Friday, November 2, 2007

The Lex. Herald-Leader Took Money for Cheves to "Investigate" Mitch

This comes from the Washington Post -- not typically known as part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. The unnamed reporter it discusses is John Cheves, who recently implied that Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell was taking bribes from a British defense company. When Cheves writes about conflicts of interest and the undue influence of money, he certainly does so with experience.

Tainted Series?
Kentucky's Lexington Herald-Leader yesterday launched an investigative series on Sen. Mitch McConnell pushing legislation for his affluent donors -- an effort originally paid for by a foundation that has financed several liberal groups that oppose the Republican lawmaker.
The paper's parent firm, McClatchy Co., decided last week to repay the $35,000 grant, which underwrote six months of salary and expenses for a Herald-Leader reporter on leave. The grant came from the respected Center for Investigative Reporting, which was passing on money provided by the St. Louis-based Deer Creek Foundation.
Deer Creek has funded a variety of liberal groups, including New York University law school's Brennan Center for Justice, which represented opponents of McConnell in a campaign-finance lawsuit that reached the Supreme Court.
"It's like the NRA funding a report about Sarah Brady," the gun-control advocate, says McConnell spokesman Don Stewart. "You've got to be somewhat leery about the objectivity."
McClatchy Vice President Howard Weaver says his company, which inherited the situation after buying the Herald-Leader, does not believe in such grants. "As a matter of practice, if we want some journalism done in our newsrooms, we pay for it," Weaver says. "But I've heard enough politicians explain why they gave back a campaign contribution to know it's not a perfect remedy."
Dan Noyes, acting director of the reporting center, says he paid for the series because the money went to the reporter, not the newspaper. Noyes sees no conflict because his group has an "arm's length relationship" with Deer Creek, and he says its $300,000 grant will fund campaign finance probes of both Democrats and Republicans.

1 comment:

Dave said...

I eagerly await the sponsored investigation and subsequent article on a Democrat. Have they offered any possibilties? Will they fund someone to look into John Murtha?

(I also eagerly await pigs flying and monkeys flying out of my butt.)