Mainstream journalism for sale

SUBHEAD: The Atlantic and Economist are selling editorial interviews to lobbyists at DNC and RNC.

By April M. Short on 2 July 2016 for -

Image above: Clinton and cover story from The National Enquirer. From (

In case you still had faith in the political media machine's integrity, several big outlets have cleared that misconception right up for you. They’ve decided to offer news interviews up for sale at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

This means these outlets not even trying to hide their sleaze anymore. As Lee Fang wrote in a July 1 article for The Intercept, which broke the story:
“For high-rolling special interests looking to make an impression at the presidential conventions next month, one option is to pay a lot of money to a media outlet. Lobbyists for the oil industry, for instance, are picking up the tab for leading Beltway publications to host energy policy discussions at the convention, including The Atlantic and Politico.

And for the right price, some political media outlets are even offering special interviews with editorial staffers and promotional coverage at the convention.”
The Hill newspaper, for example, is sponsoring events at both party conventions and is promising its sponsors who pay $200,000 convention interviews with The Hill editorial staffers for “up to three named executives or organization representatives of your choice,” according to a brochure obtained by The Intercept.

“These interviews are pieces of earned media and will be hosted on a dedicated page on and promoted across The Hill’s digital and social media channels,” the brochure promises.

The Hill ignored The Intercept’s inquiries, Fang wrote.

Fang's article mentionsThe Economist and its subsidiary CQ Roll Callas having similar deals on the table.

Even for big media, this is a slimy new low. These once-journalistic news organizations are undeniably morphing into paid advertising and PR for the 1-percenter corporations and billionaires who control the political lobby.

People who care even a little bit about the importance of journalistic integrity, or the checks and balances of the press—which are a necessary piece of any healthy democracy—should immediately boycott any news organization willing to stoop this low. This kind of behavior erases the already-too-fuzzy line between the news media and the moneyed class's greedy interests.

Maybe you aren’t shocked by this new low because this is simply a blatant version of what you already knew has been going on behind the scenes for years—but still. That they are so brazen about it is terrifying.

What does it say about the state of the press when these well-known, long-time trusted publications are straight-up going, "Hey, rich people: ever wanted to buy off a journalist? Now's your chance!"

It's upsetting on a whole new level.

You can read the full Intercept article here.


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