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Cracking Open the Mighty Wurlitzer?

showroom03-wurlitzer.jpgAhh, is that some corroded wiring I see inside the Mighty Wurlitzer? Could be. According to the NYTimes, some news organizations might finally be catching on to the endless round of news recycling and story planting that has been going on throughout the GOP noise machine.

One writer, Peter Ferrara, an advocate of privatizing Social Security who is often quoted by news organizations, including The New York Times, works for the institute as a senior policy adviser.

The other, Doug Bandow, a scholar for the libertarian Cato Institute and a columnist for the Copley News Service, resigned from both after acknowledging that he had received as much as $2,000 an article from Mr. Abramoff for writing in support of his lobbying clients, including Indian tribe casinos. Mr. Abramoff is now the focus of a federal corruption investigation involving his gifts to members of Congress.

The issue of whether supposedly independent writers and researchers are having their work underwritten – directly or indirectly – by lobbyists and other special interests is hardly new.

But the payments by Mr. Abramoff and a closer review of the work of the Institute for Policy Innovation, a group founded in 1987 by a former House Republican leader, Dick Armey of Texas, are evidence that the ties may be much closer than research organizations, conservative and liberal, would prefer to admit.

Oh, I’m sorry, did you say Jack Abramoff? What a small world. I know someone with the high ethical standards of Mr. Abramoff would never pay someone to write drivel to push his clients’ agenda. *snerk* Oh man, I can’t even keep a straight face as I type that.

Michael Kinsley has more in Slate, in a piece entitled "Pundit Payola." You just knew that Armstrong Williams was going to be the tiniest tip of the iceberg, didn’t you?

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com