Breaking Points' Billionaire Funding Ties / The Story Behind #BreakingPoints & Max Alvarez
Since Breaking Points with co-hosts Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti announced expansion plans during their anniversary stream on May 30, we started investigating the hosts & their funders
In our last article, we investigated the link and funding sources behind the hosts of Breaking Points and satellite affiliates The Realignment Podcast, The Intercept and BIG by Matt Stoller.
As detailed prior, the hosts of Breaking Points & some of their mentioned affiliates have ties in previous (or current) roles to either The Hudson Institute (They fund Marshall Kosloff & Saagar Enjeti’s Realignment Podcast), Pierre Omidyar (The Intercept), Reid Hoffman (Krystal Ball), AIPAC (David Sirota) or other conservative, pro-war, historically anti-China DC Think Tanks funded by big business like The Hoover Institute & The Lincoln Network (also Marshall). Video below produced by Joe.
Krystal and Saagar position the show as user-funded and “independent,” but that’s not exactly true - when much of the source of the hosts’ wealth & income (which helped or helps fund the show) comes directly from orgs connected to either the Military Industrial Complex or billionaires trying to buy the neo-liberal political landscape who partner with other billionaires’ philanthropic tax write-offs to finance “independent” media.
It’s not terribly surprising to find Saagar and Marshall’s foreign policy positions, which align with the neo-conservative think tanks funding them, seeping into the Breaking Points coverage. Krystal may rail against the Democrats’ corruption, but offers no alternative solutions (i.e. direct action, mutual aid, pulling support & funding for Democratic candidates in favor of independents & 3rd parties) - which results in shepherding people back toward the Democrats, a corporate-controlled entity where citizens have little influence over policy. Viewers need to keep this in mind when watching, to determine for themselves how biased a segment may be towards a certain perspective and why the hosts are supporting or arguing against it.
Krystal Ball & Reid Hoffman Ties (Follow Up)
In the last article, we discussed briefly about Krystal’s scam of a PAC, the People’s House Project. We showed, from FEC filings, how the PAC was used quite literally to fund her own salary. She has never explained what happened there, or why only 3% of the money raised went to actual candidates running for office. The People’s House Project was funded directly through Reid Hoffman, a notorious Russiagater, anti-Trumper and former member of board of directors at PayPal. This in-depth interview with Hoffman in 2012 reveals how his enormous wealth helped him grow a savior complex.
‘A small number of humans have virtually no constraints on their decision-making, and Reid is one of them. When Reid chose to fly to Las Vegas and speak at this event, the list of things he chose not to do with that time was very, very long.
Often, Reid wrestled with these tradeoffs. Author E.B. White once captured the essence of why. “I wake up in the morning unsure of whether I want to savor the world or save the world,” White said, “This makes it hard to plan the day.”’ … “what he really wants to do is save. He wants to use his talent and network and money to change the world for the better and solve some of humanity’s biggest problems.”
-10,000 Hours with Reid Hoffman: What I Learned by Ben Casnocha
So far in 2022, Hoffman has been donating across the political spectrum of Congress. He’s donated to conservative Democrats like Abby Spanberger & Tim Kaine, Congressional Progressive Caucus members like Katie Porter & Mike Levin, but also suspiciously a $2900 maxed-out donation to Liz Cheney for Congress - on February 24, 2022. Apparently, the anti-Trump sentiment is enough to cross party lines for Reid’s wallet.
Just prior to publishing, Wired magazine published this piece on Reid Hoffman, retweeted by reporter Whitney Webb of Unlimited Hangout:
Pierre Omidyar, The Intercept
Pierre Omidyar, founder of The Intercept & billionaire financier & philanthroper, served as Reid Hoffman’s boss while Hoffman was EVP at Paypal.
“In 1998, Hoffman joined PayPal as a member of the Board of Directors at the founding of the company and became Executive Vice President from 2000 – 2002. He was responsible for all external relationships of PayPal.” - TechTycoons.com
Omidyar & Hoffman are both members of a club known as (“The Paypal Mafia”), which also includes, most famously, Elon Musk (Tesla, SpaceX, Tesla) and Peter Thiel (Facebook, Palantir, Rumble). Members of this group are, and have been, highly influential in determining how media today is presented and consumed, how narratives are crafted and delivered, as well as hiring the executives to craft them.
Just last month, Alan MacLeod wrote this incredibly long and in-depth piece for Mint Press News detailing Omidyar’s media influnces: HOW ONE OF AMERICA’S PREMIER DATA MONARCHS IS FUNDING A GLOBAL INFORMATION WAR AND SHAPING THE MEDIA LANDSCAPE.
As recently as 2017, Omidyar & Hoffman partnered to create the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund, each contributing $10M - they are, and have been, intricately connected in shaping the technology world together for decades.
We’re including this section from our prior article, as it’s relevant here to further evidence Omidyar’s influence in media and more over world affairs:
Journalist Mark Ames reported on leaked documents that show Pierre Omidyar funded the 2014 Maidan coup in Ukraine, along with western governments. In a separate 2019 lengthy investigation into Omidyar, Alex Rubinstein of Mint Press News reported that Omidyar uses his wealth to advance Washington’s policy of regime change and has partnered with C.I.A. cutouts such as USAID and the NED (which fund “independent” media outlets like Bellingcat). Blumenthal and Rubinstein wrote:
Behind the image he has cultivated of himself as a “progressive philanthropreneur,” Omidyar has wielded his media empire to advance the Washington consensus in strategic hotspots around the globe. His fortune helped found an outlet to propel a destabilizing coup in Ukraine; he’s helped establish a network of oppositional youth activists and bloggers in Zimbabwe; and in the Philippines he has invested in an oppositional news site that is honing corporate surveillance techniques like a “mood meter…to capture non-rational reactions.” Meanwhile, he has partnered closely with the leading arms of U.S. soft power, from the U.S. Agency for International Aid and Development (USAID) to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) — acting as a conduit for information warfare-style projects in countries around the world.
Since they announced their intent to expand their “affiliates” during their May 30th anniversary show, some interesting things have happened.
You can read Max’s full statement about it below, but basically he’s getting paid as a freelancer, on a per-video/segment produced, to cover a topic that Krystal and Saagar don’t have expertise in - labor. It was certainly presented as more of a relationship, as you see in this tweet:
We reached out to Max directly for a statement on his affiliation with Breaking Points - here it is.
“My statement is basically an extension of this tweet:
I think it's perfectly reasonable for folks to have questions about this and I've been nothing but open with all who ask me about it.
I was approached by Breaking Points in April and asked if I would be interested in writing/hosting a labor-focused segment every 2-3 weeks that would air on the BP YouTube channel. I would basically be a freelance correspondent and get paid $300 per video. If a video went viral and could be monetized, I would get a small percentage of that on top of the $300, but with worker- and labor-focused videos that hardly ever happens. That really is the extent of the partnership.
I write all the scripts after work hours and none of TRNN's resources go into producing the BP segments. TRNN is and will remain an independent, viewer-supported, nonprofit news network. BP does not get to publish any of our video/audio/text content, we don't get to publish any of theirs; they get no money from us, we get none from them (the payment for each segment goes to me as the freelancer).
It was agreed that I would be able to highlight clips from TRNN reports, with accompanying TRNN branding, in my segments if I so wished, but those clips would be integrated into a segment independently produced and published by the BP team. I said yes because it was an opportunity to highlight the reporting we do at The Real News and to help the worker stories we spend so much time and effort on reach a broader audience. (For all the time, effort, and resources we pour into our labor coverage every week at TRNN, getting people to watch, listen to, read, and support that reporting is a neverending struggle, and we—specifically, me—are not serving the workers who entrust us with their stories if we are not doing everything we can to make sure people actually see them.)
Before making any decision, I consulted with the TRNN staff and we came to a democratic consensus that me doing this segment for BP, under the terms of this agreement, was worthwhile and would not compromise TRNN's independence or editorial mission.
So far, I have produced 3 segments of "The Art of Class War" for the BP channel:
Hope that clarifies things! Thanks a bunch,
We find it interesting that TRNN and Max (and possibly others) were unaware they were going to be mentioned in this way on this stream.
Future articles will focus on the Affiliates within Breaking Points’ network of freelancers & partners.
More Coverage from Indie News Network members about this story, all linked below:
Indie visited with Franco from Franc Analysis to discuss the 1st part of the story
Indie and BigMadCrab appeared on The Political Matrix with Marcus Cage
Current Indie News Network Active Content Creator Roster of Independent Channels, Shows, Podcasts & Substacks:
Indie Left, Independent Left Media & American Tradition
yeah those assholes had no business doing it the way they did they just wanted to make it look like they were now tied to these other tried and true news outlets. I take it very personal when anyone goes after TRNN. They have their faults but they are for sure the most honest and integral out there. I get why Max is freelancing for other outlets. I mean trnn is a nonprofit the don't pay that well. but damn ya know.. damn.
thank you. I still find it lame to list who the freelancers work for, as they don't take the non profit they work with them when they do freelance work for other people