October 2, 2010

DNC $1 Mil Fundraiser Held at Former ABC Reporter’s Home

LindaDouglass1010The arrangement described here is so journalistically incestuous I was considering hanging an NC-17 (or worse) rating on this post.

You see, the husband of a former longtime ABC reporter held a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the couple’s home Thursday night at which President Barack Obama appeared for 15 minutes. The reporter’s husband was on the Obama campaign’s national finance committee and now is the chairman of a White House commission. As if it really matters, the former ABC reporter, Linda Douglass, who left to work for Obama’s presidential campaign and who then joined his administration for 18 months until landing a media management gig at the Atlantic, says she was “not involved” in the event.

Keach Hagey at the Politico took a bit longer to describe things, accompanied by what I think was supposed to be a flattering picture of Ms. Douglass (seen above, but cropped for this post):

Linda Douglass explains DNC fundraiser

A D.C. power couple with close ties to the Obama White House hosted a fundraising dinner Thursday night for the Democratic National Committee at their DuPont Circle home.

President Barack Obama dropped by, spoke for 15 minutes “standing in a doorway between two dining/living areas set with dinner tables, to make eye contact with either side,” according to the White House pool report, and then went back off into the stormy night. The event was supposed to raise $1 million for Democrats.

No news there, except that one of half of the couple, Linda Douglass, a former network reporter who worked in the Obama campaign and the Obama White House, is now the vice president for strategic communications at Atlantic Media, which owns a host of publications that cover politics, including The Atlantic, National Journal and Government Executive.

Douglass told POLITICO that because of this connection, she regrets that it was not made clear that the fundraiser was entirely organized by her husband, John Phillips, who was on the Obama campaign’s national finance committee and is currently the chairman of the White House Fellows Commission.

… Douglass emphasized that her current job is on Atlantic Media’s business side, separate from the management of its magazines.

“I don’t make editorial decisions,” she said Friday. “But that said, I should have made it much clearer in every possible way that this was my husband’s event, not mine.”

Douglass said Atlantic Media does not yet have a policy on the political involvement of its employees.

… During the event, Phillips introduced Obama, saying, “I can remember walking down those snowy streets of Des Moines in the primary…We sleep so much better knowing that you are our president at this difficult time,” according to the pool report.

He (Obama) also thanked Phillips for still talking to him after he took Douglass on the campaign and into the administration for 18 months.

I don’t know why Douglass thinks that Atlantic Media doesn’t have a policy on employee political involvement.

(I’m kidding on the following, in case anyone doesn’t get it) I could swear I’ve seen it in fine print somewhere in the masthead of one of its publications, or perhaps in the agate type below the circulation figures somewhere. It reads as follows: “We will help Democrats, liberals, and leftists whenever we can, and wherever we can.”

Or maybe I saw it at the Columbia School of Journalism.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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2 Comments

  1. Speaking of journalistic incest, did you see this?
    http://mediamatters.org/research/201008180025

    Comment by anon — October 2, 2010 @ 11:51 pm

  2. Politico:

    The parent companies of other media companies such as Disney (which owns ABC) and General Electric (which owns NBC) have also made political contributions, but typically in far smaller chunks, and split between Democrats and Republicans.

    The so-called “split” was really 88-12 to Dems in 2008, and there’s no reason to believe it’s different now — and that’s just the employees, representing an $800K advantage to Dems.

    I’d be happier if the government were so small that no one felt like they had to curry favor with politicians to keep them at bay.

    Then there’s Viacom 2010 — $118k to $77K in favor of Dems.

    Then there’s CBS 2010 — $53k to $33k.

    Then there’s Disney 2010 — $131k to $122k.

    Then there’s News Corp.’s Long-term record, which is clearly pro-Dem, and by far more in cume than the RGA contribution you cited and the one to the Chamber.

    Then there’s Murdoch’s long-term personal record, which has leaned left more than right:

    In the UK, he switched from consistent Conservative support to back Tony Blair’s Labour in the run-up to the 1997 general election.

    In recent times in the US, he has expressed his admiration for Obama, who he called a “rock star”, though his main news outlets, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, all came out for Republican candidate John McCain in the 2008 presidential election.

    Next time you bring your crap in here, you’re going to need more than one post from the fundamentally dishonest MMA to make your point — which, in case you missed it, you haven’t made.

    I’d be happier if the government were so small and unintrusive that companies didn’t feel like they had to contribute/bribe politicians to keep them at bay — or did you not notice that it’s Democrats and not Republicans who want to re-impose the POS known as the “Fairness Doctrine”? This would leave supposedly “objective” journalists like Linda Douglass free to spout their biases in “hard news” reports while stifling commentary and analysis programs favored by Fox–and viewers.

    Comment by TBlumer — October 3, 2010 @ 12:37 am

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