GatesKeepers

Gateskeepers.” That was a nice neologism in a clever headline from the Columbia Journalism Review, in an article by Tim Schwab.

He was referring to the curators of news in the Fake News Media. The focus of the article was the huge influence bought by Bill Gates via grants, contributions, seminars, special gifts, etc. I was surprised that they were willing to publish at all on this topic.

While we are all diverted by the pernicious influence of George Soros’s money, hardly any notice is paid to Bill Gates’s money. Perhaps Gates just seems less malevolent.

The article is long and fully packed. Here are the best excerpts:

I recently examined nearly twenty thousand charitable grants the Gates Foundation had made through the end of June and found more than $250 million going toward journalism. Recipients included news operations like the BBC, NBC, Al Jazeera,  ProPublica,  National Journal,  The Guardian, Univision,  Medium, the Financial Times,  TheAtlantic, the Texas Tribune, Gannett,  Washington Monthly,  Le Monde, and the Center for Investigative Reporting; charitable organizations affiliated with news outlets, like BBC Media Action and the New York Times’ Neediest Cases Fund; media companies such as Participant, whose documentary Waiting for “Superman”supports Gates’s agenda on charter schools; journalistic organizations such as the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the National Press Foundation, and the International Center for Journalists; and a variety of other groups creating news content or working on journalism, such as the Leo Burnett Company, an ad agency that Gates commissioned to create a “news site” to promote the success of aid groups. In some cases, recipients say they distributed part of the funding as subgrants to other journalistic organizations—which makes it difficult to see the full picture of Gates’s funding into the fourth estate. 

During the pandemic, news outlets have widely looked to Bill Gates as a public health expert on  covid—even though Gates has no medical training and is not a public official.  PolitiFactand  USA Today(run by the Poynter Institute and Gannett, respectively—both of which have received funds from the Gates Foundation) have even used their fact-checking platforms to defend Gates from “false conspiracy theories” and “misinformation,” like the idea that the foundation has financial investments in companies developing  covid vaccines and therapies. In fact, the foundation’s website and most recent tax forms clearly show investments in such companies, including  Gileadand  CureVac.

As CJR was finalizing its fact check of this article, the Gates Foundation offered a more pointed response: “Recipients of foundation journalism grants have been and continue to be some of the most respected journalism outlets in the world.… The line of questioning for this story implies that these organizations have compromised their integrity and independence by reporting on global health, development, and education with foundation funding. We strongly dispute this notion.”

The foundation’s response also volunteered other ties it has to the news media, including “participating in dozens of conferences, such as the  Perugia Journalism Festival, the  Global Editors Network, or the  World Conference of Science Journalism,”  as well as “help[ing] build capacity through the likes of the  Innovation in Development Reporting fund.”

The full scope of Gates’s giving to the news media remains unknown because the foundation only publicly discloses money awarded through charitable grants, not through contracts.  …

Poynter senior vice president Kelly McBride said Gates’s money was passed on to media fact-checking sites, including Africa Check, and noted that she is “absolutely confident” that no bias or blind spots emerged from the work, though she acknowledged that she has not reviewed it herself. 

I found sixteen examples of Africa Check examining media claims related to Gates. This body of work overwhelmingly seems to support or defend Bill and Melinda Gates and their foundation, which has spent  billions of dollars on development efforts in Africa. …

Given Gates’s large funding role at NPR, one could imagine editors insisting that reporters seek out financially independent voices or include sources who can offer critical perspectives. (Many NPR stories on Gates don’t:  here,  here,  here,  here,  here,  here.)  Likewise, NPR could seek a measure of independence from Gates by rejecting donations that are earmarked for reporting on Gates’s favored topics.

Even when NPR publishes critical reporting on Gates, it can feel scripted. In February 2018, NPR ran a story headlined “Bill Gates Addresses ‘Tough Questions’ on Poverty and Power.” The “tough questions” NPR posed in this Q&A were mostly based on a list curated by Gates himself, which he previously answered in  a letter posted to his foundation’s website.  …

Asked about the dearth of hard reporting on Gates, [Charles Piller of the LA Times] says the foundation’s funding may prompt newsrooms to find other targets. I think they would be kidding themselves to suggest that those donations to their organizations have no impact on editorial decisions,” he says. “It’s just the way of the world.” …

A larger worry is the precedent the prevailing coverage of Gates sets for how we report on the next generation of tech billionaires–turned-philanthropists, including Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg. Bill Gates has shown how seamlessly the most controversial industry captain can transform his public image from tech villain to benevolent philanthropist. Insofar as journalists are supposed to scrutinize wealth and power, Gates should probably be one of the most investigated people on earth—not the most admired.

Read it all. Share it around.

https://www.cjr.org/criticism/gates-foundation-journalism-funding.php

And for its depth and length, the article did not mention something very current. Yes, Bill Gates gets treated as a medical authority because he has given a large bundle to a variety of medical causes. One of his pet causes is the World Health Organization. The Gates Foundation gives WHO as much as does the U.S.A. Those two donors each provided approx. 20 percent of the 2018 WHO budget. (The UK provided about ten percent, Japan about 8 percent, and it is really hard to tell beyond that because most contributions got laundered through the UN or EU.)

So, if WHO was lying to cover for China, I am pretty sure Bill Gates knew about it and chose not to reveal their shenanigans, which deliberately promoted the spread of the Wuhan Virus.

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3 thoughts on “GatesKeepers”

  1. The New World Order

    Sovereign wealth (not disseminated earned value)
    Evangelism (not empirical reality)
    Indoctrination (not empirical reportage)
    Inverted meaning (1+1 = sectarian)
    Eternal NOW (uncreation of past and future)
    Voracious politicism (not democracy)
    Imperative justice (no juries)
    Absolute loyalty (no morals and ethics)
    Intelligent Design (not evolution)
    Lysenko (not Mendel)
    Beige, filth, and fear for the masses
    Eternal promises of heaven
    Eternal purges

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  2. Oh dear… Al Jazeera and I was already annoyed at Melinda’s contributions to the “sex workers” in third world nations.

    In any case, I bought Microsoft six months ago at $130 and it traded today at $204. I choose to look at this as a case of fiscal conservatives winning despite the odds. 🙂

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