These are two items I found on the web today about my research into political donations by reporters and editors to Sen. John Kerry.
July 22, 2004
Party follows mane event; journalists leave paper trail
By Carol Beggy & Mark Shanahan
The latest issue of The New Yorker includes a mostly flattering piece on John Kerry.
But then that's no surprise, says Michael Petrelis. A Ralph Nader-boosting blogger, Petrelis has put together a list of journos who've given to one or another of the presidential candidates, and his findings are enlightening.
"The least we can expect from media is full disclosure about their policies on contributions, and informing when donations are made," said Petrelis.
In the case of The New Yorker, not only did senior editor Hendrik Hertzberg give to the Kerry campaign ($900), but so did many of the magazine's other marquee writers, including Tad Friend ($500), John Lahr ($500), Michael Shnayerson ($2,000), Roger Angell ($500), and David Denby ($1,250). (Philip Gourevitch, who wrote the Kerry piece, does not show up as a contributor.)
New Yorker spokeswoman Perri Dorset said yesterday the magazine prohibits reporters from contributing to the political campaigns they're covering.
Among local media, Chris Donnelly, a librarian at the Boston Herald, gave $3,200 to Kerry and various Democratic causes.
And, despite the newspaper's policy prohibiting staffers from contributing directly to political candidates, Boston Globe sports statistician Henry Riemer gave $1,700 to Howard Dean's campaign.
July 22, 2004
The Washington Times
by Greg Pierce
The San Francisco Chronicle has suspended the editor of its letters to the editor page after it was discovered that William G. Pates had given political donations to the presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry, as well as the campaigns of three local Democratic candidates.
Mr. Pates was put on paid leave last week. The Chronicle has a policy of prohibiting journalists from giving money to campaigns without consulting top editors, reports Grade the News, a journalism-watchdog publication at Stanford University. "The Chronicle policy is very clear that this would be out of bounds," said John Diaz, editorial-page editor of the Chronicle.
Political contributions by journalists have been highlighted in recent weeks by San Francisco AIDS activist Michael Petrelis, who runs his blog (http://mpetrelis.blogspot.com). Angered after the New York Times fired a freelancer because of the writer's previous AIDS activism, Mr. Petrelis began a campaign to expose political activism by other journalists.
Mr. Petrelis has discovered, for example, that Richard Braham of ABC News gave $1,500 to Democrat Howard Dean's presidential campaign, and that CNN commentator Bill Press gave $1,000 to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.