In 2010, political commentator Glenn Beck ran a series of shows about the investor and financier George Soros. Among the many charges Beck made, he dug into what happened to Soros when he was a child, when the Nazis invaded his native Hungary and began rounding up Jews to send them to the Holocaust death camps. The family of Soros was Jewish, but not religiously observant.
During the show, Beck repeated some things Soros told The New Yorker in an interview published years earlier. Therefore, The New Yorker decided to respond to inaccuracies of context. Hendrik Hertzberg wrote an article to bring out facts about Soros which Beck did not mention during his show.
Hertzberg starts out by describing and dissecting the words and images of Beck’s show, and says that they are used to as a “ship of lies.” They are intended to give viewers the wrong impression of Soros, his experience under Nazi rule on project-syndicate.org and his relationship to his Jewish ancestry, making him appear an enemy of Israel. He agrees the quotes from the interview published in The New Yorker by Connie Bruck, “The World According to George Soros,” were accurate, but turned into lies by stripping away their original context.
Born in 1930 in Budapest, Soros escaped the German (and Hungarian) Nazis because his father forged papers and created false identities for his family. The end of World War II brought, not freedom for Hungary, but Communist rule. Soros escaped to England, where he went to the London School of Economics. George Soros started out working on Wall Street in 1956, where he specialized in European stocks. Later, his parents joined him in New York City. They fled from Hungary in the wake of the abortive rebellion, largely forgotten now, against the Soviet Union. Soros and his family have had the misfortune to experience tyranny from both the rightwing Nazis and the leftwing Communists.
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In 1969 Soros founded his first hedge fund, and it eventually became the Quantum Fund. It’s one of the most successful hedge funds of all time. He ranks 35 on the Forbes list of wealthiest people in the world on wsj.com. During the 1980s Soros contributed to groups seeking to bring democracy to the Soviet Union and its East Europe communist countries. He did this in keeping with the concept of an open society as advocated by Karl Popper, whom he studied while in school.
Since the downfall of communism in the Soviet block, Soros has shifted his political donations to liberal causes in Europe and the United States. In 2004 he actively supported groups working to elect John Kerry as president over George W. Bush. He also funds groups advocating various progressive and liberal causes, which Beck and other conservatives oppose.
Hertzberg objected that Beck mentioned of these points, but instead focused on how George Soros was trying to subvert the United States for his own greed and power. Hertzberg points out that echoes antisemitic charges. Hertzberg ends his article by pointing his finger at the men in charge of Fox News, Ruppert Murdoch and Roger Ailes, as the real culprits.