When Journalists Donate

This effort at ginning up controversy by revealing political contributions made by employees of media organizations seems fundamentally misguided. For one thing, no effort is being made to see if the people named have any ability to impact coverage of national politics. They have, for example, a former copy editor here at The Atlantic on their list, but what nefarious influence is she supposed to have had on the magazine's coverage?

More to the point, for any given journalist, one either does or does not have legitimate complaints with the work. If you do, the complaint itself is sufficient. If you don't, the revelation that the author of some excellent piece of work also gave $250 to the DSCC in 2005 is neither here nor there. Meanwhile, to offer the standard liberal counter to this sort of thing, where's MSNBC's report on the political giving of executives at General Electric?

Well, I can tell you that in 2006, GE's PAC gave $807,282 to Republicans and just $474,118 to Democrats. In 2004 there was a similar division of funds, in 2002 "only" 60 percent of it went to the GOP. Indeed, as you can see here essentially every PAC in the media sector backed the GOP over the Democrats.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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