How much of the public narrative does Bill Gates buy for $300m?
Buying national policy through backroom deals and party donations is so passe. For the Uber Rich it’s so much better to purchase the policy they prefer with glorious golden philanthropy. Be a hero, change the world, make money too.
Bill Gates runs his own branch of the Charity Industrial Complex. Other moguls buy a newspaper, but Gates buys influence one topic at a time.
Despite the reputation of funding the poor and downtrodden, somehow three hundred million dollars or more was gifted to the media. As if perchance the starving reporters of The Guardian needed it more say, than the malnourished of Chad?
Bill Gates has given $319 million to the media
Allan McLeod, Mintpress News
SEATTLE — Up until his recent messy divorce, Bill Gates enjoyed something of a free pass in corporate media. Generally presented as a kindly nerd who wants to save the world, the Microsoft co-founder was even unironically christened “Saint Bill” by The Guardian.
After sorting through over 30,000 individual grants, MintPress can reveal that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has made over $300 million worth of donations to fund media projects.
Even though this is “in plain view” there’s a level of deceit. If the people think the media is telling the whole news and nothing but the news, they might even believe they willingly chose the policy.
These are just the top ten beneficiaries:
- NPR- $24,663,066
- The Guardian (including TheGuardian.org)- $12,951,391
- Cascade Public Media – $10,895,016
- Public Radio International (PRI.org/TheWorld.org)- $7,719,113
- The Conversation– $6,664,271
- Univision- $5,924,043
- Der Spiegel (Germany)- $5,437,294
- Project Syndicate- $5,280,186
- Education Week – $4,898,240
- WETA- $4,529,400
Others with $3.5 million or so are the deprived outlets like the BBC, CNN and The Daily Telegraph.
So at the same time as Google and Facebook were threatening the funding model of newspapers, radio and TV, Bill was helping them cover the costs of writing more on topics he was interested in.
Cynics might wonder if $300 million really buys much at all these days, but remember how cheap it was for the CCP to buy the New York Times? The masthead of record for the United States effectively sold out the nation for a piddling $100,000 a month. That was all that Chinese Communists had had to pay to “earn” sanitized stories of China that were little more than advertising, while stories of human rights abuses of Uigher concentration camps were quietly deleted. Imagine the effect it could have had if the New York Times had gone in hard with real news. Yet the cost to subvert that for President Xi was practically nothing.
So imagine the effect on news rooms all over the West when a few million dollars here and there lands on cash strapped editors with noble strings attached. Gates wouldn’t have to tell them how to report a climate change story, or a gender narrative — it was part of a culture that would permeate the tea-room.
Gates funded the media, journalism, in so many ways
The Gates Foundation even spent some $38 million on associations for journalists too, like the International Centre for Journalists, and the International Womens Media Foundation. It funded groups like Education Writers Association, and the National Press Foundation. It funded a few universities that train journalists
For groups like these a million dollars buys a lot of mileage.
It’s an Octopus:
“Today, it is possible for an individual to train as a reporter thanks to a Gates Foundation grant, find work at a Gates-funded outlet, and to belong to a press association funded by Gates. This is especially true of journalists working in the fields of health, education and global development, the ones Gates himself is most active in and where scrutiny of the billionaire’s actions and motives are most necessary,” MacLeod writes.
An unaccountable, unelected Octopus:
While the Gates Foundation fosters an air of openness about itself, there is actually precious little public information about what happens to the money from each grant, save for a short, one- or two-sentence description written by the foundation itself on the website,” he continued.
And these figures are just the primary donations. There will be secondary rivers of money, where groups funded by Gates divert streams toward the media too.
Media Gates keepers
That the Gates Foundation is underwriting a significant chunk of our media ecosystem leads to serious problems with objectivity….
[Tim] Schwab’s research has found that this conflict of interests goes right to the very top: two New York Times columnists had been writing glowingly about the Gates Foundation for years without disclosing that they also work for a group — the Solutions Journalism Network — that, as shown above, has received over $7 million from the tech billionaire’s charity.
Let’s not forget … the “MS” in MSNBC stands for Microsoft.