Special to WorldTribune.com, October 22, 2023
Corporate WATCHCommentary by Joe Schaeffer @schaeff55
If you’re seeking a classic example of how dominant establishment “journalism” is a cozy club wholly bought and paid for, look no further than the 2023 <em>Texas Tribune</em> Festival. Numerous leading lights populating our intrepid corporate media crew today appeared at the annual gala last month, and a newly cut fat check from Bill Gates was there to pick up the tab.
Two items of note from September:
- “As The Texas Tribune's signature event of the year, The Texas Tribune Festival is designed to bring Texans closer to politics, policy and the day’s news from Texas and beyond. On Sept. 23 we wrapped our 2023 Festival – three lively days packed with 125+ sessions and events.” So reads the news site’s description of its swank affair.
- “Committed grants: The Texas Tribune. Purpose: Texas Media Partnership. Amount: $668,602.” So reads the September listing of grants issued by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Texas Tribune pines to serve as an authoritative source of Lone Star State politics despite its woefully partisan donor base. Major funders over the years have included Gates and notorious progressive globalist billionaire George Soros.
In a trend that has become increasingly commonplace within the so-called “mainstream” media orbit in recent years, the site hopes to dismiss any problems with this financial arrangement merely by typing out a disclaimer. “Donors and members subscribe to The Texas Tribune’s belief that promoting greater civic engagement and informed discourse is a direct route to a better and more productive Texas. They play no role in guiding the journalism produced by the Tribune or the planning and execution of events,” the disclaimer states. There, don’t you feel better about reading them now?
It is no surprise that the chummiest personages in the privileged circle that is big-box media today trekked down to Austin in September to partake in the Gates and Soros-backed festivities. We’ll list them alphabetically so that no delicate egos will be bruised by rank. Focus on the brands more than the names. And note the preponderance of NBC News and New York Times personnel. We’ve left out the multiple Washington Post employees simply because that paper has fallen so far it’s hard to imagine any impartial observer still viewing them as anything close to resembling real journalists today.
Speakers at the 2023 Texas Tribune Festival included:
- Kimberly Atkins Stohr, Senior Opinion Writer and Columnist, The Boston Globe
- Molly Ball, National Political Correspondent, TIME
- Laura Barrón-López, White House Correspondent, PBS NewsHour
- Katie Benner, reporter, The New York Times
- Keri Blakinger, reporter, Los Angeles Times
- Greg Bluestein, Political Reporter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- Rebecca Blumenstein, NBC News President
- Luke Broadwater, Congressional Reporter, The New York Times
- Jelani Cobb, Dean, Columbia Journalism School
- Major Garrett, Chief Washington Correspondent, CBS News
- Garrett Haake, Senior Capitol Hill Correspondent, NBC News
- Elie Honig, Senior Legal Analyst, CNN
- Zolan Kanno-Youngs, White House Correspondent, The New York Times
- Tamara Keith, Senior White House Correspondent, NPR
- Seung Min Kim, White House Reporter, The Associated Press
- Jenny Leonard, White House Reporter, Bloomberg
- David Leonhardt, Senior Writer, The New York Times
- Alexi McCammond, National Political Reporter, Axios
- Cameron McWhirter, reporter, The Wall Street Journal
- Amna Nawaz, co-anchor, PBS NewsHour
- Nicholas Nehamas, campaign reporter, The New York Times
- Asha Rangappa, Senior Lecturer, Yale University; Legal Contributor, ABC News
- Alexandra Suich Bass, Culture Editor, The Economist
- Margaret Sullivan, columnist, The Guardian
- Jake Tapper, anchor, CNN
- Chuck Todd, Chief Political Analyst, NBC News
- Ali Vitali, Capitol Hill Correspondent, NBC News and MSNBC
- Jacob Ward, Technology Correspondent, NBC News
An examination of the entire speaker list reveals the true nature of the event. Excusing appearances by Texas politicians such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and newly Republican Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, who likely saw a certain local publicity value in attending the gathering, the lineup tilts overwhelmingly to the progressive establishment.
“Civil rights activist” Rosie Castro, “criminal justice reform” foundation Arnold Ventures Executive VP Jennifer Doleac, infamous 1619 Project racial history falsifier Nikole Hannah-Jones, coronavirus vaccine zealot Peter Hotez, ex-Obama Homeland Security tyrant Juliette Kayyem and abortion radical Nancy Northrup of the Center for Reproductive Rights all appeared at the festival.
“Oh, but there were conservatives too,” one can hear Tribune officials protest. Yes. Yes there were. Get a load of these authentic representatives of the political right in America today:
- Laura Collins, Director, George W. Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative
- Evelyn Farkas, Executive Director, McCain Institute
- David French, Never Trump columnist, The New York Times
- Larry Hogan, Trump-bashing former governor of Maryland
- Will Hurd, Trump-bashing former U.S. House member who just ended his ridiculous run for president (in case you didn’t notice)
- Asa Hutchinson, Trump-bashing former Arkansas governor currently running for president (in case you didn’t notice)
- Kay Bailey Hutchison, former Republican U.S. senator from Texas and ex-U.S. ambassador to NATO
- Brian Kemp, Georgia governor and determined Trump foe
- Adam Kinzinger, Never Trump ex-congressman and current CNN employee
- Bill Kristol, archduke of neoconservatism, The Swamp
Click on the link of speakers and take a good look at them all: the Chuck Todds, Jake Tappers, White House correspondents, congressional reporters and the rest. These are the prize tropical fish swimming in Bill Gates’s media fishbowl.
And get used to more of this. As money continues to taint an already thoroughly dirty industry, the shamelessness is only going to get worse.