Kyle Becker | On 16, Sep 2013
The revolving door from left-wing activist news media to political positions in the Obama administration is direct and undeniable. The White House Press Secretary Jay Carney (pictured above), who ran Time‘s Washington Bureau, is perhaps the most visible example, but there are many others.
While there have been a few notable exceptions of a journalist for a major publication or network leaving a position to join a Republican administration (Geoff Morrell of ABC, noted but not counted, and the late Tony Snow of Fox News being two exceptions), there is no doubt that the Democrat Party is rewarding loyal “journalists” with taxpayer-funded positions in the government.
What to make of this abundantly obvious quid pro quo is up to the reader; but it is understandable from a journalist’s point-of-view that one might want to leave the tanking mainstream news media industry for a secure position in government. It is also understandable that one might want to leave a position in politics for a job in news media holding the government accountable – as long as one is transparent about his political views.
What is not understandable is feigning objectivity and centrism, while engaging in stealth activism (some might term it ‘propaganda’) on behalf of a major political party. It is duplicitous and deceitful; not to mention dangerous for the free flow of information from a secretive government that once boasted about becoming “the most transparent” in the nation’s history.
The Atlantic, far from a “right-wing” publication, documents those who have defected from “journalism” to work in government. It’s unclear whether these journalists should be applauded for coming out of the closet and showing some refreshing intellectual honesty, or should be shunned as propagandists posing as “objective” journalists and jettisoning their ethics as arbiters of facts in the interest of political perquisites.
Linda Douglass, whom people might remember as a spokesperson for Obamacare, was a former Congressional correspondent for CBS and ABC, as well as a writer/editor at National Journal. She was also a traveling press secretary for the Obama campaign.
Shailagh Murrau, also of the Washington Post, left to join the Obama administration as Vice President Biden’s communications director. Warren Bass. who was a Deputy Editor of the Washington Post’s Outlook section, is now a top official in the State Department.
The Washington Post’s Stephen Barr (picture unavailable) left his position as writer of the Federal Diary column to join the Labor Department as a top public affairs official.
Beverley Lumpkin was a former Justice Department reporter/producer for ABC and CBS and a reporter at the Associated Press. She left journalism to work for the Project on Government Oversight and joined the Department of Justice as a Public Affairs Official.
CNN’s Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson became a Press Secretary at the Department of Transportation.
Rick Weiss was a former Washington Post science reporter who joined the Center for American Progress. He is currently the communications director and senior policy strategist for the White House Office of Science and Technology.
Anesh Raman was an international/Middle East correspondent at CNN who left to send mass emails for the Obama re-election campaign. Kate Albright-Hanna was a producer at CNN who even proposed a video strategy for the Obama campaign while working at CNN, according to the Washington Post.
Eric Dash was a New York Times reporter before joining the Treasury Department’s public affairs division.
Desson Thomson was a film critic at the Washington Post before becoming a a speechwriter for Ambassador Louis Susman. Roberta Baskin was a CBS and JTLA reporter before becoming a senior communications adviser to the Department of Health and Human Services’ health-care fraud task force.
Former Boston Globe online politics editor is now a senior adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry, who was a Senator from Massachusetts.
Douglas Frantz, a Pulitzer Prize finalist and writer for the New York Times and LA Times, and was later a national security editor for the Washington Post, became an assistant secretary of state for public affairs earlier this month. MSNBC producer Anthony Reyes left to work for the U.S. Treasury’s public affairs/new media office.
Lest we all forget, this is an administration that has gone after adversarial journalists, like James Rosen of Fox News and various members of the Associated Press. And should it be any surprise that the Democrat Party seeks under the SHIELD bill to become the arbiter of who should have constitutional protections as a “journalist,” thereby repaying its mainstream news media allies for their loyalty and granting them information privileges unrecognized for citizen-journalists?
The Constitution under the First Amendment states that: “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” This right is irrefutable, indivisible, and non-negotiable.
Under the Democrat Party, the federal government has been engaging in an opportunistic buy-off of journalists in the mainstream press, whose positions have been compromised by the partisan practices in their struggling news industry to begin with. The taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for partisan journalists who give up their pretenses of objectivity to officially work on behalf of big government.