State run media. When you first heard Rush Limbaugh coin that term, many probably believed he was at the very least guilty of a bit of hyperbole. Well, according to Jeryl Bier of the Weekly Standard, in the case of Politico it really does look like state run media due to payoffs by various federal agencies in the form of subscription fees.
Bier lays out in detail the payoffs, uh, I mean "subscription fees," the feds have paid to Politico over the years. Since 2011 nearly a million bucks paid by federal departments and agencies to Politico with nearly $432, 000 paid last year alone. Oh, and with over $198,000 paid to Politico so far this year, the previous record could easily be broken:
Since Politico, a politics-focused website and newspaper, launched its subscription-based news service Politico Pro in 2011, government agencies have increasingly turned to the service to keep abreast of the latest developments in their spheres of policy. Government records show fiscal year 2011 contracts with the owner of Politico, Capitol News Company, totaling $41,900. By fiscal year 2014, there were no fewer than twenty-eight contracts with sixteen different departments and agencies, including the Executive Office of the President, totaling $431,800.
...In addition to the $49,862 contract with the FCC, the other two top dollar 2014 contracts were with the Department of Energy ($61,496) and the Treasury Department ($60,000). Although the larger contracts do not include a breakdown on the number of users permitted under the subscriptions, some of the smaller ones give some details. A $4,995 contract for 2015 with the Executive Office of the President, for example, is for five users for 12 months, while a $2,495 contract for 2015 with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is for "five additional licenses required for incoming commissioner."
...The Environmental Protection Agency cites the "unbiased" presentation of information as a major benefit: "Politico Pro is unique in that it also does not provide too much content and analysis, which many other services provide. It is first and foremost a news agency, not an analytical organization, and as such it provides information in an unbiased and accessible way."
One wonders how "unbiased" Politico can be when it receives big payments from the same federal agencies it covers. And why am I not surprised by this reaction from Politico?
Politico did not respond to an email requesting comment for this article.
Exit question: Does the fact that the taxpayers are paying Politico via the federal subscriptions explain why their lounge chair lethargic labor reporter, Mike Elk, is already approaching his second month of performing absolutely no labor for that state run periodical?