George Soros

Taxpayer-Funded Propaganda Station Aired Anti-Soros Hit Piece in Cuba

Why are we paying for a Spanish-language propaganda station in the first place?

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YouTube Screenshot via Joe Konig

Attacks on billionaire George Soros, the Jewish philanthropist and liberal megadonor, haven't just come from prominent conservatives and like-minded media outlets. Earlier this year, the U.S. government broadcast a Spanish-language hit piece on Soros.

The segment ran in May on Radio y Televisión Martí, a U.S.-based station that broadcasts propaganda to Cuba. The liberal outlet Mother Jones reports on some of the segment's contents:

The taxpayer-subsidized video portrays Soros as a threat to Latin American democracy. Featuring ominous music and images of street violence, the 15-minute video begins with the narration: "George Soros has his eye on Latin America. But Judicial Watch, an American investigative legal group, also has its eye on Soros and what it sees as his lethal influence to destroy democracies. It describes him as a millionaire investor and stock market speculator who exploits capitalism and Wall Street to finance anti-system movements that fill his pockets."

The report also calls Soros "a non-believing Jew of flexible morals" and "the architect of the financial collapse of 2008."

Radio y Televisión Martí is part of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), which claims to "promote freedom and democracy by providing the people of Cuba with objective news and information programming." The OCB, in turn, is part of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which used to be known as the Broadcasting Board of Governors. The OCB received about $23.7 million in appropriated funds from Congress for the 2017 fiscal year, though it requested less than $14 million for 2019.

In a statement to Mother Jones, OCB Director Tomás P. Regalado acknowledged the Soros segment should not have aired. Regalado, who says he assumed his post after the segment was broadcast, noted that it relied far too heavily on Judicial Watch, a conservative nonprofit with a clear bias against Soros.

The segment, parts of which can be found on YouTube, was found last Friday by the Cuban Triangle blog. On Saturday the segment drew the ire of Sen. Jeff Flake (R–Ariz.):

Yesterday Flake followed up by calling for an investigation into "how such programming was produced and and [sic] why it aired."

The worst aspect of this segment is that it was paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Americans probably shouldn't be funding a Spanish-language propaganda station in the first place. If the propaganda is partisan and bigoted, that just makes things worse.

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  1. Why are we paying for a Spanish-language propaganda station in the first place?

    Because we got a break on the price over the English-language one.

  2. NPR runs taxpayer funded hit pieces all of the time, like every day. I can’t remember the last time reason ever had a problem with that or enough of one to write about it. But one attack against Soros in Cuba of all places is serious business. Decades of taxpayer funded leftist radio and TV, ah it is just no big deal.

    1. Yeah, being anti-soros hit a nerve.

      1. Think the problem is that the piece is not just anti-Soros, but mentioned that Soros is Jewish.

        1. Isn’t he. yes he is so they can’t tell the truth about a person?

        2. Oh man, you don’t want to see what they say about Sheldon Adelson then…

        3. That he’s a non-observant Jew. I personally don’t see the point in mentioning it.

    2. Everything must necessarily take a viewpoint of some sort. That’s just innate in journalism and a part of the human experience. The question should really be why we have taxpayer funded news at all.

      I also wonder what was meant by “it relied far too heavily on Judicial Watch.” Is the issue that it relied on one source? Is the issue that it’s conservative? Is the issue that it is biased? The last two are inherent parts of any source. The first seems like a general problem with all journalism. What’s the expected fix here other than just defunding this nonsense?

      1. Judicial Watch seems to be a fine source to me. All they seem to do is sue the government to force them to disclose records under FOIA. Beyond that, just because it relies on one source doens’t mean it is wrong.

      2. “The question should really be why we have taxpayer funded news at all.”

        Yes.
        Get the government out of the news business, period. Close NPR and any other outlet funded by the taxpayers.

    3. That guy in Memento also had trouble remembering the last time someone did something.

      1. That was psychosomatic. He didn’t want to remember. He was just trying to block out the memory of crossing Australia in drag with Agent Smith.

    4. I knew it. The moment I started reading the article, I just knew John would come to the comments and claim BUT NPR DOES THE SAME THING!!!!!!!!!

      1. Why shouldn’t he say it?

        The same goes for PBS.

      2. Are we all pretending like Harry Reid denouncing the Koch brothers in the US Senate is somehow different?

      3. Because somehow it’s wrong to point out the hypocrisy of the piece?

        1. You’re exactly right. Why, on the drive home today, I heard Nina Totenberg on NPR make a remark about “those damn Jews and their world domination”. I was like OMG how could NPR have gotten so anti-Semitic?

          1. SQUAWK!

          2. They use “Israelis” and “Zionists” instead of outright saying “Jews”, but yeah. And please point out any difference between NPR’s exaltation of the BDS movement and Der St?rmer’s Kauf nicht bei Juden!

      4. Why shouldn’t he point that out? NPR IS state funded media, the only difference between NPR and Voice of America is that NPR works for the same party all the time, regardless of which party is in control of the government at any given moment, while Voice of America is responsive to elections.

    5. Your memory sucks

    6. Your memory sucks

      1. Alright, that was pretty fucking funny.

      2. That is why you have come up with all of these links to show how offended Reason is by NPR bias.

    7. NPR runs taxpayer funded hit pieces all of the time
      I don’t know how many times they inveighed about the Kochs, but somehow this is different because reasons.

      1. NPR and their affiliates are one of the few media institutions out there who actually do real investigative journalism nowadays.

        1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

        2. Printing missives and press releases from the DNC verbatim, and meeting their daily JournoList article agenda, doesn’t quite feel like real investigative journalism somehow.

        3. No they dont. They dont have the budget and simply dont do unbiased anything.

          NPR is propaganda just like commercial MSM outlets but there is more smug.

    8. Whataboutism (also known as whataboutery) is a variant of the tu quoque logical fallacy that attempts to discredit an opponent’s position by charging them with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their argument, which in the United States is particularly associated with Soviet and Russian propaganda.

      1. Whataboutism isn’t a fallacy. Yelling “Whataboutism” is an attempt to make accusations more effective by prohibiting putting them in context.

        1. “Whataboutism isn’t a fallacy. ”

          Indeed.

      2. Whataboutism is also when you redirect to a different subject. For example, the US complaining about the invasion of Hungary and the USSR responding with but the US lynches blacks. That’s the historical foundation for Whataboutism.

        Implicit is a redirection to a different subject.

  3. The report also calls Soros “a non-believing Jew of flexible morals” and “the architect of the financial collapse of 2008.”

    Hey, at least it sounds like the report wasn’t anti-Semitic.

    1. “the architect of the financial collapse of 2008.”
      Also Black Wednesday in the UK, when Soros engineered a run on the pound, and John Major’s government was forced to withdraw the pound sterling from the ERM.
      He made a fortune that day, and ruined millions of pension accounts.

      A couple of hundred years from now, when the political and social issues of the current age have passed away, history will be regard Soros as little better than a pirate and a robber baron. A 20th century Vedius Pollio.

    2. The flexible morals comment was meant as a compliment.

  4. “Why are we paying for a Spanish-language propaganda station in the first place?”

    We had years of that in the Senate with Harry Reid and the Koch Brothers…

    1. Oh, I’m sure that progressives and the news media attacked that and the remarks about Sheldon Adelson and Republicans, too

  5. The real serious question is why are we funding news organizations.

    1. Because Big Bird demands it

      1. In this era of fake news, there is only one source America can really trust.

      2. Big Bird is HBO’s now anyway.

        1. I knew something was different when he got shot through that head by that kid while shopping at Mr. Hooper’s.

          1. *cut to pointless gratuitous muppet sex scene*

            1. What are we talking here, like Avenue Q, or more Meet the Feebles?

  6. “a non-believing Jew of flexible morals”

    Well he does put that on his business cards, so I think it’s perfectly fair to point it out to the Cubans.

    1. I always pictured it as being on his door, a la “Dr. Zoidberg: A Medical Corporation.”

  7. I think I missed the chain of causality from the funding to the news report being created. Can someone highlight that for me?

  8. So Flake really needs a job after he’s out of the Senate. And amazingly he still has a shot at that gig with MSNBC

  9. Why are we paying for a Spanish-language propaganda station in the first place?

    Because Cubans won’t understand it if it’s fucking English?

    Way to ask the wrong question, eh?

    (Also, maybe read the about page you linked to? “The mission of USAGM is to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy.”.

    One can meaningfully question whether or not the State should be doing that (both practically and as a matter of enumerated powers), or whether Cuba is worth the effort, or if it’s a good use of money.

    But the “why” is pretty clearly spelled out.)

    1. (I mean, absolutely, that Soros piece is both inappropriate for its un-serious content and flirtation with anti-Semitism, and also as a partisan piece being pushed by an agency of the Federal government.

      But that’s a separate problem/question.)

      1. I don’t know; Assuming the purpose of the USAGM is valid, yeah, attacking Soros appears to be appropriate. The guy IS pushing a bunch of really nasty causes.

        Granted, it’s partisan in the sense that one of America’s parties favors that sort of nastiness, but, hey, elections, right?

      2. Since when is criticizing a jew for not actually practicing his faith antisemtism?

  10. Americans probably shouldn’t be funding a Spanish-language propaganda station in the first place.

    There’s your article. Joey baby, when I tell you you’re being too long-winded you better believe it! What is all this other shit? Why should I or anyone else particularly give a shit what the fuck Radio Mart? says about Soros? Fuck Soros.

  11. “This is taxpayer-funded anti-semitism.”

    He should know, he voted for it.

    1. Yeah. I never understood praise for Flake. The guy is hot garbage.

      Even if your standard is “he stands up to Drumpf”, Flake had no qualms about voting for any spending deal or the renewal of the data collection program. Just because he says some mean things to an approving media, doesn’t mean he stands for anything more than “what’s good for Jeff Flake”

      1. Thankfully he’s too autistic to be a decent judge of “what’s good for Jeff Flake.”

  12. This is taxpayer-funded anti-semitism.

    “But enough about our UN dues…”

    1. You win the thread.

  13. Is “a multi-millionaire Jew” inaccurate? I mean, it would be more accurate to say he’s a multi-billionaire, but still.

    1. It is not anti Semtic. But REason seems to never see a media talking point they don’t love.

    2. Soros is part of many conspiracy theories. Some are anti Semitic. They connect him to a vast underground Jewish conspiracy to destroy the US among other things. This was the conspiracy that the shooter in Pittsburgh believed.

      He is nominally Jewish. His parents are Jewish but neither they nor him have anything to do with the religion or Jewish community. So why bring it up?

      1. Jewishness clearly motivates his, and many others, desire for open borders/multiculturalism. How is this not obvious? It’s talked about openly.

        1. George Soros Bet Big on Liberal Democracy. Now He Fears He Is Losing.

          But he had always “identified firstly as a Jew,” and his philanthropy was ultimately an expression of his Jewish identity, in that he felt a solidarity with other minority groups and also because he recognized that a Jew could only truly be safe in a world in which all minorities were protected. Explaining his father’s motives, he said, “The reason you fight for an open society is because that’s the only society that you can live in, as a Jew ? unless you become a nationalist and only fight for your own rights in your own state.”

          1. I suppose he is more motivated by his Jewish background than I had thought. He always seems to draw the wrong conclusions from it and end up on the wrong side.

      2. What’s a lot more intriguing is the question of why does the jewish community not denounce this guy everywhere and always. (Some do, obviously. Especially Israeli State Media)

        I mean, this is a guy who literally sold out other jews to the nazis in exchange for a cut of their property seized. And when asked about it he has described it as the “best time in his life”.

        Fuck, he should have been hanged faster than most of the nazis who were in the Nuremberg Trials.

  14. The OCB received about $23.7 million in appropriated funds from Congress for the 2017 fiscal year, though it requested less than $14 million for 2019.

    You’ll get that extra $10 million and like it!

  15. Why are we paying for a Spanish-language propaganda station in the first place?

    Because when you live next-door to a hostile totalitarian regime, it’s potentially useful to inform the citizenry of that country of things that its state-controlled media won’t?

    It’s not the narrowest-possible construction of national defense, but it’s a lot closer to the sphere of legitimate libertarian-minarchist activity than, say, a government-funded domestic broadcast network in an already-vibrant national media landscape.

    1. Then it needs to be spent from the defense budget.

      I get the whole neocon thing about fighting off Americas shores to keep the battle away from the USA but any Cuban who does not know how they are being repressed is a moron and probably wont be much help come overthrow time.

      NPR should be disbanded and their entire budget cut.

  16. “George Soros, the Jewish philanthropist”
    Since when did Soros become the “Jewish” philanthropist? Is this reason jumping on the “if you disagree with Soros you must be anti-semitic” bandwagon?
    I mean, I realize that disagreeing with Obama made you a racist and disagreeing with Hillary made you sexist, but now if you disagree with a guy who supports the most leftwing nuttery causes on the planet suddenly means you don’t like jewish people?
    Could Reason please let us know what the new rules are because sometimes it’s hard to keep up.

    1. Well, statistically speaking, they are overwhelmingly far-left progressives. So, by hating progressives, you’re bound to hate ~80% of jews.

      And if you have a problem with racist anti-white policies… well… don’t look into that. Some forms of knowledge are not good for you.

  17. “George Soros, the Jewish philanthropist”
    Since when did Soros become the “Jewish” philanthropist? Is this reason jumping on the “if you disagree with Soros you must be anti-semitic” bandwagon?
    I mean, I realize that disagreeing with Obama made you a racist and disagreeing with Hillary made you sexist, but now if you disagree with a guy who supports the most leftwing nuttery causes on the planet suddenly means you don’t like jewish people?
    Could Reason please let us know what the new rules are because sometimes it’s hard to keep up.

  18. By these standards, denoting a Spanish language propaganda station is racist.

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