The annual winter conference of the Democracy Alliance is getting almost no press attention. The alliance “was created to build progressive infrastructure,” and promotes a “collaborative giving strategy.” Membership is invitation-only. Its board includes Mary Kay Henry, who “serves as International President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).” The meeting is in essence a planning session for the funding of “progressive” candidates, their supposedly unrelated Super-PACs, and other causes.
This morning, Matthew Continetti at the Washington Free Beacon called out the press hypocrisy in virtually ignoring this event. A 10 a.m. ET Google News search on “Democracy Alliance” (in quotes) returned only a half-dozen post-Thanksgiving items. Among major outlets, only the Politico, as seen at NJ.com (written by Kenneth Vogel, but not noted there), has given the meeting any attention. Continetti noted that coverage, and the complete lack of any other attention which accompanied it (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine):
See No Evil
Media avert eyes from Democratic campaign finance hypocrisy
If a campaign finance story is not about David Koch or Sheldon Adelson, do liberals care?
Consider the reaction to Kenneth Vogel’s important report on the winter meeting of the Democracy Alliance, the secretive organization of progressive millionaires and billionaires who finance an extraordinarily byzantine network of liberal foundations and Super PACs that operate with undisclosed “dark money.”
What reaction? Exactly. There wasn’t any.
The left-wing VIPs assembled at the luxury W Hotel across the street from the White House, but only Vogel reported on the story. The gathering did not merit inclusion in either the Washington Post or the New York Times, both of which have offices within blocks of the W, and both of which have devoted reams of newsprint to Mitt Romney’s donor retreats and various Koch-affiliated fundraising summits. Was New York Times campaign finance reporter Nicholas Confessore too busy appearing on NOW with Alex Wagner to cover the event?
More likely the media simply ignore data that complicate their preferred narrative. When it comes to the fraught relationship between money and politics, that narrative is as follows: Money in politics is corrupting only because rich businessmen trade campaign donations to Republicans for low taxes and fewer environmental regulations.
The 2010 Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case, the narrative continues, assisted such transactions by treating corporate and union PAC donations as protected speech. Republicans are better at fundraising because they are selfish, whereas Democrats are more concerned with the common good. And when Democrats abandon the principles of campaign finance reform, they do so with heavy hearts and the tragic sense that they could not compete otherwise.
I should also note that campaign funding ordinarily becomes a reportable issue only when a conservative Republican candidate is leading in the polls or moving closer to the preferred liberal or Democrat. Then it becomes the “well-funded” bully against the people’s hero. If the Democrat has a funding advantage, it’s usually either not mentioned or buried deep in stories. When a Republican wins a contest, it’s because he or she had more money. When a Democrat wins, it’s because of their alleged great ideas or campaign themes.
It is quite tiresome, but don’t expect it to stop, because obsessing about conservative and GOP money while ignoring its equal or greater presence among leftists and Democrats is a media strategy which has often proven sadly effective.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.