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Think Progress, Act Reactionary By: Lowell Ponte
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, June 06, 2005

Think Progress


American Progress Action Fund
1333 H Street, NW
10th Floor
Washington, DC

Contact Info:

Phone:  202-682-1611

Email:  thinkprogress@americanprogressaction.org

URL:  http://www.thinkprogress.org





      A Soros-Podesta (Shadow Party) Project


·        A project of the American Progress Action Fund, a “sister advocacy organization” of the Center for American Progress (CAP) run by former Clinton adviser John Podesta, both heavily funded by leftist billionaire George Soros.

·        An internet site dedicated to promoting “progressive” ideas, attacking the “Radical Right-Wing Agenda,” and supporting the left-wing of the Democratic Party.

·        Its editors wrote that the United States military may be operating “death squads” to kill Iraqi civilians.

·        One of its chief writers, a Fellow at CAP, is former spokesman for Vermont Congressman Bernie Sanders, a member of Democratic Socialists of America, the main U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International.





Think Progress is a “project” of the American Progress Action Fund (APAF), a “sister advocacy organization” of the left Center for American Progress (CAP) and CAP’s entities such as Campus Progress. It also draws freely on the resources and misrepresentations of the Soros-funded, Brock-edited Media Matters attack site.


Think Progress, an internet blog that “pushes back, daily,” by its own account against its conservative targets, and supports the Soros-Podesta American Progress Acition Fund agenda: to transform “progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world.”


APAF describes itself as “a nonpartisan organization.” But in practice, Think Progress, like its parent organizations APAF and CAP, promotes an agenda indistinguishable from that of the left wing of the Democratic Party, with its fiercely anti-Republican, anti-conservative agendas. It focuses on the same issues and takes the same party line and talking points on every one of them. It relentlessly criticizes conservatives and Republicans, but it never criticizes liberal Democratic leaders.


“What We’re Fighting For,” says the Think Progress web site, are: “Social and Economic Justice,” “Healthy Communities,” “Global Leadership” and “A Secure America.”


In the lexicon of today’s left “progressives,” these terms can be translated as an agenda favoring socialist redistribution of private wealth and property, socialized medicine, and a world governed by trans-national bodies like the United Nations and no longer ruled by an arrogant, imperialist United States and American corporations.


“What We’re Fighting Against,” says the Think Progress web site, are: “Corrupt Establishment,” “Incompetent Establishment,” “Braindead Media,” and “Radical Right-Wing Agenda.”


In the lexicon of today’s left “progressives,” these terms can be applied to every Republican and conservative elected to power; capitalism and corporations and private property; media that has not yet become a propaganda vehicle for overthrowing Republicans, business and private property; and every person and idea to the right of the Democratic Party’s now-dominant left wing.


At Think Progress the above eight topics are the headings under which news stories, comments and blog entries get filed, each marked with color-coded corners so that liberals can see, without having to read or comprehend, which of these eight Procrustean categories it has been hacked to fit.


Think Progress’s category “Radical Right-Wing Agenda” includes an enemies list. Republican pollster and political analyst Frank Luntz, a Republican moderate is for example relentlessly attacked and demonized in a continuing sub-category called “LuntzWatch” that depicts him as a puppeteer controlling what Republican politicians do and say. This very Inside-the-Beltway, Inside Baseball assault leaves little doubt that it is of, by and for Mr. Luntz’s partisan counterparts on the Democratic Party side, and that it uses the term Right Wing as a smear word for all Republicans.


A typical “Radical Right-Wing Agenda” Think Progress blog from June 2005 is sardonically headlined: “Elton John Threatens Rick Santorum’s Marriage.”


To understand the Think Progress blog, one should keep in mind that the motto of its corporate parent American Progress Action Fund is “Progress Through Action,” not through thought. Its unspoken motto seems to be that an ounce of wit or sarcasm is worth of pound of actual facts or intelligence, today’s liberals and leftists often being too dense or hysterically obsessed to notice the difference.


Such cheap sleight of hand was evident, for example, in a May 2005 attack on conservative author and speaker David Horowitz. In a blog inspired by John Podesta, former Chief of Staff in President Bill Clinton’s White House (October 1998-January 2001) and current President of Think Progress’s elder corporate sister the Center for American Progress, two quotes by Horowitz were juxtaposed. In the first, Horowitz said he had “never compared actual liberals to Islamic terrorists.” In the second, Horowitz said that “the progressive left in the West was in a de facto alliance with the Islamic jihadists.”


Think Progress banned these juxtposed quotes with the headline “The Multiple Lies of David Horowitz.” But where were these purported lies? In an investigative analysis at FrontPageMagazine.com titled, “The Multiple Lies of John Podesta and Friends,” Horowitz asked: “Is Podesta suggesting that American liberals are actually leftists?” In the wake of Podesta’s counter-attack at his left propaganda blog Think Progress, one could also ask: “Is Podesta suggesting that American liberals have the same ideology and values as the ‘progressive left?’” 


Horowitz is not lying here, nor has he contradicted himself. As a highly educated former Marxist intellectual-turned-conservative, Horowitz uses political and ideological labels with precision. An “actual liberal” is different from a progressive and different from a leftist. It is those like Podesta, eager to conceal their true political agenda behind the figleaf of vague words like “progressive” who have tried to blur the meaning of these distinctly defined words.


Podesta and Think Progress here have an advantage: half the people in America have an I.Q. of 100 or less, and this half tends to vote for Democrats. The Think Progress constituency is easy to fool precisely because it does little thinking and is easily misled by pseudo-intellectual card tricks and the Democratic Party’s mental equivalent of optical illusions.


The editors and main bloggers of Think Progress are Judd Legum and Christy Harvey. 


Judd Legum is the Research Director at the Center for American Progress and co-editor of The Progress Report, a left APAF publication of news and commentary that Legum has said is emailed each weekday to 60,000 “progressive” readers.


In 2000 Legum graduated from Pomona College in Southern California. He then earned a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., where he worked as a research assistant for its professor John Podesta, current President of CAP. Legum’s articles have also appeared in The Nation, Salon.com, and The American Prospect Online. The Elton John-Rick Santorum item above was written by Legum.


Christy Harvey is Director of Strategic Communications at the Center for American Progress and co-editor of The Progress Report. She is a regular guest on liberal Air America Radio’s The Al Franken Show. Her writings have appeared in the left magazines In These Times and The American Prospect Online.


Prior to being hired by CAP, she worked for five years as research director for the Wall Street Journal’s Executive Editor Al Hunt, husband of Cable New Network (CNN) anchor Judy Woodruff. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page is neo-conservative, but one scholarly study of media bias concluded that under Al Hunt’s editorship the news pages of the Wall Street Journal slanted farther to the left than those of any other major American newspaper, leaning farther left than The New York Times. At the Journal Harvey “also wrote for its American Opinion quarterly section and for a daily column that appeared during the 2000 election cycle.”


Harvey is a graduate of Washington and Lee University.


How far to the left are the views of Judd Legum and Christy Harvey?  Although CAP claims to respect American soldiers, Legum and Harvey co-authored a January 2005 article with Jonathan Baskin titled “The Death Squad Option” that suggested American troops might be acting as “death squads” wantonly killing or kidnapping suspect Iraqis.


“Remember El Salvador?” the authors asked. They cited a 1993 United Nations-sponsored “truth commission” report claiming that up to “’90 percent of the atrocities in the conflict’ were committed by the U.S.-sponsored army and its surrogates, ‘with the [Fidel Castro-backed Communist] rebels responsible for 5 percent and the remaining 5 percent undetermined’….the vast majority of ‘atrocities in El Salvador’s civil war were committed by [U.S. President Ronald] Reagan-assisted death squads.’”


They referenced the killing of hundreds of civilians in the tiny Salvadoran village El Mozote, a controversial atrocity made famous by leftist author Mark Danner of The New Yorker Magazine, whose 1994 book on the subject has been used worldwide as a tool of Marxist anti-American propaganda.


“Faced with an intractable insurgency in Iraq,” wrote Legum, Harvey and Baskin, “the Pentagon is returning to its bad old ways.”


This is a falsehood and a blood libel against America’s courageous armed forces risking their lives to liberate tens of millions of people in Iraq, but it serves to reveal what the camouflaged  ideology behind Think Progress and the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress and American Progress Action Fund really is.


Soros himself said that he was spending tens of millions of dollars to achieve “regime change” in the United States. He aimed to do this, said Soros, because President George W. Bush made the United States “too strong” in the world, which would be safer with a Democrat President who would weaken the U.S. to a level of power and influence more like that of Germany or France. This is the billionaire whose money funds and shapes Think Progress.


In a September 2004 article in The Nation titled “Vote for Bush or Die,” Legum and CAP Fellow David Sirota accused President George W. Bush of waging a re-election campaign based on fear of everything from imported poisoned Canadian drugs to terrorism.


Sirota, who also writes for Think Progress, worked for two years as chief spokesman for Democrats on the U.S. House Appropriations Committee.  Prior to that he was spokesman for independent Vermont Congressman Bernie Sanders, a card-carrying member of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the main American branch of the Socialist International, and the founder of the Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives.


[In 2005 the head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean endorsed avowed socialist Sanders as his candidate in 2006 to replace retiring turncoat former Republican Vermont U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords.]


Think Progress might better be called a blog that “pushes backwards, daily” as a propaganda vehicle for a radical ideology that is obsolete and reactionary: ever-bigger, more intrusive government and its inevitable correlate, ever-diminishing freedom. Some call this discredited ideology socialism or “social justice,” others neo-feudalism, but Think Progress deceitfully calls it being “progressive.”

Mr. Ponte co-hosts a national radio talk show Monday through Friday 6-8 PM Eastern Time (3-5 PM Pacific Time) on the Genesis Communications Network. Internet Audio worldwide is at GCNlive .com. The show's live call-in number is 1-800-259-9231. A professional speaker, he is a former Roving Editor for Reader's Digest.

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