On Thursday I posted a blog item about D.C. corporate lobbyist/professional astroturfer Rick Berman and his staff of sock puppets, namely David Martosko.
On Friday, The Tennessean runs a “Tennessee Voices” column by, you guessed it, David Martosko, attacking the HSUS. Yes that would be the same HSUS that just filed an ethics complaint against Martosko’s employer Rick Berman. Timing is everything, isn't it?
The Tennessean of course identified Martosko as:
...director of research at the Center for Consumer Freedom, a nonprofit watchdog group that deals with activities of tax-exempt activist groups.
Hah! I think I’ve already covered that ground but for those who haven’t been paying attention (ahem, Gannett employees!) that’s a bit of a stretch. It’s a more like an industry front group, funded by Cargill, Tyson Foods, Coca-Cola, Monsanto, and others. From Wikipedia:
IRS records show that in 2007, the CCF paid more than $1.5 million to Berman and Company for "research, communications, and other services." Both the Center for Consumer Freedom and American Beverage Institute are managed by and share facilities with Berman and Company, a public affairs firm owned by lobbyist Richard Berman and also associated with Center for Union Facts.
This is now the third time The Tennessean has fallen for Rick Berman’s propaganda game. Back in February they ran an anti-MADD Tennessee Voices column by “Sarah Longwell,” who fronts several of Rick Berman’s phony organizations, including the restaurant industry-funded American Beverage Institute.
But wait, there’s more. In December 2009, The Tennessean ran an anti-minimum wage op-ed by “Kristen Lopez Eastlick,” identified as “senior economic analyst at the Employment Policies Institute.” Eastlick is a very busy lady:
Kristen Lopez Eastlick has been listed in many different capacities for nearly all of Berman & Company’s front groups. She has been cited as everything from director of policy analysis to chief administrative officer, and has been linked to the Center for Consumer Freedom, the American Beverage Institute, the Employment Policy Institute, the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Literacy, Activist Cash, and the Employee Freedom Action Committee. Eastlick is a frequent editorial writer and Berman spokesperson.
Okay, Tennessean. Will the third time be the charm or is there going to be a fourth incident before your Opinion page editors learn how to hit the Google?
And they say the internet killed the newspaper business. Yeah, right. Looks like a suicide to me.