“In the future, Microsoft wants Windows to run everything, from PCs to phones to cars to appliances. This is a terrifying prospect. If it happens, I’d be far more afraid that machinery everywhere would grind to a halt, planes would fall out of the sky, and civilization would crumble as a result of crummy embedded Windows design than any Y2K problem.”
–Paul Somerson, PC Computing
Summary: Bill Gates is not only buying the news but he also changes old (archived) news by putting money on the tables of publishers so that slowly but surely bits of the past will be evaporating (self censorship)
THE CORRUPT activities of Microsoft can gradually be removed from the face of history if Gates gets his way. In today’s post we present new clippings and references that help show how Gates is buying — not earning — influence from the mainstream press.
The Gates Foundation has, for quite a long time in fact, been promoting itself through the Seattle press. In some cases it even paid parts of the Seattle press directly and we gave examples. We have complained about the Seattle Times on numerous occasions and so did other people including former Microsoft staff. Their bias is very easy to see. Here for example is Kristi Heim and more of her Gates advertising [1, 2] (PR and sob stories, which often seem like they just get pre-processed/passed by PR agents for this site to publish). Brier Dudley, who recently admitted having meals with Microsoft, is currently promoting their products in the Seattle Times. There’s no need to insult any writers here; it’s about explaining how today’s journalism works and why it cannot be considered “objective”. It’s a complicated game of influence and affinity. This has an impact on coverage which we’ll first illustrate with the following new example.
Tax Reality Distortion Field
According to a Microsoft advertiser who pretends to be a journalist, traul Allen has just joined Twitter, just like Gates (or his PR agents on his behalf) did. For those who do not know yet, Mr. Allen is currently opposing tax for the rich.
Billionaire Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen opposes Initiative 1098, which would establish an income tax for wealthier Washingtonians.
Traul Allen’s attempt to escape tax also gets covered by Microsoft boosters [1, 2], who do almost nothing to criticise him for it. They are either biased or spineless; then again, they too are Seattle bloggers. Their business depends on Microsoft because the writing they do is about Microsoft.
Traul Allen is a malicious person for reasons we covered before. One of his latest acts of malice is patent trolling (thus the name “Traul”). Patrick Anderson writes: “So, have #Webvention and Sharing Sound made everyone forget all about Paul Allen / Interval Licensing? #patent #swpat Just wondering…”
“Their business depends on Microsoft because the writing they do is about Microsoft.”There is some more coverage of interest about the tax question in Washington, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]. For those who do not know, Gates and his father are exempted from tax (they found and exploited a loophole which they now protect), so they have an opposite position. They want rich people to be taxed more because it does not affect them [1, 2, 3]. For more information about Microsoft and tax, see this page. It is clear that another battlefield is being played by Microsoft in the sense that it passes taxation to the poor by actively lobbying on the matter [1, 2]. Where is the press criticising them? In the case of Gates, the press neglects to even speak about his tax exemptions. How come?
Gates and Press Ownership
A few weeks ago we wrote about Bill Gates buying coverage of his work, this time from ABC. Based on some more coverage we found, e.g. [1, 2, 3], up to $6,000,000 will be spent on one-year coverage. How many journalists can one employ for one year at this budget, solely to ‘cover’ (glorify) Gates’ own work at his own expense in ABC? This guy is greasing himself up by merely buying reporters. How long will the public be fooled and fail to see how the media really works? “The Gates Foundation reveals a big bribe to a major TV network” says the headline from Gates Keepers and based on this article, Monsanto will benefit too:
Media, Money, Monsanto, and Melinda
The Gates Foundation wants you to know more about global health. So, they are kicking $1.5 million to ABC for a year long series on the subject (ABC is tossing in $4.5 million of their own as well).
Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
However, it is problematic to have media coverage paid for by an individual. I personally believe that press should be as free as possible. There is a need for funding, of course, but there becomes a conflict of interest when money comes in from a source who wants their story to be told. Can ABC really dig into the way that the Gates Foundation works and offer up real pieces that examine what is done? I would argue no. It is mostly because Gates want the series to focus on the fact that there are growing global health issues which people need to care about. To me, it seems to be nothing more than an advocacy campaign at the core of series.
However, it is natural for the Gates Foundation to want what they are doing in global health to be featured and for it to be seen in a positive light. If they are shown as anything less than great the investment is a waste. Questioning the Gates Foundation could lead people to support other initiatives. They do not want that (who would?).
Here is another new article on the subject. This one is titled “Chemical Relations: Monsanto and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation” (it gets harder for Gates to deny his relations with Monsanto).
Watch the Gates Foundation CEO setting the agenda in control of the food revenue. Kofi Annan, who has been criticised for helping Monsanto as well, is there too. They push GMO monopolies and usher them into Africa, as always. Also see Gates mentioned in this new article titled “Monsanto: Making the World As Dead As Possible”:
Indigenous, farmers, environmental activists and lots of other people are pissed off about the widening connection between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and agribusiness titan Monsanto.
There really isn’t anything new or secretive about this. In 2006 the Bill and Melinda Gates and Rockefeller Foundations launched the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), which is based in Nairobi, Keny
“While Bill Gates Wants Africa to Embrace Industrial GM Food, Italy Fines Franken-Maize Growing Farmer” says the headline from treehugger.com:
Vidal gives a blow-by-blow account of the Gates Foundation’s $23 million investment in Monsanto, a market increase over the past six months and its $10 million teaming with Cargill to promote massive industrial-scale cultivation of GM soya in Mozambique.
For some reason there are rumours that Gates owns 90% of Monsanto. Surely that can’t be true, but the rumour deserves at least a mention. It is indicative of the growing perception that Gates is the muscle being the abusive Monsanto-like monopolies. Sadly, the article about it is linking to a bad piece funded by Gates himself to underplay the issue. For some more background on the subject see:
- Bill Gates Takes His GMO Patent Investments/Experiments to India
- How the Gates Foundation Privatises Africa
- Reader’s Article: The Gates Foundation and Genetically-Modified Foods
- Monsanto: The Microsoft of Food
- Seeds of Doubt in Bill Gates Investments
- Gates Foundation Accused of Faking/Fabricating Data to Advance Political Goals
- More Dubious Practices from the Gates Foundation
- Video Transcript of Vandana Shiva on Insane Patents
- Explanation of What Bill Gates’ Patent Investments Do to Developing World
- Black Friday Film: What the Bill Gates-Backed Monsanto Does to Animals, Farmers, Food, and Patent Systems
- Gates Foundation Looking to Destroy Kenya with Intellectual Monopolies
- Gates Foundation Slammed by the Seattle-based Community Alliance for Global Justice, Accused of Harming African Farmers, Population
A few weeks ago we wrote about Coca-Cola promotion from Melinda Gates, who is a major Coca-Cola investor [1, 2, 3]. “Gates Foundation and Coca-Cola Join Forces to DO GOOD” says this ridiculous headline. It lacks information about corporate crimes and other background and omits the existing connection with Microsoft too. Just a few weeks ago we learned that “Coca-Cola CIO joins Microsoft”. The body of the article states: “Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) CIO Donna Wright is to join Microsoft New Zealand as services director.
“Her core responsibility will be to oversee all activities relating to the services business, including consulting and premier support groups.”
Linda bought a TED and then blathered so much about Coca Cola that Gates Keepers think she must have had a marketing job done on her. The Gates Foundation does partner with Coca Cola. Remember the Atlanta Coca Cola Olympics?
Some TED events are TED also funded by Microsoft. Well, people in the West hardly know about crimes of Cola-Cola and had Gates cared about human rights, it would help expose or reform Cola-Cola, not invest in it and then boost it (which helps the stock held by Gates).
Going back to the issue of press coverage, Gates is arrogantly paying for coverage about himself rather than just let people do their work (reporting) as they see fit. It’s a bit like journalistic “fraud”, which turns newspapers into something else, more like in Stalin era. Watch what a former Microsoft employee alleges:
Crosscut Strips Anti-Microsoft Paragraph from Published Editorial on Tax Policy
However, by the time I read the editorial, the quote was gone. This concerned me as I’ve had trouble getting Seattle’s journalism community to cover Microsoft’s thirteen year billion dollar Nevada tax dodge. It may concern you too because Crosscut has relied heavily on $500,000 in grants from the Gates Foundation over the past year. Is there a conflict of interest at play? Additionally, the author of the editorial, Ed Lazowska, holds the Bill and Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington.
“Seattle Weekly Questions Gates Foundation’s Journalism Gifts” says this followup. It starts to make more sense now:
Interestingly, we are not the only one asking whether gifts by the Gates Foundation affect coverage of its activities, Bill Gates and Microsoft. After we reported concerns about Crosscut’s post-publication deletion of a critical paragraph on Microsoft’s Nevada tax dodge (carried in the Seattle Post Globe today as well), the Weekly asks whether the Gates Foundation’s gifts to ABC News will affect how it’s portrayed.
What we see here is how Gates keeps corrupting the press:
Interestingly, I just returned from the World Editors Forum in Hamburg where a journalism colleague who works frequently in Africa says the Gates Foundation is making similar investments there.
Yes, in Africa too Gates has been funding journalists, i.e. paying to ‘train’ them to write favourably about his own work. We wrote about this at the time it was happening. What travesty.
Now we come to CBS. Well, a few weeks ago CBS broadcasted this propaganda program titled “The Gates Foundation: Giving Away A Fortune”. The title does not provide a reflection of reality a they only increase their wealth for the time being, despite claiming to be given it away rather than paying any tax. It’s the same propaganda as was published by CBS that we also find in the news sites, the Seattle blogs, and Causecast from Huff & Puff (possibly paid by Gates as well [1, 2, 3, 4]). Here is the original and here is criticism of this propaganda:
Bill and Melinda Gates were interviewed on CBS News’ 60 Minutes Sunday evening about the Gates Foundation’s goals in global health, poverty reduction and U.S. education. The interviewer claims the Gateses have shunned publicity and that many viewers might not even recognize Melinda Gates. Huh? Oh, and the clip begins with a Viagra ad.
Gates Keepers comments on it a follows:
Tom Paulson has a good sense of humour. Here he mocks the claim that the Gates are shy of publicity. The Gates and the Gates Foundation have been hungry for (positive) publicity for the past several years and have paid a lot of money to some of the cleverest publicists in the field in order to be sure that they get it. For voices in civil society to develop a critical analysis of the activities of the Foundation requires a lot of swimming against this tide.
That’s funny, just after I noted there was this web site where people could ask Bill and Melinda Gates questions, the ONE campaign turned it off.
Maybe it was just a coincidence. Or maybe it was because I noted that there’s been some controversy regarding ONE’s spending practices.
It’s not just US-based and Africa-based press which gets corrupted like this. The problem is global and after Gates’ campaign bought itself a TED for more propaganda (which got criticised here) we learned that The Guardian, which Gates recently paid to praise him [1, 2, 3, 4], is hard at work doing what it was hired to do. “Sarah Bosely, subcontinental mothers in law, and the Gates Foundation” is one new example of The Guardian advertising Gates.
It is disappointing to see an experienced, talented, and usually respected health journalist write a fluff piece on the optimism of Bill and Melinda. If the Gates Foundation had not bribed the Guardian with a big grant to create a ‘development’ website, the Gates Keepers think that Sarah Bosely would not have written this article. Sad.
More on funding of Sarah Boseley by the Gates Foundation
Ooops. Sarah forgot to mention the Gates Foundation in her article on HIV funding that the Lancet study was funded by the Gates Foundation. And her writing is sponsored by the Gates Foundation. And HIV funding is funded by the Gates Foundation. Does anyone hear an echo in here? Does anyone find this even mildly disturbing?
This is just disgraceful and it looks bad for a good publication such as The Guardian. They sold out and it is humiliating to the business of news reporting. It leads to distrust. Gates’ money voids trust.
The Independent has this open letter to Bill Gates. It does not appear to have been paid by Gates to praise him. Not yet anyway. Let’s hope it stays true to its name and stays independent.
So, to finish up, it is important to realise that the media’s coverage of vaccines is a reflection of the diverse views among the public at large. It would be wrong to assume that we have the power to dictate public opinion. We all find bad news often more interesting and important than good news, we don’t want constant reports of an ongoing process that doesn’t change very much, and we need milestones around which to crystallise a story. That’s why reporting on the obvious benefits of mass vaccination in the developing world is so difficult.
The next post will deal with an example or two from NBC and other channels. It will also show what Gates does to education. █