A new report from Axios revealed that the conservative Heritage Foundation rejected six-figure donations from Google and Facebook before last year’s election.
Out-going Heritage president Kay Coles James, who was sharply criticized for supporting last year’s pro-Marxist Black Lives Matter protests, stood firm in her opposition to Big Tech firms.
James denounced the companies “as partisan censors eager to suppress speech with which you disagree” and as “gatekeepers to content” in similarly worded letters to Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
“We cannot in good conscience take money from a company that repeatedly and blatantly suppresses conservative speech on your platforms,” she wrote.
James said the Heritage Foundation returned a $150,000 donation from Facebook and would not accept a $225,000 offer from Google.
She said the Heritage Foundation tried to “address legitimate complaints about bias against conservatives,” but that the think tank’s efforts had “borne no fruit” and were “pointless.”
In the letter to Facebook, James expressed outrage at the company’s “recklessly partisan decision” to censor “a major article published by the one of the nation’s oldest newspapers simply because it posed a risk to Joe Biden’s candidacy.”
The reference was to the New York Post‘s bombshell report on Hunter Biden‘s illicit business dealings, as well as other ethically compromising information recovered from his abandoned laptop.
Some of it implicated then-candidate Joe Biden, whom Hunter referred to as “the big guy” in emails discussing profit-sharing arrangements with Chinese companies while his father was serving as vice president.
Mainstream and social media companies colluded to censor the story’s distribution by calling it “disinformation,” the Post later reported.
On Monday, both James and Executive Vice President Kim Holmes announced their resignations from the Heritage Foundation, saying the once-prominent think tank lacked direction and grassroots support in the post-Trump era, according to the Washington Times.
In the immediate aftermath of George Floyd‘s death last May—which triggered months of destructive and deadly race riots—James, who is black, expressed solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and accused America of systemic racism.
“[T]he issue of racism is America’s Achilles’ heel. It has been embedded into our culture for 400 years, since the first Africans were seized from their homes on the other side of the world and brought to colonial America in chains and enslaved” she wrote in an op-ed on Fox News.
“The racism experienced by black Americans is not a political issue and to anyone who tries to use it as one, on the left or the right, I say shame on you,” she continued. “No longer should our communities be pieces in a grand chess game.”