Here’s a link to an interesting piece at Big Journalism by Lee Stranahan. It’s about the vicious propaganda film Better This World which falsely depicts American hero Brandon Darby as a co-conspirator in a plot to attack the 2008 GOP convention with Molotov cocktails. The goal of the two actual conspirators, David Guy McKay and Bradley Neil Crowder, was to kill Republicans. These two would-be murderers accused Darby of making them do it but the accusation was wholly rejected by the judge who heard the criminal case.
Radical philanthropist George Soros is bankrolling a documentary that celebrates left-wing terrorists who plotted to napalm Republicans at the 2008 GOP convention in Minnesota. Even worse, you too are bankrolling the film through your taxes.
You can be sure that if right-wing terrorists were plotting to attack the Democratic National Convention, whoever foiled that conspiracy would be immortalized in film, literature and song as a savior of democracy.
“If you flip the equation around and it had been a group of conservatives threatening to use force to prevent those on the Left from meeting, everyone would expect the government to infiltrate them and they would also expect the FBI to stop them and charge them with crimes,” said Brandon Darby, who helped the FBI thwart the planned attack.
A trailer for the left-wing film Better This World suggests that it depicts David Guy McKay and Bradley Neil Crowder as idealistic activists who, according to the official blurb, “set out to prove the strength of their political convictions to themselves and their mentor.” (Note: There was a functioning trailer when I wrote this post a few days ago, but it no longer appears to be working. -MV) In fact McKay and Crowder are convicted domestic terrorists who manufactured instruments of death calculated to inflict maximum pain and bodily harm on people whose political views they disagreed with.
The movie attacks a true American hero, Brandon Darby, who undermined the conspiracy by alerting the FBI. Filmmakers Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega twist the facts to argue that Darby, a former revolutionary activist, manipulated McKay and Crowder into becoming would-be mass murderers.
It’s an easily disproved lie.
During sentencing, U.S. District Judge Michael Davis went out of his way to make a specific legal finding that McKay obstructed justice by falsely accusing Darby of inducing him to manufacture the incendiary devices.
McKay and Crowder had made homemade riot shields and were ready to use them in St. Paul to help demonstrators block streets near the Xcel Energy Center. The goal was to shut down the democratic process by preventing GOP delegates from participating in the convention. The shields were discovered and confiscated.
During a search of a St. Paul residence, police found gas masks, slingshots, helmets, knee pads and eight Molotov cocktails consisting of bottles filled with gasoline with attached wicks made from tampons. “They mixed gasoline with oil so it would stick to clothing and skin and burn longer,” Darby said.
Thanks to Darby’s cooperation with the FBI, the two aspiring bomb throwers are now languishing in prison. McKay entered a “guilty” plea and was sentenced in May 2009 to 48 months in prison plus three years of supervised release for possession of an unregistered “firearm,” illegal manufacture of a firearm and possession of a firearm with no serial number. A week before, Crowder cut a deal with prosecutors and was sentenced to 24 months in prison for possession of an unregistered firearm.
McKay received the stiffer sentence in part because he fabricated the tall tale about Darby’s involvement in the plot.
Of course, it should surprise no one that Hollywood loves this kind of story with its anti-American overtones. HBO gave a grant to the filmmakers to produce their pro-terrorist propaganda. So did the Soros-funded Sundance Institute. After Soros’s foundation, the Open Society Institute (OSI), gave Sundance’s Documentary Film Program $4.6 million in 2002, it gave the institute another $5 million in 2009.
Taxpayers also underwrite Sundance’s adventures in social justice indoctrination. According to nonprofit tax returns (known as IRS Form 990s), the Sundance Institute has taken in $11,240,081 in government grants since 1997. It is unclear which governments made the grants because the 990 forms lump all the grant-making governments together.
The federal government has given $1,350,000 to the institute since 2000, according to USAspending.gov. All but $5,000 of the money was from the National Endowment for the Arts. (The $5,000 grant was from the State Department.) It’s not clear if the $1,350,000 is part of the $11 million-plus figure for all government grants.
Upon receiving the most recent OSI grant, Sundance founder Robert Redford obediently genuflected before Soros. “Sundance Institute has supported documentary storytellers since its beginning,” said Redford. “The recognition of that history by George Soros and the Open Society Institute, and the continuation of our relationship over time, speaks to our shared belief that culture—in this case documentary film—is having a profound impact in shaping progressive change.”
Soros himself has acknowledged he is interested in the movies because “[d]ocumentary films raise awareness and inspire action.” He hails cinema for its power to manipulate audiences.
Not too many people seem aware that Soros has long been a player in Hollywood. As Rondi Adamson reported in “George Soros, Movie Mogul: ‘Social Justice’ Cinema and the Sundance Institute,” (Capital Research Center’s newsletter Foundation Watch, March 2008), OSI has been underwriting “social justice” documentaries since 1996. In 2001 Soros let Redford’s Sundance Institute take over management of his Soros Documentary Fund (since rechristened the Soros/Sundance Documentary Fund).
The preeminent funder of the American left has been buying up media properties for years in order to drive home his message to the American public that they are too materialistic, too wasteful, too selfish, and too stupid to decide for themselves how to run their own lives.
As previously reported, in 2005 Soros acquired 2.6 million shares of the huge diversified media company Time Warner. In 2006 his companies, Soros Strategic Partners and Dune Capital Management, paid $900 million to buy the DreamWorks SKG film library from Viacom, a move that gave Soros the DVD and rebroadcasting rights to films such as Saving Private Ryan (1998), Gladiator (2000), and American Beauty (1999). As James Hirsen noted, the transaction gives Soros “some highly desirable film rights at a time when the marketing and distribution model is changing to video on demand, video iPods and other forms of digital distribution.” But more importantly, it gives Soros “a presence in Hollywood where likeminded libs are ready, willing and able to collaborate in cinematic social engineering.”
Soros is also a funder, whether directly or indirectly, of Media Matters for America, the left-wing character assassination website. Media Matters is the so-called media watchdog whose modus operandi is to mau-mau the media into mouthing the politically correct platitudes that pass for profound insights on the far left.
Soros is venturing into media overseas. In 2008 Soros Fund Management plunked down $100 million for 3% of India’s Reliance Entertainment, a $3 billion conglomerate that aims to provide Internet-based TV programs in India. Reliance also churns out movies and owns movie houses, radio stations and social networking websites in the country with one of the fastest growing economies in the world. When in the 1980s Soros set up offices in Eastern Europe for OSI, he helped to finance publishers, independent TV and radio outlets, and political parties.
Adamson observes that “most of the documentaries that receive Sundance funding are highly critical of some aspect of American life, capitalism or Western culture. The projects generally share Soros’s worldview that America is a troubling if not sinister influence in the world, that the War on Terror is a fraud and terrorists are misunderstood freedom fighters, and that markets are fundamentally unjust.”
From Adamson’s article, here are some examples of films that have been funded by Soros directly or indirectly or that have been screened by the Sundance Institute or shown on the Sundance Channel:
Control Room (2004), a documentary about Arabic-language network Al Jazeera’s coverage of the Iraq war, which critics have said amounts to pro-Islamist propaganda.
Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism (2004), which argues that Fox TV news is a hotbed of conservative misinformation.
The Corporation (2003), a Canadian film that puts modern corporations on the couch and depicts them as sociopathic institutions.
My Terrorist (2002)…about Yulie Gerstel, an Israeli flight attendant who begins to suffer a delayed onset of Stockholm Syndrome after her airplane is hijacked on a flight to London. According to the film’s promotional blurb, “In a remarkable twist of faith, twenty-three years later Gerstel began questioning the causes of violence between Israelis and Palestinians and started to consider helping release the man who almost killed her.”
The Women of Hezbollah…focuses on what its promotional blurb calls two Hezbollah “activists,” Zeinab and Khadjie, examining their “commitment” to the cause. According to one review, the film offers a “complex picture of Islamism, gender relations, feminism and nationalism.”
More recently, the Sundance Film Festival screened the documentary Disturbing the Universe. The recently deceased Communist historian Howard Zinn described the movie about radical anti-American lawyer William Kunstler as “a wonderful, inspiring film.”
Undermining America and promoting radicalism is what Soros is all about.
“The system we have now has actually broken down, only we haven’t quite recognized it and so you need to create a new one and this is the time to do it,” Soros told the Financial Times last year.
In an interview with Der Spiegel in 2008 Soros said European-style socialism “is exactly what we need now. I am against market fundamentalism. I think this propaganda that government involvement is always bad has been very successful – but also very harmful to our society.”
Soros seems to want Communist China to become a superpower, throwing its weight around on the world stage. Weeks before President Obama’s visit to China a year ago the Financial Times asked Soros, “What sort of a financial deal should Obama be seeking to strike when he travels to China next month?” He replied:
I think this would be time because you really need to bring China into the creation of a new world order, a financial world order. They are kind of reluctant members of the IMF. They play along, but they don’t make much of a contribution because it’s not their institution. Their share is not commensurate, their voting rights are not commensurate to their weight, so I think you need a new world order that China has to be part of the process of creating it and they have to buy in. [emphasis added]
It’s all in a day’s work for George Soros.