You may have read financial reporting by the Washington Post and wondered why so many reporters seem to follow in lockstep to the cut-and-gut everything mantras of partisan conservative Peter Peterson’s Americans for Prosperity. Peterson was also founder of The Blakstone Group private equity firm. Here’s some background on Peterson. If you watched the reporting on the brinksmanship over possible GOP-forced default on the nation’s debt in 2011, the debt reduction commission deadlock, and the budget fight, you probably wondered. Wondered that is unless you remembered this. These articles just spouting the Pete Peterson conservative draconian claptrap as if it were dogma.
Over the past couple of years, there appeared in WAPO unfamiliar bylines. With the exception of when the usually outnumbered columnists and op-writers addressed issues of the economy, more and more the financial pages of the Washington Post began to align with partisan Republican sources. It it not that the stories were ever liberal. But they weren’t so consistently slanted.
We all know this has occurred with respect to most WAPO foreign policy stories. There’s a reason we nicknamed the once great newspaper the Penta-Post. There’s a reason for the financial reporting metamorphosis, as I describe below the fold. And it should concern you if you ever use WAPO as a source.
Fair.org reported in 2010 that the Washington Post and Fiscal Times (Pete Peterson’s for-profit “news” company) entered into a “content sharing” arrangement. In other words, the stories are ghost written. WAPO isn’t alone. Numerous print and online media content items are offshored to writers around the world.
Peterson’s kill Social security and Medicare mania have infected not only “news” sources but also academic sites like Columbia Journalism Review. Worse, it has infested ProPublica, the supposed new beacon of media investigation, to which I say to ProPublica: Heal thyself. Said Fair.org:
Peterson’s foundation has also directed money to ProPublica, the nonprofit investigative reporting outfit, and WorldFocus, a PBS international news program that recently ended. According to the New York Times (2/4/09), “the foundation expected Worldfocus to produce reports examining how other countries have dealt with the challenges facing the United States, like healthcare and Social Security reform.”
Even the Columbia Journalism Review (1/25/10) now boasts a Peterson fellow “covering news media coverage of economic and fiscal policy” in order to, among other things, “encourage the press to explore the national debate over the federal budget, the national debt, entitlement programs and taxes.”
I’ve repeatedly mentioned here on the pages of BV the same problem with respect to NPR.
Buried within an article from Simon Rosenberg’s Blog at Huffington Post is the answer. Financial reporting at the Washington Post ha been subcontracted to a firm owned by Peter Peterson. This staggering sell-out to a partisan, conservative is just one more example of how the entire information system in the US has been hijacked by those motivated to deceive Americans. Worse, by design the reporting is designed to force Americans to embrace the draconian cuts Paul Ryan and the House Republicans are pushing.