The fact-checker got fact-checked, and it didn’t end well for him.
The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler frequently manages to make himself the story, often due to his not-so-subtle left-wing partisan bent. It was on full display over his handling of accurate portrayals of billionaire George Soros backing Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. And it was so egregious he was hit with two community notes on Twitter for his misleading spin.
Bragg is expected to indict former President Donald Trump on 34 charges connected to campaign finance violations around so-called “hush money” payments to two women during the 2016 presidential campaign. Private transactions like this are not illegal. Yet despite federal prosecutors and Bragg’s predecessor being unable to make misdemeanor charges in good faith, Bragg, known for downgrading over half of his felony cases into misdemeanors, is doing the opposite against Trump.
The left’s hatred of Trump is so severe they’re willing to use the scourge of antisemitism to defend against a clear abuse of prosecutorial power. Bragg’s indictment is detestable not merely because it effectively fabricates charges against his party’s leading presidential political opponent. It also tears apart the legal system at its seams, politicizing the system that is supposed to be blind to these biases. But should we be surprised? Bragg is part of a network of George Soros-backed district attorneys who believe the criminal justice system is broken and must be dismantled. Here, Bragg and his political enablers are using the “broken” system to their advantage.
But dare any of us to mention that Soros, a radical left-winger seeking to undo American political and justice systems, helped elect Bragg. Apparently, this criticism leveled against Soros is antisemitic because he’s Jewish and, well, that’s about it. Far-left partisans and political hacks who toe a party line for clicks and a steady paycheck have weaponized fraudulent claims of antisemitism for political purposes. It explains how little these people care about actual antisemitism, which is why they’re so often quiet as their leftist colleagues back the boycott, divest, and sanction movement against Israel and advocate for its destruction.
Soros Did Back Bragg
Kessler dishonestly offered “three Pinocchios” to what he calls an “incendiary claim” that Soros funded Bragg. He framed the connection as antisemitic, laughably claiming it “plays into stereotypes of rich Jewish financiers secretly controlling events.” It was an interesting claim given Kessler’s own newspaper had a fascination with Jewish conservative billionaire Sheldon Adelson. WaPo called him a “mega donor” who gives for “many motives,” though it wasn’t labeled antisemitic at the time (since, of course, it’s not).
Here, Soros did fund Bragg through the far-left Color of Change PAC and, despite Kessler’s claims, they’re not “tenuous.” The New York Times reports that “Soros contributed $1 million to the group, which intended to help Mr. Bragg with the money.” The PAC ended up officially donating half of it to Bragg. This isn’t tenuous — it’s direct and clear.
Kessler’s original tweet was tagged with a community note explaining the truth: Soros funded the PAC that pledged support to Bragg. The fact-checker wasn’t happy, retweeting the community note to call out his “trolls.”
“Twitter trolls who posted a ‘community note’ to this tweet apparently have not read the actual fact-check. Click the link and you will find that Color of Change did not spend $1 million in independent expenditures on Bragg, as people often claim,” Kessler tweeted, failing to note that Soros did back Bragg.
It was a childish response to valid criticism. Most people who say “Soros-backed Bragg” don’t mention a specific amount, either. Kessler’s fact-check wasn’t merely misleading, it missed the point, all in an effort to defend Soros and Bragg.
Others Attack Those Mentioning Soros Connection
It’s not just WaPo coming to Soros’ defense, given that newsrooms across the country buy into the billionaire’s destructive worldview. Yahoo! News called the mere mention of Soros funding antisemitic, a claim elevated by CNN and derided as a “conspiracy” in Forbes. These same outlets ran myriad pieces critical of the Koch brothers funding various candidates or campaigns, but that’s treated differently since they funded conservatives and aren’t Jewish. Would the left permit criticism of Soros if he weren’t Jewish, or would they cling to some other identity they can exploit for political gain? As a Jew myself, I find this all so odious and the hypocrisy is almost too much to handle.
Joy Reid attacked Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for noting Soros’ connection to Bragg. She accused him of “throwing out … dog whistles … this meme, this idea among the right that African-Americans, that black folks in positions of power are controlled by some Jewish overseer who is pulling the strings.” Suddenly, Reid pretends to care about antisemitism. Perhaps she forgot one of her blog posts where she said Israel was pulling the strings of the federal government to get the U.S. to invade Iraq in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks or when she sympathized with Hamas, a terrorist organization seeking Israel’s destruction? Or is she still pretending a mythical hacker posted those comments?
NBC’s leftist reporter Ben Collins, meanwhile, arguably offered the most laughable response to Soros backing Bragg. Quoting a CNBC story, Collins says Soros can’t back Bragg because the two never met.
“Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Ron DeSantis have all claimed Alvin Bragg is ‘Soros-backed’ or aligned since the news of the indictment dropped,” Collins tweeted. “In reality, Soros has ‘has never met or spoken to Alvin Bragg,’ according to a CNBC story from last week.”
It’s hard to imagine a more bad-faith argument than this. You don’t have to meet candidates you financially back. There are hundreds of millions of donations to candidates from Americans whose only contact with the candidate is via an online donation form.
Suddenly, basic reporting and commentary about Soros’ long-established mission of donating to causes and candidates who will pursue far-left reforms is considered “antisemitic.” If only the media showed this much passion after antisemitic Squad members pushed for the end of Israel. How utterly shameful.
Jennifer Rubin, a former mediocre conservative columnist who turned into a liberal for an MSNBC paycheck, tweeted a quote from Kessler’s article: “the repeated mention of Soros plays into antisemitic conspiracy theories that Soros, a Hungarian American Holocaust survivor, is a wealthy puppet-master who works behind the scenes.” She demanded that every article mentioning Soros should explain it as Kessler has.
Rubin hopes we suffer memory loss so we don’t see her as the hypocritical sell-out we all know her to be. She criticized Soros before she pretended it was antisemitic.
Writing for Commentary back in 2010, Rubin offered a deep dive into “unmasking” Soros as a “sugar daddy” for the far-left, anti-Israel groups J Street, Human Rights Watch, and MoveOn.org. There was no mention of Soros being a Holocaust survivor — or even a Jew. She labeled him “a billionaire whose animosity toward Israel is well documented and who figuratively and literally bets against the West.”
“The pattern is clear here: where there is a well-funded group seeking to undermine the U.S.-Israel relationship, delegitimize Israel, or push for America’s retreat from the world, it’s a good bet Soros is behind it,” Rubin noted at the time.
Soros is rightly demonized by conservatives and anyone else with a disinterest in destroying American institutions. And his connection to Bragg only highlights the D.A.’s destructive nature. It’s why Rubin tweeted a link to Kessler’s discredited fact-check.
Rubin once asked: “Will those who receive Soros’s money — think tanks, organizations, politicians — become concerned that they will be viewed as weapons in Soros’s personal arsenal?”
The answer, in 2023, is obviously no. With media outlets openly embracing partisan coverage, they are now firmly in Soros’ corner. But pointing that out must make me a self-loathing Jew.