The Bilderberg Group’s media men
Dylan Byers, Politico, May 21 2012
My colleague Ken Vogel reports today on the Bilderberg Group, a highly exclusive gathering of “100 and 150 titans of politics, finance, military, industry, academia and media” who gather once a year to discuss world affairs and stoke the coals of conspiracy theorists. Among the guests: WaPo chairman Don Graham and new New Republic owner Chris Hughes. Per Vogel:
The WaPo and its chairman Don Graham, a frequent attendee, have donated $100,000 over the past few years, according to tax filings. They also show repeat donations from Bilderberg regulars such as David Rockefeller (who has given a total of $150,000 since 2004), Henry Kissinger ($90,000) and mega-Romney donor Henry Kravis and his wife ($145,000). Over the years, the meetings have drawn Obama cabinet members Tim Geithner and Kathleen Sebelius, not to mention Margaret Thatcher, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, King Juan Carlos of Spain, Tony Blair, Condoleezza Rice, Rick Perry and top officials from BP, Barclays and the Bank of England. More recent guest lists have been heavy on politically active techies, including Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, both of whom have assisted Obama, and Peter Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and was the first major investor in Facebook.
Quite the motley crew. This year’s gathering takes place in Northern Virginia. Vogel’s full report here. Vogel emails with more mediaites on the Bildergberg roster: CBS’s Charlie Rose, The Economist’s John Micklethwait, and Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria. Zakaria declined to respond to emails from Vogel, but he did address the conspiracy theorists’ concerns in a 2011 blog post. Zakaria wrote:
If only the people who wrote the alarmist treatises on the Bilderberg Group were allowed in. They would be so utterly disappointed. On the few occasions in my life when I’ve been inside centers of the conspiracy, I’ve been disappointed and relieved to find they were pretty much like the world on the outside. It’s just a conference like dozens of others around the world. The idea that a finance minister or a banker would say something with a group of 150 people that is any different than what he would say in public is crazy in today’s world where everything leaks instantly.