George Soros is a multi-billionaire financier who is known for his remarkable success as a stock and currency trader. He is also an unapologetic liberal philanthropist and political activist, and he is a favorite target of the alt right and similar conservative movements. One of these attacks came in the form of a trio of television episodes created by conservative pundit and talk show host Glenn Beck. They aired on the Fox cable network in 2010.
Henddrick Hertzberg, senior editor for “The new Yorker” magazine, took strong exception to Beck’s portrayal of George Soros at the time. In an article titled “Puppetry,” Hertzberg takes Beck to task for misrepresenting material borrowed from an earlier “New Yorker” article written by Connie Bruck to imply Soros was a Nazi collaborator in occupied Hungary during World War II. Hertzberg also states that Beck deliberately painted a false picture of Soros for his conservative viewers.
What did Beck say that was so objectionable? He alleges that George Soros used faked documents to enable him to pass information about Jews to the Nazis. This strains credulity, given that Soros was all of 14 years old at the end of the war. The “fake documents” were forged identity papers obtained by the boy’s father and used to conceal the family’s Jewish heritage. In another response to Beck, published in “The Daily Beast,” Kati Marton points out that young George acted as a courier for the Jewish community. He carried messages and his father’s advice and warnings to could to evade and escape the Nazis.
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Following the war, George Soros left Hungary for England. He eventually graduated from the prestigious London School of Economics. In the early 1950s, he emigrated to the United State, where he settled in New York along with his parents. Soros soon displayed amazing talent as a securities and currency trader on Forbes. In 1992 he became a virtual legend by scoring a profit exceeding $1 billion in a single day by correctly anticipating the devaluation of the British pound. In 2010 he was ranked as the 35th wealthiest person in the world.
Beck’s portrayal of the adult Soros is as questionable as it is negative. He alleges that Soros is a greedy manipulator engaged in a project of globalist in the pursuit of more and more wealth. Soros, Beck claims, helped undermine governments by financing various uprisings, including the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, Rose Revolution in the country of Georgia and the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine. What Beck does not tell his viewers is that each of these uprisings was a peaceful movement aimed at removing the puppet communist regimes imposed by the Soviet Union. The reality is that Soros played an important role in ending Soviet rule and winning freedom for millions of people. Marton points out that his role was so pivotal that he is sometimes considered one of four people who brought down the U.S.S.R., along with Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. One can’t help but think that if Beck had told the whole story, his viewers would have ended up admiring George Soros, not despising him.
Learn more about George Soros: https://www.project-syndicate.org/columnist/george-soros