Avaaz rips the Washington Post for what it calls a “lazy hit piece” (“Dark money’ vs. corporate cash: Democratic rivals clash over funding“). Avaaz also says that the post represents “lazy, cynical, inaccurate reporting” which “belongs in Breitbart, and has no place in the Washington Post.” Ouch.
“Hi Everyone, I’m Avaaz’s Deputy Director Emma Ruby-Sachs and this article is a lazy hit piece. Here’s the real story:
Avaaz is 100% funded by small online donations. We don’t take money from governments, corporations, foundations, or large donors. We are funded by millions of small donations, averaging $16 each. As required by law to disclose, we had only 26 donors over $5000 in our last statement, and they averaged $7,500. So calling us “dark money” and implying we’re equivalent to corporate lobbyists is a stretch that only a cynical reporter looking for a cheap headline would make.
All Avaaz campaign decisions are made by our membership through polling. So when Tom Perriello announced his candidacy, we polled our US monthly donors, who give an average of $15 per month, about whether they would like part of their donation to go to the Perriello campaign. In a great endorsement of Tom, 71% said yes.
That’s it. No corruption, no dark money, just people-power at work, supporting a people-powered candidate. It’s an inspiring story, not a depressing one.
This reporter chooses to ignore all this evidence based on one fact, and that fact is wrong. He says that the donation occurred on Jan 5th, the same day that Perriello announced his campaign. So he implies we must be lying about polling our members. In fact, that donation occurred much later, on January 19th, after we had run the poll to our members. To be fair, the reporter was given bad information, but we would have challenged it had he called us before going to print. But he wanted his hit piece, and he wanted it now.
This kind of lazy, cynical, inaccurate reporting is a cancer on the trust and hope that is essential for healthy democracies. It belongs in Breitbart, and has no place in the Washington Post. We hope the Post editors will fully correct this piece, and caution the reporter on the standards of journalism they expect.