Ethan A. Huff
February 23, 2011
Most major newspapers and media outlets in the world are owned by a handful of multinational corporate giants, who together control the content of what is distributed to the masses. But a recent report in The Seattle Times questions the influence the world’s most powerful foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), has on the media as well. The foundation donates billions of dollars every year to fund “advocacy and policy” programs, and much of this money ends up being distributed as direct payments to media outlets who advocate for the foundation’s interests.
While much of what the BMGF does and says is wrapped in philanthropic language and problem-solving rhetoric, many of its policies, including its support of mass vaccination and genetically-modified organisms (GMO), present a clear conflict of interest when the foundation’s dollars get mixed up in what is ideally supposed to be unbiased journalism. And many are now questioning how severely these payoffs are influencing the media’s handling of important and controversial issues.
According to the Seattle Times report, BMGF donates millions every year to media groups like ABC, The Guardian, The New York Times, PBS, and even The Seattle Times. BMGF also spends millions of dollars training journalists in how to properly advocate for foundation interests, and craft media messages in such a way as to further the foundation’s agendas. So rather than presenting news, many BMGF-funded journalists now present carefully-crafted BMFG talking points to viewers and readers.
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Some readers may be thinking, is it really that bad to advocate for programs that help bring awareness to global poverty and disease, and present ideas on how to solve them? Well, concerning BMGF’s open endorsement of widespread vaccinations in developing nations, for instance, Bill Gates late last year explained how the vaccination agenda is part of an overall plan to reduce the world’s population (http://www.naturalnews.com/029911_v…). This fact alone shows that BMGF’s goals are not exactly benign.
Then, there is BMGF’s promotion of GMOs, and its close alliance with biotechnology giant Monsanto. BMGF has allied with Monsanto on many occasions, including recently purchasing 500,000 shares of stock in Monsanto’s experimental vaccine nanotechnology, supporting the development of genetically-modified mosquitoes (http://www.naturalnews.com/030940_B…), and funding efforts to spread Monsanto’s GM seeds throughout developing Africa in order to allegedly solve hunger and starvation (http://www.naturalnews.com/029071_B…).
Speaking to the Times about BMGF’s influence in the media, Mark Miller, professor of media, culture and communications at New York University, perhaps says it best concerning the misnomer that BMGF is purely trying to solve the world’s problems in an open discussion forum via the media.
“We’re not dealing with a lively discussion among players,” he emphasized. “We’re dealing with one gigantic entity … that seems to be very skilled at promoting its agenda.”
Sources for this story include: