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Media Matters’ Attack on The Shadow Party By: Richard Poe
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, October 30, 2006


David Brock’s Media Matters for America is widely recognized as a propaganda front for leftwing billionaire George Soros. (1)  For that reason, we were not surprised when Media Matters attacked our new book, The Shadow Party, which exposes Mr. Soros’ sinister agenda and hidden power in American politics. 

Six days before the official publication date, Media Matters posted a 6,500-word article purporting to debunk The Shadow Party.  Bearing the zany title, “Echoing Lyndon LaRouche, Horowitz and Poe smear 14-year-old George Soros as Nazi `collaborator’…”, the text ran 6,533 words.  It  accused us of 25 specific instances of “false”, “misleading” or “unsourced” statements.(2) Of these only four actually fall into these categories, all of them trivial.

 

First, a footnote on p. 247 should refer to CNBC and not CNN as we wrote.  Second, Shadow Party moneyman “Peter Bing” referred to on p. 186 should have been Stephen Bing. We obviously conflated his name with that of Peter Lewis, another Shadow Party moneyman mentioned in the same sentence. Third, we state on p. 24 that Morton Halperin “directed” the ACLU from 1984 to 1993.  In fact, Mr. Halperin directed the ACLU’s Washington office and the ACLU Foundation, but not the national organization. Finally, on page 126, we mistakenly identified George Soros as the founder the National Voting Rights Institute, when he is only a supporter of the Institute.

 

Now we turn to the 21 False Allegations by Media Matters

 

False Allegation #1: “Echoing the rantings of political extremist Lyndon LaRouche and his followers, David Horowitz and Richard Poe charge in their new book that George Soros was a Nazi ‘collaborator in fascist Hungary’ and ‘survived [the Holocaust] by assimilating to Nazism’ as a 14-year-old boy…. Soros is a Hungarian-born Jew who survived the Nazi occupation of Budapest.  The unsourced smearing of Soros as a Nazi collaborator echoes the obscure anti-Semitic rantings of political extremist Lyndon LaRouche…”

 

In fact our claims about Soros are sourced, and the sources are clearly footnoted in our  text. In fact, we extensively quoted Soros’ exact words. 

 

When the Nazis came in 1944, Soros’ father saved the family by splitting them up, providing them with false identities and bribing Hungarian Christians to take them in. Young Soros posed as the godson of a man named Baumbach, an official of Hungary's fascist government. In an April 15, 1993 interview on the PBS television show Adam Smith's Money World, Soros explained that Baumbach's job “was to take over Jewish properties, so I actually went with him and we took possession of these large estates. That was my identity. So it's a strange, very strange life. I was 14 years old at the time." (3)  Connie Bruck, who interviewed Soros for The New Yorker in 1995, wrote that, "he posed as the son of a Hungarian government official, sometimes accompanying the official as he delivered deportation notices to Jews, or took possession of property owned by them." (4)

 

On December 20, 1998, Soros had the following exchange with Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes, which is cited verbatim in our book:

 

KROFT:  My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours who swore that you were his adopted godson.

         SOROS:  Yes. Yes.

KROFT:  Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews.

         SOROS:  Yes. That's right. Yes.

         KROFT:  I mean, that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years.   Was it difficult?

         SOROS:  Not at all.  Not at all.  Maybe as a child you don’t see the connection.  But it was – it created no problem at all.

         KROFT:  No feeling of guilt?

         SOROS:  No. (5)

 

By his own account, the chief lesson Soros learned under Nazi and Soviet occupation is that, when faced with extreme conditions – what he calls “far-from equilibrium” conditions – the rules of civilized society no longer apply.  One is justified in doing whatever it takes to survive. (6)

 

In keeping with this philosophy, Mr. Soros has written, “I do not accept the rules imposed by others.  If I did, I would not be alive today.  I am a law-abiding citizen, but I recognize that there are regimes that need to be opposed rather than accepted.  And in periods of regime change, the normal rules don’t apply.  One needs to adjust one’s behavior to the changing circumstances.” (7)

 

In Soros’ view, one of those “regimes that need to be opposed rather than accepted” is the current Bush administration. All this information, with the sources cited, can be found in our book.

 

False Allegation #2:  We are accused of drawing some of our material from an investigative article which I wrote for the May 2004 issue of NewsMax Magazine – material which Media Matters claims it “debunked” long ago.

 

Yes, I wrote an investigative article which was published in the May 2004 issue of NewsMax. It is just Media Matters opinion that they “debunked” my article. In fact, they no more debunked it than they have our book.

 

False Allegation #3:  We are accused of having “doctored or misrepresented” a reference from page 52 of Michael Kaufman’s biography of George Soros.

 

We did no such thing. Seventeen-year-old George Soros told his father in 1946, “I’d like to go to Moscow, to find out about Communism.  I mean, that’s where the power is.  I’d like to know more about it.”  Media Matters complains that we left out the final sentence of the quote, which reads, “Or maybe go to England because of the BBC…” (13)  We did leave it out, because it was incidental. As we related in our book, Soros did end up going to London and not to Moscow, after his father discouraged him from going to Moscow.

 

False Allegation #4:  We are accused of having “doctored or misrepresented” a reference from page 76 of Michael Kaufman’s biography of George Soros.

 

On page 76 of The Shadow Party, we quote Soros telling his biographer Michael Kaufman, “My goal is to become the conscience of the world.”  Media Matters implies that we should have quoted the full, unedited passage from page 293 of Kaufman’s biography. It reads: “My goal is to become the conscience of the world.’  The words sounded less pompous in conversation than they appear in print.  Perhaps the hubris was modulated by a wink or a smile.” (14)

 

Perhaps it was, or perhaps not. Kaufman admits he does not remember.  Kaufman is a Soros acolyte who left a good job at the New York Times to edit Soros’ magazine Transitions for two and a half years.  Kaufman knew his subject well enough to subtitle his Soros biography, “The Life and Times of a Messianic Billionaire”.   

 

A more objective source, Connie Bruck, who interviewed Soros for The New Yorker, has written, “[Soros] had harbored messianic illusions – what he describes as a sense of himself as superhuman –  since childhood.  Soros is not reticent about this aspect of his personality.” (15)  Indeed he is not.  He seems to enjoy talking about it, and does so frequently. Here are some examples:

 

"I have always harboured an exaggerated view of my self-importance – to put it bluntly, I fancied myself as some kind of god..." (16)

 

“If truth be known, I carried some rather potent messianic fantasies with me from childhood which I felt I had to control, otherwise they might get me into trouble.  But when I had made my way in the world, I wanted to indulge my fantasies to the extent that I could afford.” (17)

 

“It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of God, the creator of everything, but I feel comfortable about it now since I began to live it out.” (18)

  

"Next to my fantasies about being God, I also have very strong fantasies of being mad.  In fact, my grandfather was actually paranoid. I have a lot of madness in my family. So far I have escaped it." (19)

 

False Allegation #5:  We are accused of having “doctored a quote”, thus “altering the meaning” of a passage from Soros’ speech at the June 3, 2004 Take Back America conference, on page 53 of The Shadow Party.

 

Here is Soros’ quote: "I think that the picture of torture in Abu Ghraib, in Saddam's prison, was the moment of truth for us,...I think that those pictures hit us in the same way as the terrorist attack itself, not quite with the same force because in the terrorist attack we were the victims. In the pictures we were the perpetrators, others were the victims. But there is, I'm afraid, a direct connection between those two events, because the way President Bush conducted the war on terror converted us from victims into perpetrators."

 

Here are the words we replaced with an ellipsis: "I think that the picture of torture in Abu Ghraib, in Saddam's prison, was the moment of truth for us, because that is not who we are as a nation.”

 

Omitting these words certainly improved the flow of Mr. Soros’ quote – that is what ellipses are for – but we fail to see how our edit changed its meaning.

 

False Allegation #6:  On page 79 of The Shadow Party we state that Soros has cited his wartime experiences as having contributed to his ill feelings toward fellow Jews.  We are accused of having provided “no source” for this information. In fact we do. The source was provided in footnote 31 at the beginning of the discussion, two paragraphs earlier, on the same page. It cited p. 167 of Kaufman’s biography.  We saw no need to repeat the same footnote a second time in the same discussion, on the same page, to make the same point. Kaufman wrote:  “In those days, the only solicitations he [Soros] regularly received came from Jewish organizations.  `I absolutely did not respond to them,’ he said, acknowledging that his general contempt for philanthropies was even more pronounced in the case of Jewish organizations.  He traces this antipathy to that day in Hungary when as a fourteen-year-old messenger boy for the Budapest Jewish community organization he had delivered messages, drafted under Nazi pressure, ordering Jewish lawyers to present themselves for deportation.”

 

Soros thus tells us that, as much as he despised charities in general, he despised Jewish charities in particular.  And why?  Because he despised the Judenrat for its treacherous behavior under Nazi occupation.

 

Of course, the Judenrat was not a charity.  It was an administrative arm of the Nazi occupation government.   Nor was the behavior which Soros claims he found objectionable in the Judenrat related to any charitable activity.  Why then would Soros’ unpleasant experience with the Judenrat translate into a specific aversion to Jewish charities?

 

Moreover, how do we explain the many statements Soros has made indicating a deep-seated antipathy toward the very concept of Jewish community, as, for instance, when he said:  “I don’t think that you can ever overcome anti-Semitism if you behave as a tribe. ... The only way you can overcome it is if you give up the tribalness.” (20)

 

False Allegation #7:  We are accused of having distorted the meaning of Soros’ remarks to the Jewish Funders’ Network on November 5, 2003. “Horowitz and Poe distorted remarks made by Soros to a Jewish Funders Network event in 2003, misleadingly describing Soros as calling ‘on fellow Jews to acknowledge what he called their role in provoking anti-Semitism around the world.’ In fact, Soros attributed “a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe” not to “fellow Jews” but specifically to the foreign policies of the Bush administration and the Sharon government in Israel.

 

Soros did say that the Bush and Sharon policies in the Middle East “contribute” to what he called the “resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe”.  However, he also said this, as reported by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency: "I’m also very concerned about my own role because the new anti-Semitism holds that the Jews rule the world.  As an unintended consequence of my actions, I also contribute to that image." (21)

 

Here Soros referred specifically to recent remarks by his long-time nemesis Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, formerly Prime Minister of Malaysia, who had, for many years, accused Soros of triggering the 1997 collapse of the Asian economy through currency manipulation.  On October 16, less than a month before Soros’ speech to the Jewish Funders Network, Mahathir Mohamad had declared that, “Jews rule the world by proxy.” (22)  Soros plainly implied that his own wheeling and dealing in global markets had contributed to the “image” held by Mahathir and others that “Jews rule the world.”

 

Media Matters may have missed this point, but Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, did not.  In response to Soros’ comments, Foxman said, “If [Soros] sees that his position of being who he is may contribute to the perception of anti-Semitism, what’s his solution to himself — that he give up his money? That he close his mouth?” (23)

 

Realtor Michael Steinhardt, who invited Soros to the meeting, likewise had no difficulty understanding that Soros was directing his criticisms toward all Jews, including those in the room.  At one point, Steinhardt sought to defuse tensions by taking the microphone and joking, “George Soros does not think Jews should be hated any more than they deserve to be.”  Steinhardt’s quip reportedly brought chuckles from the audience. (24)

 

In this instance, as in so many others, Media Matters defends the indefensible.  Mr. Soros’ views on anti-Semitism are well-known.  As noted above, Soros is on record stating that the ultimate source of anti-Semitism is the very existence of Jews as a distinct “tribe” or people.  He told The New Yorker, “I don’t think that you can ever overcome anti-Semitism if you behave as a tribe. ... The only way you can overcome it is if you give up the tribalness.” (25)

 

False Allegation #8:  We are accused of “cropping Soros’s quote” to CNBC in such a way as to distort his meaning, on page 5 of The Shadow Party. “Horowitz and Poe cropped Soros's quote, and left out the portion in which Soros explained that his decision [to short the dollar] was based on statements from then-Treasury Secretary John Snow. As Reuters reported that same day:  ‘I have to disclose that I now have a short position against the dollar because I listen to what the Secretary of the Treasury is telling me,’ Soros said in the interview.”

 

Soros’ statement was obviously a wisecrack, not to be taken literally.  He was mocking Snow for certain remarks he had made which sounded like an endorsement of a “weak dollar” policy, even while America officially touted its commitment to a “strong dollar.”

 

Appearing on ABC’s “This Week” on May 11, 2003, Secretary Snow had said, “When the dollar is at a lower level, it helps exports, and I think exports are getting stronger as a result."  Many commentators interpreted Snow’s remark – wrongly, as it turned out – to mean that the U.S. government was actively seeking a weaker dollar. (26)

 

Playing on this misperception, Soros accused the Bush administration of trying to “talk down” the dollar.  He told CNBC that Snow’s alleged efforts to weaken the dollar would backfire, depressing the global economy and reducing American exports in the long run.  With heavy – and obvious – irony, Soros said,  “I have to disclose that I now have a short position against the dollar because I listen to what the Secretary of the Treasury is telling me. So who am I to stand in the way?” (27)

 

Of course, Soros was just playing games.  It was Soros, not Snow, who was doing his best to “talk down” the dollar, and he had been doing it for years.

 

“We desperately need an international currency system that is not based on the dollar,” Soros wrote in 1987. (28)  More recently, on September 16, 2002, Soros told Maria Bartiromo of CNBC’s After Hours, “It looks like the dollar has topped – it has reached its highest level.” (29)  With these words, Soros signaled investors that the dollar had nowhere to go but down, and it was time to start dumping greenbacks.

 

Obviously, Soros did not adopt this position in response to any remarks by John Snow, who only became Secretary of the Treasury five months later.

 

False Allegation #9:  We are accused of citing a report from the National Law Journal stating that Hillary Clinton serves on the board of the Soros-funded American Constitution Society.  The reference appears on page 70 of The Shadow Party.

 

We make no apology for citing The National Law Journal as a source. (30)  It is a well- respected publication.  The same cannot be said of Soros-funded advocacy groups, whose websites have been known to edit their online personnel listings in the wink of an eye, when they find it necessary to shield certain of their associates from unwanted scrutiny. (31)

 

False Allegation #10:  We are accused of having misrepresented a New York Times report of November 14, 1998. We wrote: “The New York Times reported on 14 November 1998 that… in response to the growing worldwide recession, President `Clinton has proposed a “third way” between capitalism and socialism.’” (The Shadow Party, page 217) Media Matters complains: “[T]he Times reported no such “revelation” about a “third way” or any other new economic plans that day. The Times reference – ‘Mr. Clinton has proposed a 'third way,' between capitalism and socialism’ -- was buried in an essay on the global financial crisis that appeared on page 9 of the Arts & Ideas section with a Berlin dateline.”

 

Here Media Matters argues that the piece we cite from The New York Times  has no significance since it appeared on the op-ed page, and not in the news section.  This is a red herring.  The op-ed piece – whose author was the New York Times’ Berlin bureau chief (soon to become its foreign editor) – was not aimed at a mass audience.  It was written by, for and about elite decision-makers.  The fact that it was directed at an elite audience does not make it any less interesting or authoritative.

 

Bill Clinton had been touting the “third way” since at least 1992, but he had never clearly explained what the “third way” meant.

 

The global financial crisis of the late 1990s inspired a new frankness among promoters of the “third way”.  Books and articles suddenly flooded the market, predicting the imminent demise of capitalism.  Many promoted the “third way” as an alternative.

 

George Soros led the pack with an article in the Atlantic Monthly of February 1997, which stated, “The main enemy of the open society, I believe, is no longer the communist but the capitalist threat.” (32)  Soros followed up with his December 1998 book The Crisis of Global Capitalism, in which he wrote, “The (global capitalist) system is deeply flawed.  As long as capitalism remains triumphant, the pursuit of money overrides all other social considerations.” (33)

 

In his 1998 State of the Union address, President Clinton declared, “We have moved past the sterile debate between those who say government is the enemy and those who say government is the answer.  My fellow Americans, we have found a third way.” (34)

 

Commenting upon this Clinton initiative, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post penned a column titled, “A World Safe for Socialism”, in which he exulted that the bold new talk coming from “Third Wayers” had provided “a refreshing alternative”, “ended the Reagan-Thatcher era” and given “liberals and, yes, socialists presentable new clothes to wear.” (35)

 

It was in this perfervid atmosphere of socialist millennialism that New York Times Berlin bureau chief Roger Cohen (who was later promoted to foreign editor of the Times) wrote the above-cited op-ed which appeared in The New York Times of November 14, 1998.

 

Cohen wrote:  “In Western capitals there is a rush to rethink the world. At issue is the end of the so-called Washington consensus, which has held more or less unchallenged since the end of the cold war: that more open markets, freer trade and larger international capital flows are necessarily good….Mr. Clinton has proposed a ‘third way,’ between capitalism and socialism. …” (36)

 

With this op-ed, written by one of its own bureau chiefs, the Times added its voice to an already deafening chorus of journalists celebrating – prematurely, as it turned out – the end of capitalism.

 

False Allegation #11: We are accused of having cited an article from the London  Sunday Times which Media Matters evidently considers to have been unworthy of citation. “In another case, the authors reprint a false news report with apparent full knowledge of its falsity before correcting it themselves. On page 88, they write, ‘His motives in pursuing philanthropy have often been questioned.’  As back-up, they cite a 1995 article in the London Sunday Times by right-wing commentator Taki Theodoracopulos, who reported, erroneously, that ‘all [Soros] philanthropy began in 1987, the first year he and his fund had to pay taxes. Charitable matters are tax deductible and Soros says his aim is to give way half his yearly income, the maximum he can deduct.’  But Soros' philanthropy did not start “the first year he and his fund had to pay taxes;’ it started in 1979, as Horowitz and Poe acknowledge in the very sentence following the Times reference. ‘In fairness to Soros,’ they write uncharacteristically, ‘he actually began dabbling in philanthropy as early as 1979.’ Then why print the falsehood?”

 

We cited the article because the point it made was true.  The small (and incidental) exaggeration it contained, we corrected.  As we wrote on pages 88-89 of The Shadow Party: “Soros’ road to power, in this instance, as in others, was through his philanthropic enterprises.  His motives in pursuing philanthropy have been often questioned.  In 1995, the London Sunday Times noted: `[Soros’] investment fund did not pay taxes in the United States between 1969 and 1986, enjoying a `free ride’ that netted him and his investors billions of dollars.  Until the American Tax Reform Act [of] 1986 was passed, [Soros’] Quantum Fund legally avoided paying a cent.’  The Times went on to observe that, `all [Soros’] philanthropy began in 1987, the first year he and his fund had to pay taxes.  Charitable matters are tax deductible and Soros says his aim is to give away half his yearly income, the maximum he can deduct.’ In fairness to Soros, he actually began dabbling in philanthropy as early as 1979.  In 1984, he launched his first Open Society Foundation in Hungary. But it is also true that his giving remained modest until 1987.”

 

The point of Mr. Theodoracopoulos’ article was, as his headline succinctly put it, “Soros is Charitable up to the Tax Break”. Mr. Theodoracopoulos made a small error in saying that Soros began his philanthropy in 1987, but we corrected that error in our text. The larger point – that Soros’ investment fund did not pay taxes between 1969 and 1986 – was entirely accurate, and that was the point of Mr. Theodoracopoulos’ article. (37)

 

False Allegation #12: We are accused of having wrongly stated on page 24 that the National Security Archive, which Morton Halperin headed, was an ACLU project. According to Media Matters, it was independent of the ACLU.

 

Media Matters is wrong. The National Security Archive at George Washington University was set up in 1985 under the auspices of the ACLU’s Center for National Security Studies, which Morton Halperin headed. The first items in its collection were the so-called “Central America Papers”, which were declassified documents obtained by New York Times reporter Raymond Bonner, concerning the activities of rightwing death squads in El Salvador. In 1984, Morton Halperin provided storage for these documents at the ACLU’s Washington office, pending the establishment of a permanent archive for them. The program of events for the Archive’s 20th anniversary celebration notes that Morton Halperin “sponsored the National Security Archive in 1985 as part of the Fund for Peace and the [ACLU’s] Center for National Security Studies.”  (38)

 

False Allegation #13: We are accused of having linked Aryeh Neier “falsely” to the Weather Underground, on page 23 of The Shadow Party.

 

Readers may judge for themselves. Here is what we wrote, on pages 23-24 of The Shadow Party: “Another key Soros appointee is Aryeh Neier, who is president of the Open Society Institute and the Soros Foundation Network. As director of the socialist League for Industrial Democracy, Neier personally created the radical group Students for a Democratic Society, or SDS, in 1959. During the Vietnam War, SDS was the student group most responsible for fanning the flames of unrest on US campuses, and later transformed itself into the terrorist Weather Underground, which declared war on `Amerikkka’ and bombed the Pentagon and the Capitol. By that time, however, Neier had moved on to more important projects.

 

Media Matters objects: “Contrary to what Horowitz and Poe assert, Students for a Democratic Society did not “transform itself into the Weather Underground.” SDS essentially disintegrated following a power struggle during its 1969 convention; a splinter group comprised of some former SDS members who thought the organization was too moderate formed the Weather Underground.”

 

Again, Media Matters is wrong. The Weather Underground was no “splinter” group. It was an elite cadre of high-level SDS leaders who took charge of the entire organization at the SDS national convention of June 1969. At the convention, Weatherman terrorists Mark Rudd, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn and Jeff Jones were elected to the top positions of national leadership in the SDS. The Weathermen thereupon commandeered the SDS national office in Chicago, and began giving orders. From then on, “most New Leftists recognized the Weathermen as the [SDS] organization’s leadership”, writes Drew University historian Jeremy Varon in Bringing the War Home. (39)

 

False Allegation #14: We are accused of unfairly suggesting that Soros’ Open Society Institute did not make it easy for people to find out that the OSI had funded the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee.

 

If a visitor types Lynne Stewart’s name into the search engine on the home page of the OSI site, no grants to Lynne Stewart will appear. There is no reason for a visitor to draw the conclusion that there are additional search engines buried on other, deeper layers of the site. This is a basic site management principle, with which we presume OSI’s Web designers are familiar.

 

False Allegation #15: We are accused of having “grossly overstated” the amount of money that Soros’ Open Society Institute has donated to the ACLU.

 

According to Media Matters, George Soros’ Open Society Institute gave only $6.6 million to the ACLU from 1998-2004. Media Matters is wrong.

 

The ACLU has 51 independent affiliates, located in all fifty states and Puerto Rico. In addition, it has an ACLU Foundation. Soros’ Open Society Institute has given generously to many state-level ACLU affiliates, as well as to the ACLU Foundation.

 

We calculated Soros’ total donations to the ACLU by taking data from IRS filings, the Capital Research Center and the Foundation Center in Manhattan, and cross-referencing them to eliminate duplicates. We arrived at the following totals:

 

1998 – $4,286,720

1999 – $3,120,000

2000 – $5,379,600

2001 – $2,200,000

2002 – $2,406,000

2003 –    $747,000

2004 –    $579,500

Total: $18,718,820

 

False Allegation #16: We are accused of having misrepresented the character of Mark Halperin’s infamous ABC News memo of October 8, 2004, on page 70 of The Shadow Party. Media Matters writes:  “On page 70, Horowitz and Poe recited the claim that ‘Mark Halperin, who is political director of ABC News, issued a memo to his reporters during the final weeks of the 2004 campaign, instructing them to slant the news in favor of Democrat candidate John Kerry.’ In fact, as Media Matters noted, when Brit Hume made a similar charge in October 2004, the memo actually said the opposite of what Horowitz and Poe claimed – that reporters should hold Kerry and Bush to the same standard.”

 

Media Matters is wrong. Here is the full text of Mark Halperin’s memo. It speaks for itself:

 

 

         Friday October 8, 2004

 

It goes without saying that the stakes are getting very high for the country and the campaigns - and our responsibilities become quite graveI do not want to set off (sp?) and endless colloquy that none of us have time for today - nor do I want to stifle one. Please respond if you feel you can advance the discussion.

 

The New York Times (Nagourney/Stevenson) and Howard Fineman on the web both make the same point today: the current Bush attacks on Kerry involve distortions and taking things out of context in a way that goes beyond what Kerry has done.

 

Kerry distorts, takes out of context, and mistakes all the time, but these are not central to his efforts to win.

 

We have a responsibility to hold both sides accountable to the public interest, but that doesn't mean we reflexively and artificially hold both sides "equally" accountable when the facts don't warrant that.

 

I'm sure many of you have this week felt the stepped up Bush efforts to complain about our coverage. This is all part of their efforts to get away with as much as possible with the stepped up, renewed efforts to win the election by destroying Senator Kerry at least partly through distortions.

 

It's up to Kerry to defend himself, of course. But as one of the few news organizations with the skill and strength to help voters evaluate what the candidates are saying to serve the public interest. Now is the time for all of us to step up and do that right. (40)

 

False Allegation #17: We are accused of having “falsely linked Saddam Hussein to the 1993 WTC bombing”, on page 7 of The Shadow Party.

 

Actually we take no position on the question of whether or not Iraqi agents were complicit in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. We do, however, mention that FBI assistant director James Fox, who then headed the Bureau’s New York City office, suspected that the Iraqi intelligence service Jihaz Al-Mukhabarat Al-A’ma had orchestrated the bombing, using Islamist volunteers from other countries as cover.

 

We mention further that Fox claimed he was blocked by Janet Reno’s Justice Department from pursuing any leads that might implicate Iraq.

 

Our intention was not to take sides, one way or the other, on these matters. It was to demonstrate the inadequacy of dealing with terrorism as an ordinary problem of law enforcement, as Mr. Soros recommends.

 

False Allegation #18: We are accused of falsely claiming that the GOP supported Bill Clinton’s wars in Bosnia and Kosovo.

 

Here is what we wrote on page ix of the Introduction to The Shadow Party:

 

“Bipartisanship in wartime has been a hallmark of American foreign policy since the Second World War.  Republicans displayed it when President Clinton went to war in Bosnia and Kosovo – wars conducted without congressional authorization or UN approval, but which Republican leaders nonetheless supported. Such bipartisanship is strikingly absent in America’s war in Iraq. It has been undone by a Democratic leadership committed to more radical goals.”

 

Media Matters responds by pointing out that Republicans on two occasions voted against sending troops to the Balkans, and on two other occasions voted to withdraw troops who were already there. This is true, but irrelevant.

 

The examples Media Matters cites took place during peacetime, not wartime. All four examples involve U.S. peacekeeping forces, tasked with policing cease-fire agreements in countries which were no longer at war.

 

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