The liberals want the public to believe that Jack Abramoff was a “Republican” lobbyist, even though his clients, and associated firms showered money on Democrats such as Harry Reid and Byron Dorgan. Abramoff’s non-conservative tendencies were also in evidence in his selection of subsidized columnists.
The main one, Doug Bandow, describes himself as pro-drug legalization, anti-abortion, pro-free market, and anti-Iraq War. Bandow says he dislikes President Bush. In fact, Bandow wrote an article before the 2004 presidential election encouraging people to “Vote Democratic” for President.
In another article, Bandow, who resigned from the Cato Institute after his ties to Abramoff were exposed, argued that anger was an “appropriate” response to the Bush presidency.
And yet Paul McLeary of the Columbia Journalism Review called Bandow a “conservative pundit” and his laughable column was headlined “Jack Abramoff’s Press Corps.” This is a classic case of using a convenient label and failing to do elementary research to see if the label really applies.
Similarly, someone named Edward Wasserman of the Miami Herald has written a column about Jack Abramoff and his “his low-light stable of secretly paid commentators.” This “stable” consisted of two people. The other was Peter Ferrara of the Institute for Policy Innovation. He was known as an expert on Social Security. His views on other issues are not widely known.
The story about Bandow was broken by Eamon Javers of Business Week, who accurately noted that Cato is a libertarian rather than a conservative think tank. Javers noted evidence that Bandow wrote favorably about Abramoff’s clients.
While it does tremendous work on some economic and foreign policy matters, the Cato Institute is pro-legalization of drugs and pro-homosexual rights. Bandow may have been pro-life, but a Cato scholar has written that abortion is “an issue about which reasonable people can have reasonable differences.” Hence, the group has not officially taken a pro-life position.
I’ve pointed out several times that convicted inside trader George Soros has a very large “stable” of journalists on his payroll, much more impressive than Abramoff. The Center for Investigative Reporting and the Investigative Reporters & Editors have taken money from his Open Society Institute, which helps explain why you won’t find those groups examining the sources of his wealth and off-shore financial operations.
As for the CJR, the Mediacrity website has examined how this publication concealed the fact that Victor Navasky, publisher of the far-left Nation magazine, had been its secret operator.
Perhaps this helps explain why it was trying to smoke out those “conservatives” on Abramoff’s payroll.