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13 Jun, 2018 22:01

Soros buys up shares in New York Times

Soros buys up shares in New York Times

Billionaire liberal financier and political meddler George Soros has purchased $3 million-worth of stock holdings in the publisher of the New York Times, the investor’s first such purchase in over a decade.

Soros bought 126,400 shares in the New York Times Company through Soros Fund Management LLC, his investing firm. According to a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last month, the shares are worth $3,046,000.

According to the same filing, Soros also invested money in Tribune Media Company and in Time Warner Inc.

Soros Fund Management is the company that Soros uses to spread his wealth around. Soros Fund Management actively invests in stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies and, as the New York Times reported recently, the Triple Crown-winning racehorse Justify.

Soros’ latest purchase marks the first time in over a decade that the billionaire has sunk money into the New York Times. In 2007, Soros bought $470,000 worth of shares in the newspaper.

It is unclear whether Soros’ growing involvement with the Times will affect the paper’s editorial line, especially considering  that his $3 million investment is a fraction of the paper’s $3.6 billion value. Soros is well known for his liberal views, however, and publicly supports –and funds– a variety of progressive and neoliberal causes, through NGOs like his Open Society Foundations.

Dan Gainor, vice president of business and culture at the conservative Media Research Center, told the Washington Free Beacon that it would be “naive” to disconnect Soros’ investment from his views.

"Soros has long had influence or given direct funding to a wide range of journalism operations from NPR to ProPublica," Gainor said. "This is still a big step to be buying a $3 million stake in the top liberal outlet in America."

After throwing more than $10.5 million into Hillary Clinton’s failed election bid in 2016, Soros has also made no bones about his desire to see President Donald Trump –who he recently called the “ultimate narcissist”– impeached and removed from office. Trump’s victory reportedly cost Soros almost a billion dollars on the market.

Since Trump’s election, Soros has taken to sponsoring leftist candidates in district attorney races across the country, in a bid to reshape the American justice system in his own progressive image. After donating $50 million to the American Civil Liberties Union in 2014, he has spent over $9 million funding candidates in 14 cities. In San Diego alone, he spent $1.5 million propping up Democrat Geneviéve Jones-Wright’s unsuccessful campaign.

Soros’ Open Society Foundations project began in 1979. The organization now enjoys an annual budget of over $940 million and operates in over 100 countries across the globe, with 26 national and regional foundations and offices.

Soros was accused of meddling in British politics when it emerged last February that he had had donated almost $700,000 to the pro-EU lobby group, Best for Britain.

In April, Judicial Watch released a report detailing how the Obama administration, in concert with Soros, spent at least $9 million of US taxpayers’ money to fund a political reform campaign in Albania.

Soros is a businessman and “shouldn’t be receiving taxpayer support to advance his radical left agenda, to undermine freedom here at home and abroad,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.

The billionaire’s image as a human rights campaigner and philanthropist has not been well-received in his native Hungary. The country’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been an outspoken critic of Soros and his NGOs, accusing the billionaire of meddling in Hungary’s internal political affairs by funding opposition groups. In May, the Open Society Foundations announced that it would end operations in Hungary, claiming to be the victim of a “repressive political and legal environment.”

In February, Orban’s Fidesz party submitted a bill to parliament called the ‘Stop Soros Act,’ which would curb immigration and would also affect foreign-funded NGOs. The bill says that all NGOs that “support illegal immigration” need to be registered, while any NGO that gets money from abroad must pay a 25-percent tax.

Before dabbling in American politics, George Soros made a fortune ‘shorting’ Great Britain’s pound sterling, which resulted in the currency’s collapse in 1992. In his native Hungary, Soros has been accused of tampering in internal affairs and pushing pro-immigration policies to destabilize Europe.