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Aug 1, 2018

Russia, as we all know, has sinister “oligarchs” whereas in the United States, we are told, we have “philanthropists,” “job creators,” and “titans of industry” who earn their wealth through hard work, moxie, and guile. Aside from a few cartoonishly evil billionaires – like the Walton family, Peter Thiel, and the Koch brothers – the average American has a warm and fuzzy feeling about the super wealthy.

The most notable of these Benevolent Billionaires is Bill Gates, whose foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, operates the largest overseas “nonprofit” regime in the world, worth over 40 billion dollars–– twice that of the next biggest foundation. The Gates Foundation receives almost uniformly softball coverage from the media, many of whom receive funding from Gates through various investment and donor arrangements, both from his personal coffers and the foundation that bears his name.

In Part II of this two-part episode, we ask how the media is - or isn't - holding Gates accountable for his deeply ideological, often opaque efforts in sub-Saharan Africa.

We are joined by Mariam Mayet, executive director of the African Centre for Biodiversity.