February 12, 2008
The journalism world is abuzz over an ambitious plan to reinvigorate investigative journalism through a group called "ProPublica," described as a would-be staff of 24 in-depth reporters based in New York whose work will appear on-line, but possibly also in big dailies, as well. Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post provides the most recent update on the journalist resumes now flooding in. (See Digging for Support in Kurtz's Media Notes, Washington Post, Feb. 11, 2008.)
Months ago, Slate's Jack Shafer cast a sharply critical eye on the ProPublica enterprise, asking whether the major funders, Herb and Marion Sandler, will create a firewall between their own deeply Democratic leanings and the journalism.
The Sandlers, Bay Area billionaires who made their fortune in finance, have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democrats. That's enough to make a conservative or a skeptic wary about their intentions in setting up "ProPublica."
But as Businessweek reports, the Sandlers aren't just big fans of Democrats — they're big fans of Jewish causes, and have given handsomely to those projects, as well. And naturally, both are Jewish.
So don't look for "ProPublica" to dive too deeply into every issue bearing on America's future. Not only can it be expected to take a generally liberal slant in its "investigations," it can be expected to steer clear of any fair examination of Jewish influence over domestic or foreign policy.
In this, "ProPublica" is no different from just about every form of media in America, from the "MSM" (mainstream media) to supposedly conservative newspaper like The Washington Times or opinion journals like National Review and The Weekly Standard. It's yet another laughable pretense of unrestrained journalistic fearlessness. A journalist hoping to truly bite all hands can't be fed by any of them.
Most conservatives, and many American whites, are convinced that the media is hopelessly liberal. It might enhance their understanding to look a little deeper at the ethnic motivations behind that trend.
Christopher Donovan is the pen name of an attorney and former journalist.