WaPo Farms Out Hit Piece to Streisand-Funded Group on 'Firebrand Conservatives' Who Sought Stimulus Grants

The Washington Post is now farming out its liberal hit pieces to outside journalism groups. On the top of page A3 Monday was a story from the liberal Center for Public Integrity slashing Republicans (and conservative Democrats) as hypocrites for voting against the so-called “stimulus” but then sending constituent requests for “stimulus” support. This, by now, is a very tired White House talking point from February, but reporters John Solomon and Aaron Mehta were retreading it anyway:

Rep. Pete Sessions, the firebrand conservative from Texas, has relentlessly assailed the Democratic stimulus efforts as a package of wasteful "trillion-dollar spending sprees" that was "more about stimulating the government and rewarding political allies than growing the economy and creating jobs."

But that didn't stop the Republican lawmaker from seeking stimulus money behind the scenes for the Dallas suburb of Carrollton after the GOP campaign against the 2009 stimulus law quieted down....

Scores of Republicans and conservative Democrats who voted against the stimulus law subsequently wrote letters seeking funds. They include tea party favorites such as freshman Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), as well as Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), former presidential candidates.

CPI is funded by a set of liberal foundations. There are the usual mega-liberal donors (Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation), but also the Open Society Institute (of George Soros), the Streisand Foundation, and the [Paul] Newman’s Own Foundation. None of that data was relevant to the Post, which merely stated they were a “nonpartisan, nonprofit news center.” Yeah, “nonpartisan” just like the Post, mocking "firebrand conservatives" as sellouts.

So why rehash this old story now? The story itself explained how it could be politically useful, in dampening Tea Party enthusiasm and narrowing that enthusiasm gap:

Such letters dismay tea party activists and conservative advocacy groups such as Americans for Tax Reform, which see a touch of hypocrisy among candidates they thought were conservative champions of spending cuts.

"The GOP should not be taking this money and spending it regardless of where it came from," said Rob Gaudet, national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots. "They should be fighting against it with every fiber of their elected beings."

For followers of the Washington journalism scene, it's also interesting to see former Washington Times editor John Solomon's byline whenever he lands in the Washington Post. But you can certainly see that this story pleasantly matched the Post's "news agenda."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis