WASHINGTON — Several policy experts will meet with Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli this afternoon to restate their demand that the Post sever its relationship with The Fiscal Times, a “news service” financed by wealthy conservative budget activist, Peter G. Peterson. Many journalists and media watchdogs have criticized the relationship as advocacy masquerading as news.
Adding fuel to the fire, more than 15,000 Washington Post readers swamped editors’ inboxes in the last week with emails calling on the newspaper to end their controversial relationship with The Fiscal Times. The emails were generated by action alerts from the Campaign for America’s Future, Media Matters and FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.)
On the eve of a crucial Senate vote on whether to create a controversial budget commission with extraordinary powers to slash federal spending, the Washington Post published a “news” article [http://is.gd/6zAY5] about the commission bylined by writers in the pay of The Fiscal Times. The commission proposal, sponsored by Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., is heavily supported by Peterson, who testified in its favor before Sen. Conrad’s Senate Budget Committee and several front groups funded by him have fought for its passage.
In a letter to the Washington Post [http://is.gd/6zvnu] demanding a meeting, 21 public policy experts pointed out that the article quoted several representatives of Peterson-funded groups and offered no material from opponents like Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chair of the Senate Finance Committee, or more than 50 national organizations that oppose Sens. Conrad and Gregg’s commission.
The group meeting at 3 p.m. today with Brauchli at the Washington Post offices will include the following representatives of the 21 experts who signed the original letter:
–Roger Hickey, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future;
–Nancy Altman, author of “The Battle for Social Security: From FDR’s Vision to Bush’s Gamble,” and former assistant to Alan Greenspan in his position as chairman of the bipartisan commission that developed the 1983 Social Security amendments;
–Lori Hansen, Senate Democratic member of the Advisory Board on Social Security for the 1982-83 “Greenspan” Commission and a founding member of the National Academy of Social Insurance;
–Eric Kingson, professor of social work and public administration at Syracuse University;
–Dr. Maya Rockeymoore, director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Leadership for Healthy Communities and president and CEO of Global Policy Solutions.