Washington Post Glorifies ‘Progressive’ PR Man
David Fenton and his public relations firm are “left-leaning,” according to the May 31 Washington Post. But the glowing 1,856-word profile of Fenton revealed more than just a left-leaning tilt.
In the story “Putting the Progressive in PR” by Linton Weeks, the Post depicted Fenton, now head of Fenton Communications, as an entrepreneurial Mahatma Gandhi figure – furthering causes deemed pure and wholesome by the Post, from the protection of swordfish to abolishing the death penalty.
The article depicted one man’s battle against nuclear power: in 1979 Fenton organized a “No Nukes” protest concert. He’s still fighting nuclear energy today. Over the years, Fenton Communications clients have included many notoriously liberal groups like MoveOn.org, Greenpeace, the AFL-CIO, the Sierra Club. He’s also friends with George Soros and Arianna Huffington.
Still, the Post saw it Fenton’s way.
“‘Left’ is a pejorative term,” Fenton told the Post. “People I hang with use the word ‘progressive.’”
The Post profile didn’t delve into any harm caused by some of Fenton’s actions, like the discredited Alar scare he marketed. It also left out the pro-nuclear perspective.
But the Post does not always write such glowing tributes. In April 2005, Caroline E. Mayer and Amy Joyce profiled another public affairs organization’s founder – the difference was that this organization advocated a free-market agenda. The Center for Consumer Freedom’s Executive Director and Berman & Co. President, Richard Berman, wasn’t handled with kid gloves as Fenton was.
In that profile, the Post cited several left-wing advocacy groups that vilified Berman’s efforts. Fenton’s accomplishments on the other hand, were glorified by the newspaper.