I suspect that the ratio in Canada is virtually 100%. And that’s not including the liberal-left’s Toronto Star or the state-run CBC. Yes that makes for some funky math. Think about it.
The excuses, some of which I’ve pasted below, are hilarious. Such as one who declared her failure to publicly reveal that she supports left-wing causes despite working for a Catholic newspaper whose motto is “the independent newsweekly” included this revealing and very pregnant gem: she said her policy is more honest than the “hypocrisy” of reporters who hold positions but don’t back them up with donations. Seriously.
Journalists dole out cash to politicians (quietly)
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.
Some of the excuses
recorded by the reporter and his notes were hilarious, like those regarding this Democratic Party-supporting “journalist”:
(D) = Democrat):
(D) ABC News, Mary Fulginiti, “Primetime” correspondent, Hollywood, Calif., $500 to Gov. Bill Richardson, Democratic presidential candidate, 2007. Before she joined ABC in November 2006, lawyer Fulginiti gave $6,000 to Democratic candidates.
ABC forbids political activity by journalists.
“A friend asked me to contribute” to Richardson, Fulginiti said. “This is not a reflection of my political views. Look, I’ve made a mistake here. I’m a legal analyst — this is all new to me. I have been politically active in the past. This is when I was just starting out at ABC. I was still thinking as a lawyer.”
And this Democratic Party-supporting “journalist”:
(D) ABC affiliate in Wichita, Susan Peters, anchor, $600 to America Coming Together in two donations in 2004 and 2005. She anchors the news at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. America Coming Together funded get-out-the-vote drives to defeat President Bush in 2004.
Peters didn’t return calls.
KAKE news director David Grant said, “To be honest, I don’t have an answer for you. Can I get back to you?” He didn’t call back.
The story goes on…
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.”
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?)
Here’s some more excuses:
(D) Reuters, Michael Erman, reporter, $250 to the Democratic National Committee in March 2004.
Erman covers oil and energy companies and issues. He wrote recently about corporate funding of skeptics of global warming. He declined to answer questions, referring the call to the public relations person, who said Reuters allows journalists to make “personal contributions.”
And this one:
(D) Dow Jones Newswires, Billy Mallard, credit markets editor, $200 to MoveOn.org in October 2006.
“I actually was aware of the restriction on partisan political contributions in the Dow Jones Code of Conduct before I made the contribution but thought MoveOn.org was OK because it wasn’t the Republican Party or Democratic Party,” Mallard said. “Once this surfaced last week, I spoke with my editors and agreed that this is a partisan group. Therefore I should not have sent a contribution and have asked for my contribution to be returned.”
And this one is funny:
(D) Dow Jones Newswires, Samuel J. Favate Jr., editor, $1,036 total in August and October 2004 to America Coming Together, which ran get-out-the-vote efforts to defeat President Bush.
Favate didn’t reply to messages. These donations may have been ticket purchases to the “Vote for Change” concerts.
On his personal blog, Favate rails against the Iraq war, for gun control, for a tax audit of Christian psychologist James Dobson, etc.
An older blog, still online until recently, lists Favate’s “people I don’t like”: George Bush, Pat Robertson and the Christian Coalition, Donald Rumsfeld, the Republican Party, John Ashcroft, Bill Frist, Dennis Hastert, Tom DeLay, Ann Coulter, the f—-ing NRA, corporate America (“these are the people who are really in charge”), Clear Channel, Halliburton, Cablevision, and Wal-Mart. “You can be sure that I will be adding to this list from time to time, so try not to piss me off.”
After MSNBC.com left a message asking about the blogs, his name disappeared from the current blog and the older one went dark, though you can see a copy.
Dow Jones spokesman Howard Hoffman said, “No, we don’t have a blog policy, and we’re not overly concerned about what Sam did or didn’t do on his blog exercising his free speech rights.”
This guy stuck his hands up:
(D) Muskegon, Mich., Chronicle, Terry Judd, reporter and chief of the newspaper’s Grand Haven bureau, $1,900 to the Democratic National Committee in six contributions from 2004 through 2006; and $2,000 to John Kerry in March 2004.
“You caught me,” Judd said. “I guess I was just doing it on the side.”
Considering the fact that the subjects are reporters or news people generally, a shocking (not) number of them simply replied to the questions with “no comment” or not answering their phone or returning messages or by simply ignoring the questions being asked by the tattle-teller reporter. Read more of the excuses here—fun reading!.
Just in case you didn’t know, I’ve contributed to the Conservative Party, and I’m conservative. I’m totally biased. And unlike the state-run CBC and nearly all other Canadian media, I don’t pretend I’m not. Have a nice day.
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