Ron Arnold's Left Tracking Library

 

Free Press

Revolutionary socialist alliance developed and funded by a network of overtly anti-capitalist individuals, groups and foundations to silence conservative media, leaving only left-wing viewpoints.



Free Press
(501(c)(3)
2008 Revenue: $4,351,393
2008 Assets: $3,914,786

40 Main St. Suite 301
Florence, MA 01062
www.freepress.net
Telephone: 413-585-1533  Facsimile: 413-585-8904
Contact Information: Ms. Kimberly Longey, Managing Director
EIN: 41-2106721
Registered in the District of Columbia: August 14, 2003
(Filing 232932)
Registered foreign corporation in Massachusetts: December 15, 2003 (ID 413106721)
Exempt since: 2004

Self Description: Free Press is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, quality journalism, and universal access to communications.

Actual: Revolutionary socialist alliance developed and funded by a network of overtly anti-capitalist individuals, groups and foundations. Acts to dispossess corporate media of broadcast license ownership, and to eliminate corporate capitalism generally. Near-term goal is to shut down conservative talk shows and fight viewpoints from the right regardless of the source. Acts as a command center for attacks against specific opponents, mobilizing many left wing groups in a large alliance. Preaches "reforming democracy" in the sense of imposing "Democratic Republic of America" socialist-style central control over society to insure that only leftist views prevail.

Founded with initial 2003 grants of $478,000 from Bill Moyers' Schumann Center for Media and Democracy; $294,667 from the Media Education Foundation of Northampton, Massachusetts; $30,000 from the Albert A. List Foundation (one of the last grants before the foundation's planned 2004 spend-out of its assets and termination); and $25,000 from the Overbrook Foundation for a conference.

Free Press  financial condition 2008

 Revenue     Expenses
Contributions $2,274,286
Government Grants $0
Program Services $250,865
Investments $177,152
Special Events $0
Sales $0
Other $0

 

Program Services $2,699.961
Administration $126,837
Other $477,343
Total Expenditures $3.304.141
Total Revenue $2,702,303   NET GAIN/LOSS ($601,838)

Three Co-Founders:

Robert W. McChesney
Founding Treasurer of Free Press and Action Fund

Robert McChesney

Theoretician and Prophet: Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Communication. Hosts Media Matters weekly radio commentary on the university's NPR affiliate, WILL-AM radio. McChesney, long-time editor of the overtly socialist Monthly Review, is now a contributor and is a member of the board of directors of the Monthly Review Foundation (founded 1980 in New York City; 2008 revenue: $1,013,002) that operates the magazine and book publisher. He has written or edited 12 award-winning books against corporate media. He is a director of  the Urbana Champaign Independent Media Center and a trustee of the Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation. His overall views are summarized in a quote from the August 2009 issue of The Bullet, published by the Toronto-based Socialist Project: 

Instead of waiting for the revolution to happen, we learned that unless you make significant changes in the media, it will be vastly more difficult to have a revolution. While the media is not the single most important issue in the world, it is one of the core issues that any successful Left project needs to integrate into its strategic program.

John Nichols
Founding Secretary of the Action Fund in 2004
Not a founding officer of Free Press in 2003

Practitioner: Political correspondent for The Nation and associate editor of Madison, Wisconsin's Capital Times..He is a regular contributor to In These Times and The Progressive. An early blogger (1999), he writes "The Beat" blog for The Nation. He was instrumental in arranging Free Press's November, 2003 kickoff gathering in Madison, the National Conference on Media Reform, with a $25,000 grant from the Overbrook Foundation of New York. Nichols co-authored a slim 128-page book with McChesney in 2002 titled, Our Media, Not Theirs: The Democratic Struggle Against Corporate Media. Forewords were provided by left-wing stars Noam Chomsky, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Ralph Nader. It became a manual for radicals when Free Press was organized shortly after its release. In 2010, Nichols and McChesney joined again to co-author The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again, a dystopian/utopian take on socialist control of the news media that floats somewhere between apocalyptic and giddy. Booklist reviewer Vanessa Bush summed up the Nichols/McChesney agenda:

Their bottom line: without some kind of government support, journalism as we know it will not survive. Despite resistance to the idea of government support of media, they point to postal subsidies dating back to the 1700s. They also offer the model of government and philanthropic support of media in Britain (the BBC and the Guardian), as well as the much leaner history of government support for public broadcasting in the U.S. Among their suggestions: worker and community cooperative ownership of local media and quasi nonprofit news organizations. The authors argue passionately for radical solutions but also offer an exhilarating vision for the direction of American journalism.

Josh Silver
Founding President and Executive Director of
Free Press and the Action Fund

(2008 personal income - $105,132 salary, $14,892 benefits,
$18,599
other compensation)

Activist: While he was Fundraising Director of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in Washington, asking rich foundations for donations and discovering they were congenial, knowledgeable, and like-minded, Silver's long-term loathing of corporate media and his admiration for McChesney's book, Rich Media, Poor Democracy, led him to contact the professor and ask for advice on how to dismantle corporate dominance. McChesney said anti-corporate-media groups "needed a committed, formidable lobbying force." Silver's Smithsonian contacts in the foundation world quickly convened a formidable money force for him to create Free Press, including an initial board member, Olga Davidson Nagy, chair of Ilex Foundation (a Rockefeller corporate foundation run by profoundly talented scholars) and donations from Overbook Foundation, run by a board of directors of cutting-edge artistry and deep scholarship, along with good relations with Bill Moyers' Schumann Center for Media and Democracy. Silver created the lobbying group Free Press Action Fund and the 501(c)(3) Free Press simultaneously in Washington, D.C. on August 14, 2003, but did not register Free Press in Massachusetts for another month and the Action Fund not until May 2004.

Free Press  Officers and Directors  2009

Name Title Compensation
KIMBERLY LONGEY ASSISTANT SECRETARY & ASSISTANT TREASURER $114,023
JOSHUA SILVER PRESIDENT/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR $105,132
ROBERT W. MCCHESNEY DIRECTOR $0
JOHN NICHOLS DIRECTOR $0
TIM WU CHAIRMAN $0
Marcy Carsey  DIRECTOR $0
KIM GANDY SECRETARY / DIRECTOR $0
Olga Davidson  DIRECTOR $0
James Early  DIRECTOR $0
Lawrence Lessig  DIRECTOR $0

WHO ARE THESE GUYS?

Name INSIDER NETWORK

KIMBERLY LONGEY
former Deputy Director, Proteus Fund

TIM WU
Professor of Law, Columbia University

OLGA DAVIDSON
Chairman, Ilex Foundation
Visiting Associate Professor, Middle Eastern Program, Wellesley College
 

MARCY CARSEY
Television producer, Carsey-Werner Company

KIM GANDY
Former President, National Organization for Women
Former President, NOW Foundation
Former Chair, NOW Political Action Committee

JAMES
COUNTS EARLY
Former Heritage Director, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Former associate professor, Antioch College, Washington, D.C.
Director, Children's Studio School
Director, National Black Consortium

LAWRENCE LESSIG
Director, Center for Ethics, Harvard University
Professor of law, Harvard Law School.
Founding board member, Creative Commons
Board member, Software Freedom Law Center
Former board member, Electronic Frontier Foundation

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