The Atlantic, a publication heavily favored by neoliberals, neoconservatives, and other members of America’s elite political and corporate class, is having its annual festival underwritten by some of the nation’s leading corporations.
The festival, conducted entirely online due to coronavirus fears, features a range of establishment icons in its speaker lineup.
The Atlantic’s audience will get to hear from CDC director Rochelle Walensky, NIAID director Anthony Fauci, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, neoconservative favorite Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), far-left actress Rosario Dawson, and numerous other left-wing and establishment figures. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, adjusts a face mask during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response on Capitol Hill on March 18, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images) Sen. Ben Sasse on Capitol Hill, October 31, 2017.
The Atlantic, which once positioned itself as a centrist publication, swung to the far end of Never Trump lunacy over the past five years, with its move to the left accelerating under the ownership of Steve Jobs’ widow, multi-billionaire Laurene Powell Jobs. SAN FRANCISCO, CA – SEPTEMBER 20: Emerson Collective Founder and President Laurene Powell Jobs speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017 at Pier 48 on September 20, 2017 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch) As Alex Marlow noted in his new book Breaking the News, Powell Jobs has used her vast wealth to extend her political influence, to the extent that she now rivals George Soros as a funder of progressive causes. From Breaking the News: A good share of Laurene Powell Jobs’s power is through the Emerson Collective (EC), which she founded; she currently serves as its president.
The Emerson Collective, according to Forbes, is “a hybrid philanthropic and investing limited liability company.” That’s a pretty murky description (which is probably the point), but it seems like the EC has devised a clever and convenient structure where they can claim they are “investing” when the business has a chance to succeed and they are doing “philanthropy” when they fund entities for purely ideological reasons with little or no hope of making money. I’m not sure which of the two categories it falls under, but the Emerson Collective owns the Atlantic.
The Emerson Collective funds Democratic causes that most nonprofits wouldn’t be able to touch. For example, in 2016, EC gave $2.5 million to DNC super-PAC Priorities Action USA. Nonprofits are normally restricted from engaging in overt political activity, but EC’s unique structure has thus far kept them legally protected. EC also hosted a dozen DNC-aligned voter registration groups for a fund-raiser in 2020. Forbes lists Jobs as one of the ten richest women on earth, with a net worth of around $16 billion, mostly from her family stakes in two of the world’s biggest companies: Apple and Disney.
The revenue from a print magazine with a mediocre digital presence like the Atlantic in a given year probably isn’t enough to pay for the crew and annual maintenance on her yacht. So why does EC invest in this brand? It’s possibly because Laurene Powell Jobs has an agenda and sees sleekly packaged fake news as a way to advance it. Among the corporations underwriting the Atlantic’s festival are PayPal (which recently announced it will monitor the “far right’s” financial transactions and share the data with law enforcement and the far-left Anti-Defamation League), the Boston Consulting Group, Facebook, Ernst & Young, Genetech, US Bank, Allstate, Salesforce, and the MacArthur Foundation.
The festival will take place on September 22-24 and 27-30. Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.
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