Is Microsoft part of the "vast right wing conspiracy"?

See excerpt from News.Com article below (part of a larger report on a controversial “study” attacking the originality of Linux):

“Microsoft indeed has provided funding to the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution for five years, a Microsoft representative said, without disclosing how much has been granted. Microsoft funds several public policy institutes, including the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Heritage Foundation, and the Cato Institute, the representative said.”

Source: http://news.com.com/2100-7344_3-5216651.html

Interesting list of institutions, eh?

Not to mention that the tactic Microsoft is accused of using in this article, funding an allegedly “objective” study by an “academic” institution (which just happens to serve the interests of the institution’s funders) is remarkably similar to that taken by the ultra-right think tanks who’ve been at the forefront of funding these same institutions.

I wonder how much of their monopoly rents from the Windows OS and Office have been poured into these institutions? Another reason to dislike Microsoft, I guess (if there were not already more than enough)… not to mention kind of scary: MS could drop a billion (about how much the entire VWR has lavished on their favored “think tanks” over the last decade) on these twits without even blinking.

Hmm… a search of Media Transparency for Microsoft produces this pointer to the Alexis De Toqueville Institution, which cites a paper by this same individual (Kenneth Brown) from the year 2000.

Guess what’s next for Mr. Brown? A book on the same subject… if history is any guide, it will be heavily subsidized by the institutions whose interests it serves… and its author won’t suffer financially, either. These “academics” never do – I joke with my friends that both the right and the left pay their professional activists a living wage. It’s just that the left defines this as $14.00/hour with no benefits, and the right, $120,000 a year with all the perks you can imagine. :/

I think I’ll write Media Transparency an email suggesting that they add MS to the list of institutions whose donations they track.

Thomas Leavitt