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  1. #1
    Terminator's Avatar
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    Facts show reporters give more to democrats than republicans...duh, really?

    BOSTON - A CNN reporter gave $500 to John Kerry's campaign the same month he was embedded with the U.S. Army in Iraq. An assistant managing editor at Forbes magazine not only sent $2,000 to Republicans, but also volunteers as a director of an ExxonMobil-funded group that questions global warming. A junior editor at Dow Jones Newswires gave $1,036 to the liberal group MoveOn.org and keeps a blog listing "people I don't like," starting with George Bush, Pat Robertson, the Christian Coalition, the NRA and corporate America ("these are the people who are really in charge").

    Whether you sample your news feed from ABC or CBS (or, yes, even NBC and MSNBC), whether you prefer Fox News Channel or National Public Radio, The Wall Street Journal or The New Yorker, some of the journalists feeding you are also feeding cash to politicians, parties or political action committees.

    MSNBC.com identified 144 journalists who made political contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign, according to the public records of the Federal Election Commission. Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 17 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties

    The donors include CNN's Guy Raz, now covering the Pentagon for NPR, who gave to Kerry the same month he was embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq; New Yorker war correspondent George Packer; a producer for Bill O'Reilly at Fox; MSNBC TV host Joe Scarborough; political writers at Vanity Fair; the editor of The Wall Street Journal's weekend section; local TV anchors in Washington, Minneapolis, Memphis and Wichita; the ethics columnist at The New York Times; and even MTV's former presidential campaign correspondent.

    ‘If someone had murdered Hitler ...’
    There's a longstanding tradition that journalists don't cheer in the press box. They have opinions, like anyone else, but they are expected to keep those opinions out of their work. Because appearing to be fair is part of being fair, most mainstream news organizations discourage marching for causes, displaying political bumper stickers or giving cash to candidates.

    Traditionally, many news organizations have applied the rules to only political reporters and editors. The ethic was summed up by Abe Rosenthal, the former New York Times editor, who is reported to have said, "I don't care if you sleep with elephants as long as you don't cover the circus."

    But with polls showing the public losing faith in the ability of journalists to give the news straight up, some major newspapers and TV networks are clamping down. They now prohibit all political activity — aside from voting — no matter whether the journalist covers baseball or proofreads the obituaries. The Times in 2003 banned all donations, with editors scouring the FEC records regularly to watch for in-house donors. In 2005, The Chicago Tribune made its policy absolute. CBS did the same last fall. And The Atlantic Monthly, where a senior editor gave $500 to the Democratic Party in 2004, says it is considering banning all donations. After MSNBC.com contacted Salon.com about donations by a reporter and a former executive editor, this week Salon banned donations for all its staff.

    What changed? First came the conservative outcry labeling the mainstream media as carrying a liberal bias. The growth of talk radio and cable slugfests gave voice to that claim. The Iraq war fueled distrust of the press from both sides. Finally, it became easier for the blogging public to look up the donors.

    As the policy at the Times puts it: "Given the ease of Internet access to public records of campaign contributors, any political giving by a Times staff member would carry a great risk of feeding a false impression that the paper is taking sides."

    But news organizations don't agree on where to draw the ethical line.

    Giving to candidates is allowed at Fox, Forbes, Time, The New Yorker, Reuters — and at Bloomberg News, whose editor in chief, Matthew Winkler, set the tone by giving to Al Gore in 2000. Bloomberg has nine campaign donors on the list; they're allowed to donate unless they cover politics directly.

    Donations and other political activity are strictly forbidden at The Washington Post, ABC, CBS, CNN and NPR.

    Politicking is discouraged, but there is some wiggle room, at Dow Jones, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report. (Compare policies here.)

    NBC, MSNBC and MSNBC.com say they don't discourage or encourage campaign contributions, but they require employees to report any potential conflicts of interest in advance and receive permission of the senior editor. (MSNBC.com is a joint venture of NBC Universal and Microsoft; its employees are required to adhere to NBC News policies regarding political contributions.)

    Many of the donating journalists cover topics far from politics: food, fashion, sports. Some touch on politics from time to time: Even a film critic has to review Gore's documentary on global warming. And some donors wield quiet influence behind the scenes, such as the wire editors at newspapers in Honolulu and Riverside, Calif., who decide which state, national and international news to publish.

    The pattern of donations, with nearly nine out of 10 giving to Democratic candidates and causes, appears to confirm a leftward tilt in newsrooms — at least among the donors, who are a tiny fraction of the roughly 100,000 staffers in newsrooms across the nation.

    The donors said they try to be fair in reporting and editing the news. One of the recurring themes in the responses is that it's better for journalists to be transparent about their beliefs, and that editors who insist on manufacturing an appearance of impartiality are being deceptive to a public that already knows journalists aren't without biases.

    "Our writers are citizens, and they're free to do what they want to do," said New Yorker editor David Remnick, who has 10 political donors at his magazine. "If what they write is fair, and they respond to editing and counter-arguments with an open mind, that to me is the way we work."

    The openness didn't extend, however, to telling the public about the donations. Apparently none of the journalists disclosed the donations to readers, viewers or listeners. Few told their bosses, either.

    Several of the donating journalists said they had no regrets, whatever the ethical concerns.

    "Probably there should be a rule against it," said New Yorker writer Mark Singer, who wrote the magazine's profile of Howard Dean during the 2004 campaign, then gave $250 to America Coming Together and its get-out-the-vote campaign to defeat President Bush. "But there's a rule against murder. If someone had murdered Hitler — a journalist interviewing him had murdered him — the world would be a better place. I only feel good, as a citizen, about getting rid of George Bush, who has been the most destructive president in my lifetime. I certainly don't regret it."

    Conservative-leaning journalists tended to greater generosity. Ann Stewart Banker, a producer for Bill O'Reilly at Fox News Channel, gave $5,000 to Republicans. Financial columnist Liz Peek at The New York Sun gave $90,000 to the Grand Old Party.

    A few journalists let their enthusiasm extend beyond the checkbook. A Fox TV reporter in Omaha, Calvert Collins, posted a photo on Facebook.com with her cozying up to a Democratic candidate for Congress. She urged her friends, "Vote for him Tuesday, Nov. 7!" She also gave him $500. She said she was just trying to build rapport with the candidates. (And what builds rapport more effectively than $500 and a strapless gown?)

    'You call that a campaign contribution?'
    Sometimes a donation isn't a donation, at least in the eye of the donor.

    "I don't make campaign contributions," said Jean A. Briggs, who gave a total of $2,000 to the Republican Party and Republican candidates, most recently this March. "I'm the assistant managing editor of Forbes magazine."

    When asked about the Republican National Committee donations, she replied, "You call that a campaign contribution? It's not putting money into anyone's campaign."

    (For the record: The RNC gave $25 million to the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004.)

    A spokeswoman for Forbes said the magazine allows contributions.

    Briggs also is listed as a board member of the Property and Environment Research Center, which advocates "market solutions to environmental problems." PERC has received funding from ExxonMobil, and tries to get the industry's views into textbooks and the media. The organization's Web site says, "She exposes fellow New York journalists to PERC ideas and also brings a journalistic perspective to PERC's board. As a board member, she seeks to help spread the word about PERC's thorough research and fresh ideas."

    Americans don't trust the news or newspeople as much as they used to. The crisis of faith is traced by the surveys of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. More than seven in 10 (72 percent) say news organizations tend to favor one side, the highest level of skepticism in the poll's 20-year history. Despite the popularity of Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olbermann, two-thirds of those polled say they prefer to get news from sources without a particular point of view.

  2. #2
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    In a related story, journalists are still slimeballs.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

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    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  3. #3
    BEB
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post
    In a related story, journalists are still slimeballs.
    Jounalist in name only for most of the current lot. It'd be nice to think this exposure would lead to...oh hell, I can't even finish typing it without

  4. #4
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BEB View Post
    Jounalist in name only for most of the current lot. It'd be nice to think this exposure would lead to...oh hell, I can't even finish typing it without
    Ok ok ok.

    The MAJORITY of journalists.....vast majority...
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  5. #5
    BEB
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    I wasn't trying to correct you! The state of journalism is pathetic at this point in history. Even the ones with biased views which match my own.

  6. #6
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    I really have to laugh at the talk show hosts that act surprised when they bring this up. They must never read any newspapers or listen to any news broadcasts!!! What a bunch of morons.

 

 

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