Susan Bradford writes: The Washington Post likes to fashion itself a trend setter, an insider broadsheet that defends the public interest by exposing corruption. The Post is fooling no one.
Clearly the broadsheet values special interests over the public interest.
The payoff for a scandalous scoop is a coveted Pulitzer Prize, which awards the Post‘s investigative journalists between $3,000 and $20,000 for the trouble of advancing lobbyists’ agendas and helping drive newspaper sales.
Even more appetizing for the Post are generous corporate underwriters who are willing to pay as much as $250,000 a piece for access to its journalists, Obama Administration officials, and members of Congress. The salon scandal, anyone?
This takes us to the nadir of the Post‘s reporting: its “Pulitzer Prize”-winner coverage of Republican super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
The Abramoff scandal was born when Washington Post reporter Susan Schmidt teamed up with lobbyist Tom Rodgers, among other mercenaries, to set up Abramoff for wrongful conviction by reporting false allegations against him in an effort to stir up scandal.
The details are fully laid out in my book, Lynched: The Shocking Story of How the Political Establishment Manufactured a Scandal to Have Republican Super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff Removed from Power.
Suffice to say, Schmidt’s Pulitzer Prize winning material was based upon misleading information and agenda-driven sources promoted by Rodgers, one of Abramoff’s professional rivals within the lucrative market of tribal gaming.
According to Shawn Martin, who covered a former Abramoff client, the Louisiana Coushatta, for the American Press, Schmidt heavily borrowed from his original reporting and ran to press with it.
While Martin reported the false allegations planted by tribal dissidents prepped by Rodgers, the American Press retracted those same allegations just days later. Somehow Schmidt, who had teamed up with Rodgers, ran with the false allegations while ignoring the retractions altogether.
Once Schmidt’s story was in place, the lobbyists who planted the false information in local newspapers took the false narrative to “important PR people in Washington, DC,” one participant boasted at a tribal gathering. The lies were then blitzed across the nation, setting the stage for Sen. John McCain to call for hearings in the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on behalf of his fund raisers.