BY VICTORIA TAFT | P J MEDIA
Big Tech billionaires, including Mark Zuckerberg, who already censor comments and news they don’t like, are now coming after your local paper.
The group Report for America is placing its hand-selected woke reporters into local newsrooms across America to cover “under-reported” stories such as climate issues, Census Bureau block parties, how vaccines are working, and hating Donald Trump.
Newspapers are delighted with the cut-rate help. “We won a grant from Report for America so we can better cover our (city, town, state, county),” they enthuse.
Such is the way Report for America (RFA) couches its “gifts” to local newspapers around the country. The gift is a reporter or multiple reporters who belong to a larger “corps” of reporters.
Screenshot from Report for America website
RFA is based on the ideas of its two founders, Steven Waldman and Charles Sennott, reporters with what they call The GroundTruth Project. The organization has been placing their hand-picked “emerging” reporters (read: newbies) since 2018. The green recruits are trained and mentored by like-minded, older journalists and placed into American newspaper and public radio station newsrooms.
Zuckerberg’s company, Facebook (now called Meta), and his and his wife’s charitable foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, are pouring millions into this effort.
And it ain’t beanbag. They expect results. Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan spent $300,000,000 taking over elections offices in 2020 with the Center for Tech and Civic Life to tip the election to hapless Joe Biden, who conducted his campaign practically bound and gagged in the basement of his house.
For those who insist Zuckerberg is doing these things out of the goodness of his heart to combat COVID — the cover story for the election effort — open your eyes.
Election offices were turned into Biden get-out-the-vote efforts, as I reported for PJ Media last March:
Beginning last year, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook joined with Google and other high-tech companies and NGOs to grant hundreds of millions of dollars to fund already taxpayer-funded elections across the country, with the express purpose of defeating Donald Trump. A public-interest law group says those dollars were used to take over election offices and use local government apparatus to turn out Democrat voters to get rid of Trump. As previously reported in December by PJ Media colleague J. Christian Adams, this was done to great effect on behalf of Joe Biden in multiple cities and counties throughout the swing and other states.
Besides Zuckerberg’s election office caper, there are other real-world examples from like-minded billionaires, who are, like him, a cadre of “unelected monarch[s]” “shaping our public life,” as one writer put it.
Billionaire George Soros bankrolled woke district attorneys and Secretaries of State candidates to remake the justice system and change elections laws. Catching Soros’s vision, another Facebook swell donated millions to elect far-Left DAs through the Accountable Justice Action Fund and Justice PAC. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg bought — yes, bought — apparatchiks and installed them at State Attorneys General offices to “bring politically motivated lawsuits.” They’re still there.
Isn’t it odd that all of a sudden laws aren’t being enforced, bail is virtually gone, seemingly every difference of opinion is suddenly criminalized, bodies are piling up, and crime rates have skyrocketed? But this isn’t a case of “you break it, you buy it.” It’s exactly the opposite: they bought it to break it. The resulting dysfunction isn’t an anomaly; chaos is a feature of their plan.
These titans are putting their money where your mouth is, complete with a ball gag.
Here are just a few of the RFA big rollers:
- Meta Journalism Project – $5.5M
- Knight Foundation – $5M
- Natasha and Dirk Ziff
- Joyce Foundation – $1M
- Craig Newmark Philanthropies – $855,000
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – $750,000
- Corporation for Public Broadcasting – $648,912
- Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation – $625,000
- Tow Foundation – $600,000
- Chan Zuckerberg Initiative – $550,000
- Conrad N. Hilton Foundation – $500,000
- Heising-Simons Foundation – $500,000
- Lumina Foundation – $500,000
- Microsoft – $500,000
You might be wondering why the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is re-gifting taxpayer largesse to this program. Me too.
The way it works is that news outlets agree to take “corps members” and RFA agrees to fund half their salary, “up to $25,000, one-third the second year, and one-fifth the third year.” The newspaper agrees to pay 25% and then has to hit up local NGO’s and charities for the final 25% of the salary in what they call a new model “for shared investment in local reporting, increasing the chances of sustaining public service journalism, for the community, by the community.” Reporters are also encouraged to “volunteer” at a local charity, perhaps even the one funding their position.
This is an effort to dismantle the connection between local capitalism and news and put it into the hands of woke Leftists and the government. You know, like Pravda.
As an added incentive, if Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” bill is passed, smaller news outlets will get a tax write-offs and subsidies. This was RFAs idea as well.
By capturing local news, Big Tech will become the total gatekeepers for news content while using their fake news checkers in the Trusted News Initiative to tell you vaccines are infallible, Hunter Biden is a pious artist, Trump was a Russian Secret Agent, it was an “insurrection” without seditionists, and there was no funny business in the 2020 election.
The information cartel already consists of The Associated Press, The Washington Post, AFP, BBC, CBC/Radio-Canada, Facebook, Financial Times, Google/YouTube, Microsoft, Reuters, Twitter, and The Wall Street Journal.
Now they want to gather up local newspapers to silence all differences of opinion.
Big Tech “monarchs” won’t sit by while an RFA-associated paper writes a screed against them, any more than The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would support a health organization that ever said a nasty word about their disastrous African polio shots. Any more than Tony Fauci would fund a program that said AIDS isn’t caused by HIV or admit he funded Wuhan gain-of-function research.
And these woke tycoons will have their way with the one subset of news outlets most closely aligned with small-town America. They’re going for the burgs and fly-over country now. Billionaires have already made moves to block out differing — conservative — points of view on their platforms. They’ll think nothing of censoring a story in the local newspaper.
Next time: How it’s going.