a grenade in the Middle East. To put a finer zoological point on it, the Panda and the Bear are not fooling around. They have decided, and rightly so, that the US is too dangerous and must be stopped. If Obama goes ahead with this maniacal and murderous plan, China, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah will help Syria sink a few US destroyers, sending hundreds and perhaps thousands of kids to the bottom of the Mediterranean—they have as much as said so. They—not the US—will be within their rights and within international law to do so.

Mourn now, not later. And mourn at least equally for the kids your kids kill and for your kids who are killed in return. Don’t go running for the flag or screaming for revenge. Don’t accuse those of us who shouted from the rooftops of being un-American, or try to bully us into abandoning our principles and join the call for blood. This is wrong. It is illegal. It is as predictable as it is preventable. Even some tepid ‘antiwar’ types have it wrong when they say the US can’t be the world’s policeman. This misses the mark: the real point is that we have no moral authority to do so, and the whole world knows it. The criminal cabal in Washington is so obsessed with its own greatness that is has stood history on its head. In his long, insidious career of lies and obfuscation, Merchant of Death John Kerry finally got something inadvertently right: this *is* a Munich moment. But of course, true to form, he has it backwards. And Chamberlain‘s first name is not Neville, it’s Vlad. And he may give Obama and his henchmen a Nuremberg Moment.

Writer, singer, linguist and activist Daniel Patrick Welch lives and writes in Salem, Massachusetts, with his wife, Julia. Together they run The Greenhouse School. Translations of articles are available in over two dozen languages.

September 8, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Curious Climate Analogy – Badly Reported by the NYT

By Kip Hansen | WUWT | September 8, 2013

The AMERICAN METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY just published a Special Supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society titled: EXPLAINING EXTREME EVENTS OF 2012 FROM A CLIMATE PERSPECTIVE edited by Thomas C. Peterson, Martin P. Hoerling, Peter A. Stott, and Stephanie C. Herring. [hereafter EEE2012].

Kenneth Chang at the New York Times reported on the findings in an article, “Research Cites Role of Warming in Extremes”, on 5 September 2013. In this piece, Chang includes the following paragraph, which was picked up and repeated in the Andy Revkin’s NY Times Opinion Page blog, Dot.Earth, filed under Climate Change:

“The articles’ editors likened climate change to someone habitually driving a bit over the speed limit. Even if the speeding itself is unlikely to directly cause an accident, it increases the likelihood that something else — a wet road or a distracting text message — will do so and that the accident, when it occurs, will be more calamitous.”

This is unfortunate, for two reasons: 

1) The articles’ editors said no such thing.

2) Even if they had, what Chang says just happens not to be true in and of itself.

Andy Revkin , doubling down on Chang, says: “Ken Chang’s news article in The Times … . includes an apt analogy used in the introduction to the studies: [followed by the paragraph quoted above].” This too is unfortunately not true, for the above two reasons, an analogy can’t be apt if it wasn’t made and isn’t true,  and the fact that the analogy being referred to appears not in the introduction, but in the CONCLUSIONS AND EPILOGUE section, written by Thomas C. Peterson, Peter A. Stott, Stephanie C. Herring, and Martin P. Hoerling.

What Peterson et al actually said was:

“To help understand the difficulty of determining the anthropogenic contribution to specific extreme events, consider this driving analogy (UCAR 2012). “Adding just a little bit of speed to your highway commute each month can substantially raise the odds that you’ll get hurt some day. But if an accident does occur, the primary cause may not be your speed itself: it could be a wet road or a texting driver.” Similarly, while climate models may indicate a human effect is causing increases in the chances of having extremely high precipitation in a region (much like speeding increases the chances of having an accident), natural variability can still be the primary factor in any individual extreme event. The difficulty in determining the precise sensitivity of, according to our analogy, driving speed on risks of accidents in particular conditions (wet roads, texting drivers) can explain why somewhat different analyses of the same meteorological event can reach somewhat different conclusions about the extent to which human influence has altered the likelihood and magnitude of the event.” [EEE2012, page 64]

Point 1: The editors said no such thing:

Notice that Peterson says nothing about speed limits, nothing about speeding, and nothing about any subsequent accident being “more calamitous” – nothing at all about any of these three points. Chang makes up his own, new and improved analogy. Why? We can’t know – as a journalist, he should have reported what was actually said.

Point 2: Even if they had, what Chang says just happens not to be true in and of itself.

It is a long term, well understood fact that the safest driving speed on America’s highways is “a bit over the speed limit” – actually, more specifically, a bit over the average speed of the traffic on the road, which is often, on a wide open road, at or just a little bit over the speed limit. This is known as Solomon’s Curve, or the Crash Risk Curve, a graph that shows the least accidents happen to those who drive just a bit faster than the flow of traffic. Note that this has nothing to do with absolute speed (for example, 55 mph vs. 75 mph) but speed relative to the other cars and trucks.

So, was what was said in EEE2012 true?

“Adding just a little bit of speed to your highway commute each month can substantially raise the odds that you’ll get hurt some day.”

If you generally drive slower than the flow of traffic, if you are a strict 55 mph’er on an Interstate that flows at 67 1/2 mph, you’ll be safer if you “add a little bit of speed”, because you be involved in fewer (statistically) accidents. However, if you are recklessly already driving 75 mph on the same Interstate, and add a little bit of speed, you’ll be increasing your risk of accident and increasing the kinetic energy of any resulting crash (the last true for the 55 mph’er too).

On its face, in a plain everyday English sense, I’d say the analogy is false as used, because, well, it depends. But I’ll leave it up to the traffic engineers and statisticians — way too much wiggle-room in the phrases “just a little bit of speed” and “can substantially raise”.

My advice to journalists: Use direct quotes, stick to the facts, don’t make stuff up (and for Andy Revkin – don’t trust other journalists to have done these things, check them yourself).

My advice to Climate Scientists: Use analogies that are proven and demonstrably true – not just ones that seem true or sound nice, stick to the facts and don’t make stuff up.

*****

EEE2012 at http://www.ametsoc.org/2012extremeeventsclimate.pdf

Chang at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/06/science/earth/research-cites-role-of-warming-in-extremes.html

Revkin at http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/06/assessing-the-role-of-global-warming-in-extreme-weather-of-2012

Solomon’s Curve at http://www.econ.ucdavis.edu/faculty/fzfeens/trans/Transport-lecture4.ppt , see slides 53 and 55

September 8, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Latin American States Denounce Any Possible Aggression against Syria

Al-Manar | September 8, 2013

AlBAThe nine Latin American states (ALBA) have condemned any possible aggression against Syria and announced the dispatching of humanitarian aid to the Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

“The Bolivarian alliance council in American denounces any possible strike against Syria,” ALBA Secretary General said in a statement from Venezuela.

“ALBA asks the U.S. to refrain from launching a military aggression against the Syrian people and government,” he added, accusing the US administration of resorting to the same strategies that it used in Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt.

ALBA further decided to dispatch humanitarian aid, including foodstuffs, to the Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

September 8, 2013 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama regime calls on EU to postpone ban on Israel

Press TV – September 8, 2013

US Secretary of State John Kerry has urged the European Union (EU) to delay a planned ban on Israel over the Tel Aviv regime’s continued settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, according to a senior US official.

On July 19, the EU published new guidelines in its Official Journal, banning its 28 members from funding projects in the illegal Israeli settlements in al-Quds (Jerusalem), the West Bank or Golan Heights, which the Tel Aviv regime occupied during the 1967 war.

The ban sparked anger among the Israeli officials, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres threatening that the new directive would undermine attempts by Kerry to relaunch talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

A senior US State Department official, whose name was not mentioned in the reports, said that, in a meeting with EU foreign ministers in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, on Saturday, Kerry called on the Europeans to consider postponing the implementation of the EU guidelines.

Kerry also asked EU diplomats to support the talks between the Israeli regime and the Palestinian Authority, which resumed in July after a three-year hiatus.

Meanwhile, the EU is to send a team to Israel on Monday to move forward on the guidelines against Israeli organizations in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Israel has announced plans to construct more than 3,000 housing units in al-Quds and the occupied West Bank since the resumption of the talks with the Palestinian Authority in July.

On August 11, Israel’s Housing Minister Uri Ariel gave final approval for the construction of 793 settlement units in the occupied east al-Quds (Jerusalem) and 394 others in the West Bank.

A day later, the EU described as “illegal” the Israeli regime’s decision to approve the building of settlement units.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top aide to Mahmoud Abbas, the acting Palestinian Authority (PA) chief, said on September 4 that continued Israeli settlement construction had undermined the talks with Israel.

Palestinians demand that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.

September 8, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment