GREAT BRITAIN - In the United States, many feel that big business, government officials, and a few wealthy Americans buy and pay for the mainstream media. It appears that the US may not be the only place where the elite may have their tentacles in the media. Britain also seems to have a problem.
According to a new report, the British paper the Guardian may need to walk back some advertisements from 2021 in which the outlet claimed it was “not funded by billionaires” while claiming “our readers’ backing gives us the independence to hold the powerful to account.”
While the Guardian denies it is in the pockets of billionaires, they seem to have a significant problem with America’s billionaire class, claiming in a 2022 piece that “America’s billionaire class is funding anti-democratic forces.” Pot, meet kettle.
According to the new report, The Guardian has its own explaining to do. That news organization receives backing from several philanthropic foundations founded by billionaires. Those include the European Climate Fund and the Rockefeller Family Fund, not to mention the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which dropped a cool $12 million grant to The Guardian, equating to $116 for every reader of the paper's print version.
These foundations, a majority of them left-leaning, use the media to drive public policy along the lines of political issues, climate, net zero emissions, and medicine. As the Daily Sceptic notes, “the amounts of money” involved “are staggering.”
The report, produced by Pile, notes that the Guardian often riles against the so-called “lack of transparency” where the funding of right-of-center organizations is concerned and about so-called “dark money.” Yet, neither the Guardian nor its backers disclose their own funding mechanism.
The Guardian isn’t the only media outlet in the UK to benefit from Gates’ rather deep pockets. The report identifies BBC Media Action, the BBC, Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph, and The Spectator, among others, as availing themselves of cash from the Gates Foundation. All told, UK media outlets rake in some $84.74 million from Gates.
Between 2013-2021, principal and strategic foundations dropped an estimated $2.7 billion into climate-related grants. Comparatively, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a think tank critical of the green agenda, only took in an average annual income of $470,238 between 2018-2022. That cash infusion buys a lot of smoke and mirrors for the green lobby.
For example, the European Climate Fund pays for InfluenceMap, which in 2018 suggested that the five largest oil companies spent $200 million per year on “narrative capture and lobbying on climate.” Pile’s previous investigative work discovered that most of that claimed expenditure was based on speculation and estimation, not fact. Meanwhile, InfluenceMaps funders, eleven in number, spent $1.2 billion funding climate change and lobbying.
The latest report issued by Pile is titled “‘Clean’ Air, Dirty Money, Filthy Politics” and focuses on the “big bucks” behind the UK’s anti-car policies and air pollution alarm ringing. The main focus of the findings in that report is that only a select number of “philanthropists” have “extraordinary influence” in global agencies, including the United Nations and the World Health Organization. Their primary interest, the report notes, aligns academic research and non-governmental organizations. Overall, these individuals implement policies that have no widespread support.
There is a group of world mayors called the “C40,” chaired by London Mayor Sadiq Khan. Among their backers are former New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg and the founder of Extinction Rebellion, Sir Christopher Hohn. That group emphasizes lifestyle changes that impact diet, travel, and other personal freedoms. The group claims to “represent” some “82 million people from diverse global contexts and around one-fifth of the global economy.”
As the Daily Sceptic notes, it is unlikely a majority of those 82 million people are even aware of the C40, nor the fact they seek to radicalize their lives completely.
Air pollution is another focus of these billionaires, even though air pollution is no longer an issue in most countries. Despite that, London has implemented an “Ultra Low Emissions Zone,” which Pile calls a “proxy battle” of the climate war. Climate change interests wholly fund organizations involved in air pollution policies.
“There are no grassroots air pollution campaigns of consequence,” Pile states, noting the public has been virtually excluded from the issue. He also notes that “experts that depart from the policy agenda are routinely excluded from the public debate by research agendas, editorial policy, and cancel culture,” thereby depriving the “public of debate about the costs and trade-offs of far-reaching policies.”
For example, Britain implemented a goal to reach total net zero by 2050 under the Theresa May government, which was rubber-stamped by the British Parliament to obtain a “virtuous legacy” for her government.
In England, the billionaire-funded green organizations have worked to form a uni-party consensus among Labor and Conservatives. Radical air pollution policies have been implemented without due process or input from the citizens, which Parliament or city governments are supposed to represent.
In London, Khan, a Labor Party member, imposed draconian restrictions on driving by Londoners, primarily affecting the less affluent in that once-great city. The Daily Sceptic notes any independent local organizations seeking to fight back are “overwhelmed” by the well-funded and well-connected green movement.
Moreover, those who are providing the money to the green movement are also buying off the media, which would typically be there to hold them accountable.
Apparently, the United States isn’t the only country with a media problem.