Prosecute the torture.

February 10, 2012

Forbes.com on R. M. Scaife

A week or so ago, Forbes.com posted this article titled:
Billionaires Channel Millions to Think Tanks
So you can pretty much guess what the post is about.  Laurie Bennett, author of the piece, begins thusly:
Just as big money is transforming politics, it’s also helping to reshape American think tanks.

Members of the Forbes 400 have poured millions of dollars into research organizations that fit their social, political and/or business concerns.

The conservative Heritage Foundation has received funding from libertarian Charles G. Koch, CEO of Koch Industries, as well as from Richard Mellon Scaife, owner of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and heir to the Mellon banking fortune.
Ah, there it is.  Nice to see it mainstreamed at Forbes.com.  In looking in all the political directions of this story (which is fair) she does a "they all do it" approach to the think tank funders; right, left and middle.

Here's her "left and middle" funders:
At the left end of the spectrum, financier George Soros has supported the Center for American Progress and the Center for Economic and Policy Research. (It should be noted, however, that his foundations have also donated to centrist groups and the conservative Cato Institute.)

In the middle, Bill Gates and Henry Kravis support the Council on Foreign Relations. Kirk Kerkorian, Haim Saban and Kirk Kerkorian have donated to the Brookings Institution.
In the story, there's a warning about the over politicization of think tank research:
In a recent article in National Affairs, Tevi Troy, former deputy secretary of Health and Human Services and a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, warned against the trend toward partisanship.

“I’m a full-throated fan of think tanks,” Troy said in a subsequent interview. But the price of politicization, he said, “is that some good public policy research is not going to be taken seriously.”
Or some bad public policy research is - but that's beside the point.  Let's go take a look at what Bennett found.  At the end of the article there's this:
Billionaire foundation funding of think tanks:
Followed by a list of think tanks members of the Forbes billionaire list have funded. Our buddy RMS is on the list this often:
  • American Enterprise Institute
  • American Foreign Policy Council
  • Cato Institute
  • Center for Security Policy
  • Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Commonwealth Foundation
  • Competitive Enterprise Institute
  • Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
  • Free Congress Foundation
  • Freedom House
  • George C. Marshall Institute
  • Heritage Foundation
  • Hudson Institute
  • Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis
  • Jamestown Foundation
  • Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
  • Mercatus Center
  • Reason Foundation
That's alotta Think-Tanking!  That's alotta money!

Funny how whenever any of those tanks make it onto the pages of the Scaife-owned Trib, there's never any mention of the boss's support of them.

How would that play out, you think, if George Soros owned the Post-Gazette and then the P-G routinely cited the Center for American Progress or Media Matters for research?

See how that works?

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