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Retro-astroturf
Posted by: Jon Henke on Tuesday, March 22, 2005

In December of 2003, Nicholas Confessore wrote a very controversial article in WashingtonMonthly alleging  "influence-peddling"....

[TCS Founder] James Glassman and TCS have given birth to something quite new in Washington: journo-lobbying. It's an innovation driven primarily by the influence industry. Lobbying firms that once specialized in gaining person-to-person access to key decision-makers have branched out. The new game is to dominate the entire intellectual environment in which officials make policy decisions, which means funding everything from think tanks to issue ads to phony grassroots pressure groups. But the institution that most affects the intellectual atmosphere in Washington, the media, has also proven the hardest for K Street to influence—until now.

This month, Ryan Sager brought to light the enormous fraud perpetrated on the American public in the form of campaign finance reform.   Among other things, we learned that...

...the liberal magazine The American Prospect put out a special issue devoted to campaign-finance reform. With incredible hypocrisy, the magazine failed to tell its readers that the "Checkbook Democracy" issue was paid for with a $132,000 check from the Carnegie Corporation — which, again, has spent $14 million promoting the regulation of political speech in the last decade.

Here are two interesting facts: 

 

Three years prior to claiming that "James Glassman and TCS [had] given birth to something quite new in Washington: journo-lobbying", Nicholas Confessore had already been engaging in journo-lobbying...a fact he neglected to mention in his WashingtonMonthly piece.

UPDATE:  The Washington Times weighs in...

... Mr. Treglia explained how he operated. "The strategy was designed not to hide Pew's involvement," he said, "but most of Pew's funding." To accomplish that goal, "I always encouraged the grantees never to mention Pew," whose tactics were evidently copied by the others. Sure enough, the American Prospect neglected to mention a $132,000 payment from the Carnegie Corp., which financed the magazine's special issue, "Checkbook Democracy," which focused on campaign-finance reform.

Interestingly, TAP also said they decided to make a disclosure of funding after the Checkbook Democracy edition.  Which means 1) they gave every bit as much disclosure of their funding as did TechCentralStation.com, and 2) they continued to "astroturf" during Mr Confessore's tenure at TAP.  Yet, strangely, he couldn't recall this when he wrote his WashingtonMonthly piece.

 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Wow.
And furthermore, wow.
Maybe we should be worrying about getting the money out of journalism, not politics.


 
Written By: MaxedOutMama
URL: http://maxedoutmama.blogspot.com
This just makes me laugh and laugh and laugh.
 
Written By: Matt McIntosh
URL: http://godco.net/matt/verisimilitude/

Well, yeah ...

 but in his defense,  Nick was doing the good kind of journo-lobbying, TAP-kind, not the  evil  TCS-kind.

 

 

 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://www.qando.net
The problem with hypocrites is that all to often they are unaware of their own hypocrisy.


 
Written By: Matthew Crandall
URL: http://mattcrandall.com/blog/current
I thought we did get money out of journalism, isn’t that called blogging?
 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://www.qando.net
I thought we did get money out of journalism, isn’t that called blogging?
 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://www.qando.net

Um, Ben DC, please be more concise in the future, please.

 

 
Written By: BrevityIsTheSoulOfWit
URL: http://www.qando.net
But it doesn’t count if the reporter is a liberal!  It only matters if he isn’t.  Liberals can do no wrong.  They have been saved, don’t you know!!
 
Written By: rhomp2002
URL: http://www.qando.net
Ben, please report to Nurse Ratchet.  It’s time for your meds.
 
Written By: Some Guy
URL: http://

 
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