Associated Press has a funny way of reporting on advocacy ads -- a very imbalanced way. A few weeks ago, AP reported that a liberal group called Americans Against Escalation in Iraq bought TV time to attack Senators in their home states. (Except, of course, they weren’t called "liberal," just "anti-war.") The AP reporter mentioned MoveOn.org was one of the members of this coalition, but there was no explanation of who was providing the commercial cash.
But when AP writer Jim Kuehnenn covered a new blitz from the Bush-supporting group Freedom’s Watch, notice how they got out their investigator’s hats to find the "billionaires" and "conservative philanthopists" and former Bush men providing the dough:
The group is financed by former White House aides and Republican fundraisers and was organized as a nonprofit organization under IRS rules. It is not required to identify its donors or the amounts they give.
Among those who have been publicly identified with the effort are billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a fundraiser for Bush and chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., and conservative philanthropist John M. Templeton Jr. of Bryn Mawr, Pa. Both men have been major contributors to conservative causes.
Also backing Freedom's Watch are top Republican donors Anthony Gioia, Mel Sembler and Howard Leach, all former ambassadors in the Bush administration. Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer is a founding member of the group.
They're not alone: when the New York Times spent time in that same left-wing nest, in a long, drawn-out Sunday New York Times Magazine piece freelanced by Michael Crowley of The New Republic, they also failed to identify any Daddy Peacebucks. Why is it so interesting to "objective" reporters when the donors are conservatives, and so profoundly dull when the donors are liberal? Why dig for one and twiddle thumbs on the other one?