May
23
2011

Peterson Pay-to-Play at the Washington Post?

On Sunday the Pete Peterson Foundation took out an ad in the Washington Post touting its upcoming "Fiscal Summit," which will feature speeches by the likes of Bill Clinton, Paul Ryan and Alan Simpson. Panels will be moderated by Gwen Ifill, George Will and others.

The hook is that Peterson is promoting a "Solutions Initiative," which in part involves giving money to different organizations to develop plans that focus on "solutions."

The grantees are the American Enterprise Institute, Bipartisan Policy Center, Center for American Progress, Economic Policy Institute, Heritage Foundation and the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network.

On the page next to the ad is the Post's usual Topic A op-ed feature, where they get short pieces on a single topic from different writers. The topic for Sunday was deficits and debt. The Post turned over the feature to Peterson:

With U.S. debt projected to grow more than 275 percent by 2035, the nonpartisan Peter G. Peterson Foundation asked a range of think tanks to find ways to address the nation's long-term budget challenges. Below are details from plans that will be unveiled at a fiscal summit the foundation is hosting Wednesday in Washington.

In case you were wondering, the pieces in the Post came from all the Peterson grantees: American Enterprise Institute, Bipartisan Policy Center, Center for American Progress, Economic Policy Institute, Heritage Foundation and the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network.

So did Peterson buy the ad and the op-ed page, or did the Post throw that in for free? We know the Post has been willing to run articles from Peterson's Fiscal Times media outlet–with little to no explanation for readers who might be curious as to Peterson's long-standing political views on these issues. Are they doing the same with their Sunday op-ed page?

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.