To the casual observer, it would seem as though there has been a dramatic increase in “hate crimes” since President Donald Trump took office. But a new report alleges there’s more to this than meets the eye.
According to an exclusive report from the Washington Free Beacon, more than 100 media outlets used in their reports a secretive and admittedly “unverified” database of “hate crimes” that was initially funded by progressive billionaire George Soros and his Open Societies Foundations.
Soros funds “hate crime” database
Soros bankrolled the creation of the project, known as “Documenting Hate,” in the aftermath of President Trump’s election. The project provides a database of self-reported and unverified “hate crimes” that is used by the group’s media partners, which include ABC News and The New York Times opinion section.
The New York Times also lauded the project in a 2017 editorial.
“The partners include organizations you’d think of as legitimate-but-liberal news outlets—the Los Angeles Times, PBS and ABC News. But they partner with blatantly left-wing outlets with little credibility like The Root, TPM, and Vox,” said Dan Gainor, vice president for Business and Culture at the Media Research Center. “They actually partner with far-left Splinter, which doxed White House aide Stephen Miller by posting his cell phone number so readers could harass him. AJ Plus is another partner. It’s owned by Al Jazeera, the state-run propaganda site from Qatar.”
Getting it off the ground
The database was first created by journalism nonprofit ProPublica in 2017. Soros’ Foundation to Promote Open Society gave an initial contribution of $200,000, and later donated another $375,000 to help maintain and expand the nascent database, according to the foundation’s 2017 tax returns.
Soros’ foundation made yet another contribution of $200,000 in 2018, prior to Google taking over as the primary funder of the project.
Those contributions were all confirmed by the Free Beacon in a phone interview with the president of ProPublica, Richard Tofel. Tofel also said that the database was not intended to compile statistical data about actual hate crimes, but was instead focused on “soliciting people’s stories” from self-reported claims of victimization.
The database also lists news tips from left-leaning organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the American Defamation League, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Human Rights Campaign, and the LGBT-focused Matthew Shepard Foundation, among others.
Fake News wins again
Tofel went on to say that the stories submitted to the database are not verified by his organization; they instead rely on their 100+ media partners to verify the claims themselves when used as the basis for their various articles.
“If you solicit people telling individual stories this widely, some of the things people report will be true, some of them won’t — a few of them won’t,” Tofel said. “Part of the job of any good journalist is to verify things before publishing,.”
But it seems far too many media outlets don’t take the time to verify their reports, as was proven earlier this year when the media ran with a later discredited, highly controversial story about Empire actor Jussie Smollett.
“A great many hate crime stories turn out to be hoaxes,” wrote Kentucky State University assistant professor of political science Wilfred Reilly in USA Today. “Simply looking at what happened to the most widely reported hate crime stories over the past 4-5 years illustrates this: not only the Smollett case but also the Yasmin Seweid, Air Force Academy, Eastern Michigan, Wisconsin-Parkside, Kean College, Covington Catholic, and ‘Hopewell Baptist burning’ racial scandals all turned out to be fakes. And, these cases are not isolated outliers.”
And this database isn’t helping matters. Fake News continues to thrive.