The Left’s media-industrial complex is in full swing, and ProPublica is one more cog in that fear-spreading machine. It’s time conservatives learn the truth behind this “trusted” investigative outlet.
Founded and Funded by Lefty Money
When looking at an organization’s bias, it is important to see who is paying its bills. Donors and their preferred politics help show how an organization operates, but looking at the web of leftist money and the initiatives they chase paints a damning picture for ProPublica. Interesting enough, but not surprising at all, many of ProPublica’s donors have vested interests in “grassroots” organizations that demonize Thomas and attack the courts.
Is it too far to assume that the financial leaders of ProPublica would use the organization to bring credibility to their smaller, special interest attacks? Not at all.
The Sandler Foundation, a project of Herbert and Marion Sandler, who “instituted borrowing practices that were largely blamed for the housing market collapse,” is the largest founding donor to ProPublica. The foundation, which accounts for 20 percent of all ProPublica’s donations, has given roughly $50 million to ProPublica since 2010 for “general purposes.”
The Sandler Foundation also donates to litany of other left-leaning organizations and has given nearly $1 billion in grants since 2006.
The group backs the left-of-center policy think tank the Center for American Progress (the Left’s Heritage Foundation knock-off), which supports abortion, LGBTQ advocacy, increasing the minimum wage, climate alarmism, gun control and illegal immigration. The Sandler Foundation provided the group with $2.3 million in startup money and later provided another $4 million in contributions.
In 2019, the Sandler Foundation also delved into “dark money,” donating $500,000 to the New Venture Fund (NVF), part of the multi-billion-dollar “dark money” activist network run by the D.C. consultancy Arabella Advisors. Those funds were funneled on to Demand Justice, the Arabella spin-off responsible for creating the Left’s court-packing scheme and savaging Justice Clarence Thomas.
Since 2016, the left-leaning Marisla Foundation has given over $2 million to ProPublica and roughly $1 million to the Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). CREW is a legal advocacy group connected to Republican-turned-Democrat strategist David Brock’s partisan Super PAC American Bridge 21st Century. CREW has worked to remove Thomas from his position, and in April 2023, filed a civil and criminal complaint against the justice.
The Sandler Foundation has donated $7.5 million to the left-leaning Campaign Legal Center (CLC) since 2015. The group, also funded by Pew Charitable Trusts and billionaire leftist George Soros, focuses on strict enforcement of campaign finance laws. The group received $2.5 million in donations from crypto-based entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried, who is now charged with wire fraud and conspiracy following crypto-currency company FTX filing for bankruptcy in November 2022.
Notably, the Foundation to Promote Open Society, one of the philanthropies of arch-“progressive” George Soros, has given over $3 million to ProPublica. The group has also donated $2.7 million to CLC and $2.5 million to CREW since 2011. The Silicon Valley Community Foundation gave $8 million to ProPublica, while also donating $60,000 to CLC and $252,200 to CREW since 2014.
In April 2023, CLC wrote a letter requesting that the Judicial Conference refer Thomas to the Department of Justice (DOJ) “for potential criminal and civil penalties related to violating the Ethics in Government Act.”
Alongside CLC, the Sandler foundation has donated to the left-leaning American Constitution Society (ACS) for “general support,” giving nearly $6 million since 2010, a far-left group described as the Left’s answer to the Federalist Society. ACS is closely associated with the Democracy Alliance, a network of top left-wing funders who meet annually to coordinate their political spending—making ACS a key weapon in the Left’s arsenal. No wonder it’s heavily funded by the Tides Foundation and George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
To no surprise, ProPublica’s attack on Thomas includes quotes from both ACS and CLC. It is interesting to see numerous groups that receive funding from the Sadler Foundation, and other interconnected lefty groups, working together to target Thomas. But ProPublica is “unbiased”, and this is all circumstantial, right?
“If Justice Thomas received free travel on private planes and yachts, failure to report the gifts is a violation of the disclosure law,” said Kedric Payne, senior director for ethics at the nonprofit government watchdog Campaign Legal Center.
“It’s incomprehensible to me that someone would do this,” said Nancy Gertner.
ProPublica labeled Gartner as “a retired federal judge appointed by President Bill Clinton,” seemingly forgetting to list that she sits on ACS’s board.
At $20 million, the Pew Charitable Trusts is ProPublica’s second largest donor, one of the Left’s top mega-funders created in 2003.
Despite its conservative origins, Pew now backs many leftist causes, including climate alarmism. Pew regularly funds environmentalist groups that oppose oil drilling in the U.S. Canada. It also funds the New Voters Project, a front by the liberal Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) to register new Democratic voters.
We’ve also traced $15 million to ProPublica from the Ford Foundation, one of the Left’s biggest mega-funders responsible for funding virtually every “progressive” group in America. Ford has a nefarious history of collaborating with the Rockefeller Foundation to fund population control measures in the U.S. and poor countries, including India. It is estimated that the foundation spent nearly $150 million on birth control programs between 1958-1983.
Today it continues that legacy by funding abortion-on-demand groups, including Catholics for Choice, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and the International Women’s Health Coalition. Ford also focuses on bankrolling “equitable development, gender, racial, and ethnic justice, and inclusive economies.”
Another political figure the publication relentlessly targets is former president Donald Trump. ProPublica has targeted Trump while claiming that he “built the national debt so big” and wields information as “power” in a nefarious way.
Other reports target parents who wish to remove sexually explicit and LGBTQ books from the libraries of small children or demonize parents for casting out Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
ProPublica also takes a close look at very wealthy Americans and often writes reports that are anti-wealth and pro-tax—unless you’re a donor. The group released a recent report that exposed the tax habits of billionaires in America yet failed to include its own largest donors.
In 2020, AllSides, an organization that provides balanced news ratings, designated the publication as “lean[s]-left.”
“ProPublica’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ section on President Trump’s immigration policy included mostly pieces about children being separated from their families at the border, with no right-wing perspectives on the policy to be found. ProPublica’s Politics section includes mostly pieces critical of or investigating right-wing leaders, and few pieces on left-wing politicians,” the group wrote.
Following ProPublica’s attack on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 2023, AllSides renewed the “lean-left” rating with “strong” confidence. The group concluded that ProPublica focuses “mainly on issues of importance to the political left, such as abortion rights and taxing the rich, and sometimes frames conservative causes negatively.”
Admit the Truth
None of this should surprise anyone who’s followed the country’s bitter information war. For decades, Democrats and their activist allies have controlled major media institutions, shaping the political narrative—and the unfolding agenda in Washington—to favor the Left.
What’s clear from ProPublica’s origins is that it was always intended to be the attack arm of the Democratic Party, helping “progressives” fight the culture war to fundamentally transform America. Conservatives already know that the mainstream media is biased; it’s time to add ProPublica to the list of unfair, partisan media outlets to tune out. End the “unbiased” charade.