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Times has run them, too

Published September 10, 2006

an occasional series
To make their voices louder in Washington, corporations and trade associations pay "watchdog groups" and think tanks to spread their messages. But readers and viewers aren't told the groups have been paid.

Also today
Corporate spin can come in disguise

Related content
For price, watchdog will be an advocate
By Bill Adair
Citizens Against Government Waste made a name for itself by exposing government waste. But it has quietly made a lot of its money by lobbying.
Go to article

When tobacco needed a voice, CAGW spoke up and profited
By Bill Adair
WASHINGTON - When tobacco companies came under fire in the late 1980s, they searched desperately for new friends. They found one in Citizens Against Government Waste.
Go to article
How big?

Related links
James Glassman's column on 'Super Size Me'
(published 3/25/04 in Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Anti-'Super Size Me' site
(Tech Central Station)

Glassman's bio
(From American Enterprise Institute)

See graphic

The St. Petersburg Times has published three columns by James K. Glassman and another writer from Tech Central Station about issues affecting ExxonMobil, AT&T and McDonald's.

The columns did not disclose that the companies sponsored the writers' Web site.

The Times published a Glassman column about telecommunications law and another that was his tribute to Julia Child, which noted her fondness for McDonald's fries and her disdain for "the Food Police, the self-styled gang of thin-lipped pseudo-scientists and their pals in the press and the Nanny State, who frighten Americans out of eating anything that gives them joy."

The Times also published a column by Nick Schulz, the editor of Tech Central Station, about global-warming movies.

Philip Gailey, editor of the Times editorial page, said the columns came from Scripps Howard and the Los Angeles Times.

"I guess I made the mistake of assuming that an op-ed that appears in the Los Angeles Times or moves on the Scripps Howard News Service wire has been vetted and comes with adequate, if not full, disclosure," Gailey said. "That obviously is not the case, which makes me determined to be even more vigilant."

He said he doesn't mind publishing columnists who have financial connections to groups they write about "as long as they disclose the tie."

Gailey said disclosure is critical. "Our readers deserve no less."


[Last modified September 10, 2006, 06:23:02]

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