White House Correspondents Chief Jumps to Left-Wing Group – One Outside of Journalism, That Is

The current President of the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA), Ed Chen – who instituted the silliness of having the organization buy carbon credits to offset the travel of this year’s dinner headliner, Jay Leno, as well as for the President’s motorcade (seriously) – is leaving Bloomberg News to lend his shallow liberal advocacy to the left-wing Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

This is the second spin for Chen through the revolving door. He was the long-time White House correspondent for the Los Angeles Times when he left the newspaper “to join the NRDC in 2006, but then jumped back into the world of journalism in 2007 with a job at Bloomberg,” Politico’s Patrick Gavin recalled in a Sunday post. (Screen shot is from an April 28, 2005 news conference with President Bush.)

In an e-mail to the Politico’s Mike Allen, Chen trumpeted that at the NRDC he will be able to perform “the Lord’s work” and that he wants to “help public officials find the wisdom and courage to do the right thing to combat climate change before it's too late.”

His e-mail message:
My regret over leaving one of the world's largest -- and certainly the most ambitious -- news organizations is offset by a sense of urgency in resuming doing the Lord's work, particularly after the BP oil spill. That debacle was a divine signal to redouble my efforts to help clean up the environment, help America kick its petroleum addiction, and help public officials find the wisdom and courage to do the right thing to combat climate change before it's too late. So, I'm returning to the Natural Resources Defense Council (in Washington), soon to be reachable at: EChen(at)nrdc.org.
Picking up on the Politico’s post for a Monday night “Grapevine” item, the FNC’s Bret Baier quoted how Politico grasped the obvious, that this latest move “will likely reinforce notions...that all journalists are biased and largely towards Democratic-friendly organizations.”

WHCA officers page with photos of Chen with President Obama.

Chen marks the 16th major media figure to have joined the Obama administration (or an aligned union, or now an aligned left-wing environmental group) -- plus one who traveled through the revolving door from helping the Obama campaign into a news media slot. For the complete list, check my June 7 MRC post:
ABC News's Deputy Political Director Jumps to Left-Wing Union, the 15th Obama Activist Through the Media's Revolving Door
June 10: “After Two Years with Obama, Linda Douglass Returns to News Media

Baier’s June 14 ‘Grapevine” report:
Bloomberg's Ed Chen is leaving journalism to join the Natural Resources Defense Council, telling Politico the oil spill prompted his decision to resume doing what he called the “Lord's work” in fighting climate change.

Politico noted the ease with which reporters jump between journalism and advocacy seems to be increasing and that it quote "will likely reinforce notions...that all journalists are biased and largely towards Democratic-friendly organizations."

Politico noted that it, too, has struggled with the revolving door. Politico reporter Jonathan Alan left for a short time to work for a Democratic Congresswoman [Wasserman-Schultz] and had said before returning to Politico quote, “I'm hopeful I can advance the Democratic Party's goals and obviously the Congresswoman's goals.”
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center