A former Free Press official, Jen Howard, is now the press secretary for the Federal Communications Commission.
McChesney’s Free Press organization has received at least $1 million from the Open Society Institute of billionaire George Soros, a mega-capitalist who seems to have dedicated his life to overturning the very system that made him wealthy.
In an article in the Monthly Review, “Journalism, Democracy, and Class Struggle,” McChesney declared, “Our job is to make media reform part of our broader struggle for democracy, social justice, and, dare we say it, socialism.”
In his remarks, Wright said: “You dispel all the negative images we have been programmed to conjure up with just the mention of that word socialism or Marxism.”
He called America “land of the greed and home of the slave.”
During the 2008 presidential campaign, as Obama was trying to distance himself from figures such as Wright and Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers, Wright gave a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. and repeated a discredited Soviet propaganda claim that the U.S. Government had manufactured the AIDS virus to kill black people.
The Sept. 17 event provided more insight into the political network, based largely in Chicago, that launched Obama’s political career and still influences him.
A professor at the University of Illinois, where Bill Ayers is also employed, McChesney was an editor of Monthly Review but now serves as a contributor to the publication and a director of the Monthly Review Foundation.
Fox News’ Glenn Beck, who has focused critical public attention on McChesney’s influence in the “media reform” movement and on the Obama Administration, has noted that McChesney co-authored another piece for Monthly Review, “A New New Deal Under Obama?,” in which he said, “In the end, there is no real answer but to remove brick by brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles.”
At the 2007 Free Press “National Conference for Media Reform,” Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) launched a vicious attack on conservative talk radio, saying that the survival of America was itself at stake because of “neo-fascist” and “neo-con” talk-show hosts led by Rush Limbaugh.
At the Monthly Review celebration, Wright went into more detail about his own personal and political philosophy. He said that “My work with liberation theology, with Latin American theologians, with the Black Theology Project and with the Cuban Council of Churches taught me 30 years ago the importance of Marx and the Marxist analysis of the social realities of the vulnerable and the oppressed who were trying desperately to break free of the political economics undergirded by this country that were choking them and cutting off any hope of a possible future where all of the people would benefit.”
He said that his “exposure to the FMLN in El Salvador, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, and my presence at the 15th Jamahiriya in Libya taught me what I have read in the pages of the Monthly Review which is, as Joshua Stanton says, though we need not always agree with one another we must do the work necessary to at least understand one another.”
The FMLN was the armed wing of the communist movement in El Salvador, while the Sandinistas are the communist movement in Nicaragua. The Cuban Council of Churches is controlled by the Castro regime.
In a recap of the celebration, the Monthly Review editors declared, “We would like to thank all those who participated in this extraordinary event. Dr. Wright captured the tone of the evening, declaring that: ‘Militarism, capitalism and racism, domestic oppression, foreign military aggression, victims of neo-colonialism, victims of community and national racism, and the Cold War days in its infancy to the needless war in Vietnam in its [MR’s] second decade, through wars of greed in Afghanistan and Iraq in [its] sixth decade’ were all incisively covered by the magazine. He spoke of Monthly Review’s indefatigable insistence on the need to put ‘people before profits,’ and its unflinching criticisms of inequality, injustice, and the realities of capitalism.”
It is not clear what kind of personal relationship that McChesney, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has with Obama. But his influence on the Obama Administration, as reflected in the FCC appointments, seems to be significant.
When he recently staged an on-air fundraising drive for his “Media Matters” radio show, McChesney included John Nichols, a co-founder of Free Press; Ben Scott of Free Press; Norman Solomon of the Institute for Public Accuracy; and Noam Chomsky of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, a Communist Party spin-off group. Nichols was a speaker at a 2002 CCDS conference in San Francisco.
Ben Scott was a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign when he co-authored a piece with McChesney for the Monthly Review on the problems of “capitalist journalism.” He and McChesney also co-authored Our Unfree Press: 100 Years of Radical Media Criticism.
Scott would go on to serve as a legislative fellow for then-Representative and open socialist Bernie Sanders and then become the policy director for Free Press.
The contributors to Monthly Review include former Weather Underground terrorist Bernardine Dohrn; Marilyn Buck, another former Weather Underground member; convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal; Bill Fletcher, Jr., a founder of Progressives for Obama; and Chomsky.
In a piece titled, “Homeland Imperialism: Fear and Resistance,” Dohrn wrote of the “robust and unified resistance to imperialism” after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.