A correction has been added to this article.
The following 143 journalists made campaign contributions from 2004 through the first quarter of 2007, according to Federal Election Commission records studied by msnbc.com.
Other political news of note
Holder says drone strikes since 2009 have killed four U.S. citizens
On the eve of a major address by President Barack Obama on his counterterrorism policy, the Obama administration revealed Wednesday that drone strikes since 2009 had killed four Americans overseas – one of whom, Anwar al-Aulaqi, was targeted in Yemen because he’d planned and was planning terrorist attacks on the United States – principally the plot to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Eve 2009.
- Reid appears to back away from 'nuclear option' on filibusters
- Lawmakers grill officials for inaction on IRS, Lerner denies wrongdoing
- Republicans target Democrats in conservative districts
- Public relations gone bad for White House on IRS
- Holder says drone strikes since 2009 have killed four U.S. citizens
(D) contributed to Democrats or liberal causes.
(R) to Republicans and conservative causes.
Note: Detailed responses from the journalists follow the list.
(D) ABC News, Mary Fulginiti, "Primetime" correspondent.
(D) ABC affiliate in Boston, WCVB, Sangita Chandra, producer.
(D) ABC affiliate in Wichita, KAKE, Susan Peters, anchor.
(D) CBS News, Serena Altschul, correspondent for "CBS Sunday Morning."
(D) CBS News, Edward H. Forgotson Jr., producer, "CBS Sunday Morning."
(D) CBS affiliate in Boston, WBZ, Liz Walker, newsmagazine host.
(D) CBS affiliate in Los Angeles, KCBS, Claudia Bill, news writer.
(D) CBS affiliate in Memphis, WREG, Markova Reed, anchors the morning and noon news.
(D) CNN, Guy Raz, Jerusalem correspondent, now defense correspondent for National Public Radio.
(R) CW affiliate in Chicago, WGN, Jay Congdon, news producer.
(R) CW affiliate in Los Angeles, KTLA, Diana Chi, news writer.
(R) Fox News Channel, Ann Stewart Banker, producer for Bill O'Reilly's "The O'Reilly Factor."
(D) Fox News Channel, Codie Brooks, researcher for Brit Hume's "Special Report."
(D) Fox affiliate in Omaha, KPTM, Calvert Collins, reporter.
(D) Fox affiliate in Minneapolis, KMSP, Alix Kendall, morning anchor.
(D) MTV News, Gideon Yago, "Choose or Lose" presidential correspondent.
(D) NBC News, Victoria Corderi, "Dateline" correspondent.
(R) PBS affiliate in New York, Thirteen/WNET, Rafael Roman, host, "New York Voices."
(D) Independent station KTVK, Phoenix, Steve Bodinet, reporter.
(D) Msnbc.com, Rachel Schwanewede, senior editor, TodayShow.com.
(D) Msnbc.com, Joel Widzer, travel columnist.
(D) Salon.com, Gary Kamiya, writer at large and former executive editor.
(D) Salon.com, Katharine Mieszkowski, reporter.
(D) The Atlantic Monthly, Martha Spaulding, assistant managing editor.
(D) Business Week, Prudence Crowther, chief copy editor.
(D) The Economist, Andreas Kluth, technology correspondent.
(D) The Economist, Joanne Ramos, financial writer.
(R) Forbes, Jean A. Briggs, assistant managing editor.
(R) Forbes, Robert Lenzner, national editor.
(D) Forbes, Tatiana Serafin, senior reporter.
(D) Inc., Jane Berentson, editor.
(D) The New Yorker, David Denby, film critic.
(D) The New Yorker, Henry Finder, editorial director and books editor.
(D) The New Yorker, Tad Friend, Hollywood reporter.
(D) The New Yorker, Ann Goldstein, head of copy department.
(D) The New Yorker, Hendrik Hertzberg, senior editor.
(D) The New Yorker, John Lahr, theater critic.
(D) The New Yorker, Janet Malcolm, writer.
(D) The New Yorker, George Packer, war correspondent.
(D) The New Yorker, Mark Singer, profile writer.
(D) The New Yorker, Judith Thurman, writer.
(D) Newsweek, Temma Ehrenfeld, associate editor.
(D & R) Newsweek, Jane Bryant Quinn, personal finance columnist.
(D) Newsweek, Anne Underwood, correspondent on health and medical stories.
(D) Rolling Stone, Jason Fine, deputy managing editor.
(D) Rolling Stone, David Swanson, assistant editor.
(D) Rolling Stone, Jann Wenner, editor and publisher.
(D) Time, Jim Frederick, senior editor.
(D) U.S. News & World Report, Michael Freeman, researcher.
(D) U.S. News & World Report, Amanda Spake, senior writer.
(D) Vanity Fair, Elise O'Shaughnessy, contributing editor.
(D) Vanity Fair, Michael Shnayerson, contributing editor.
(in order by approximate circulation)
(D) McClatchy Newspapers, Beryl Adcock, news desk chief, Washington bureau.
(D) The Wall Street Journal, Krishnan Amantharaman, managing editor of the classroom edition.
(D) The Wall Street Journal, Henny Sender, senior special writer.
(D) The Wall Street Journal, Eben Shapiro, editor of the Weekend Journal section.
(D) The New York Times, Randy Cohen, ethics columnist.
(D) The New York Times, Christine Muhlke, deputy editor, style magazine.
(D & R) The New York Times, Nancy Tilghman, freelance writer.
(D) Los Angeles Times, Nick Cuccia, design editor.
(D) Los Angeles Times, Manohla Dargis, film critic, now at The New York Times.
(D) Los Angeles Times, Dan Neil, automobile critic.
(R) Los Angeles Times, Charles Perry, food writer.
(D) New York Daily News, Celia McGee, reporter, and freelancer for The New York Times.
(D) New York Daily News, Matthew Roberts, photographer.
(R) The Washington Post, Stephen Hunter, film critic.
(D) The Chicago Tribune, Maureen Ryan, entertainment reporter.
(D) The Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein, classical music critic.
(D) San Francisco Chronicle, William Pates, letters editor for the editorial page.
(D) Newsday, Long Island, Rita Hall, section designer/artist/writer.
(D) The Boston Globe, Rebecca Ostriker, arts editor/writer.
(D) The Boston Globe, Henry Riemer, sports statistician.
(R) The Star-Ledger, Newark, Robin Gaby Fisher, feature writer.
(D) Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Barbara Haugen, copy editor.
(D) Detroit Free Press, Susan Hall-Balduf, copy editor.
(D) Detroit Free Press, Joel Thurtell, reporter.
(D) The Oregonian, Portland, Steve Amick, reporter.
(R) The Miami Herald, Harry Broertjes, copy editor/page designer.
(D) The San Diego Union-Tribune, Penni Crabtree, business reporter.
(D) The San Diego Union-Tribune, Bob Elledge, assistant news editor.
(D) The San Diego Union-Tribune, Shaffer Grubb, graphic artist.
(D) The San Diego Union-Tribune, Arline Smith, news production editor.
(D) The San Diego Union-Tribune, Charlie Smith, copy editor.
(D) The Sun, Baltimore, John Scholz, copy editor.
(D) San Jose Mercury News, Rachel Wilner, sports editor.
(D) Boston Herald, Chris Donnelly, news librarian.
(D) South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, Ethan Skolnick, sports columnist.
(D) Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Randy Galloway, sports columnist.
(D) Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Vincent Langford, sports copy editor.
(D) The Hartford Courant, Nancy Gallinger, copy editor.
(D) The Hartford Courant, Bill Lewis, copy editor.
(D) Richmond Times-Dispatch, Michael Hardy, state political reporter.
(D) Richmond Times-Dispatch, Pam Mastropaolo, copy editor.
(D) Contra Costa Times, Calif., Robert Taylor, fine arts reporter.
(D) The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Calif., Mark Benoit, wire editor.
(D) The Palm Beach Post, Fla., George McEvoy, columnist.
(R) The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Barbara Bradley, fashion editor.
(D) The Des Moines Register, Stephen P. Dinnen, business reporter.
(D) The Honolulu Advertiser, Chris Neil, wire editor.
(D) The Blade, Toledo, James Bradley, copy editor.
(D) Lexington Herald-Leader, Brian Throckmorton, copy desk chief.
(R) The Morning Call, Allentown, Pa., Beth Hudson, sports reporter.
(D) The Daytona Beach, Fla., News-Journal, Marc Davidson, editor.
(D) Albany, N.Y., Times Union, Greg Montgomery, graphic design editor.
(R) The Washington Times, Gary Arnold, film critic.
(D) San Gabriel Valley Newspapers, Calif., Eric Terrazas, sports editor.
(R) The New York Sun, Liz Peek, financial columnist.
(D) The Lincoln, Neb., Journal Star, Paul Fell, editorial cartoonist.
(D) The Lincoln, Neb., Journal Star, Sylvia Hermanson, copy editor.
(R) The Macon, Ga., Telegraph, Stephen "Keich" Whicker, local government reporter.
(D) New Hampshire Union Leader, David Johnson, sports copy editor.
(D) Corpus Christi, Texas, Caller-Times, Elvia Aguilar, business writer.
(D) National Catholic Reporter, Margot Patterson, senior writer and arts/opinion editor.
(D) York, Pa., Daily Record, Teresa Cook, copy editor.
(D) Muskegon, Mich., Chronicle, Terry Judd, reporter and chief of the Grand Haven bureau.
(D) Fort Wayne, Ind., News-Sentinel, Fran Adler, copy editor.
(D) Fort Wayne, Ind., News-Sentinel, Faith Van Gilder, copy editor.
(D) Martha's Vineyard, Mass., Times, Whit Griswold, copy editor.
(D) Air America and CBS Radio, Betsy Rosenberg-Zimmerman, environment talk show host and environment reporter.
(D) National Public Radio, Corey Flintoff, newscaster.
(D) National Public Radio, Michelle Trudeau, correspondent.
(D) NPR affiliate in Washington, WAMU, Susan Goodman, reporter.
(D) WWJ News Radio, Detroit, Vickie B. Thomas, reporter.
(D) Bloomberg News, Katherine Burton, reporter.
(D) Bloomberg News, Robert Dieterich, energy editor.
(D) Bloomberg News, Joshua Fellman, reporter in Asia.
(D) Bloomberg News, Robert Houck, multimedia news editor.
(D) Bloomberg News, Milanee Kapadia, reporter.
(D) Bloomberg News, James Polson, reporter on energy and utilities.
(D) Bloomberg News, Carlos Torres, reporter in Washington.
(D) Bloomberg News, Robert Urban, real estate reporter.
(D) Bloomberg News, John Wydra, radio newscaster.
(D) Dow Jones Newswires, Samuel J. Favate Jr., editor.
(D) Dow Jones Newswires, Billy Mallard, credit markets editor.
(D) Reuters, Lisa von Ahn, news desk editor.
(D) Reuters, Michael Erman, reporter.
(D) La Stampa, newspaper in Turin, Italy, Paolo Mastrolilli, New York correspondent.
(D) New Delhi Television, Stephen Marks, reporter.
(D) The Korea Daily News, Chang W. Kim, journalist.
(D) Oriental Daily, Chun Fai Cheng, reporter.
(D) ABC News, Mary Fulginiti, "Primetime" correspondent, Hollywood, Calif., $500 to Gov. Bill Richardson, Democratic presidential candidate, 2007. Before she joined ABC in November 2006, lawyer Fulginiti gave $6,000 to Democratic candidates.
ABC forbids political activity by journalists.
"A friend asked me to contribute" to Richardson, Fulginiti said. "This is not a reflection of my political views. Look, I've made a mistake here. I'm a legal analyst — this is all new to me. I have been politically active in the past. This is when I was just starting out at ABC. I was still thinking as a lawyer."
(D) ABC affiliate in Boston, WCVB, Sangita Chandra, producer, $250 to House candidate Jamie Wall, Democrat, Wisconsin, in April 2005.
Chandra is a producer for the nightly newsmagazine "Chronicle" and news and feature programs. She said she gave to the candidate in Wisconsin because of a personal connection. "He's one of my best friends. He's the only candidate I've donated to."
(D) ABC affiliate in Wichita, Susan Peters, anchor, $600 to America Coming Together in two donations in 2004 and 2005. She anchors the news at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. America Coming Together funded get-out-the-vote drives to defeat President Bush in 2004.
Peters didn't return calls.
KAKE news director David Grant said, "To be honest, I don't have an answer for you. Can I get back to you?" He didn't call back.
(D) CBS News, Serena Altschul, contributing correspondent for "CBS Sunday Morning," $5,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in October 2004. She was a correspondent for CBS from 2003 to 2006.
A CBS spokeswoman said Altschul "did some checking with family members, and the contribution was in fact made in her name."
A year after this donation, CBS tightened its policy to forbid all political activity.
(D) CBS News, producer, Edward H. Forgotson Jr., "CBS Sunday Morning," $1,000 in June 2006 to Patrick J. Kennedy, Democrat, the Rhode Island congressman and son of Sen. Ted Kennedy. The donation was made two weeks after Kennedy pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of prescription drugs in an accident on Capitol Hill.
A CBS spokesman said the network's policy was tightened in September 2006 to forbid contributions to political campaigns. Previously, there was a bit of wiggle room.
"My donation pre-dates the clarification of CBS News policy," Forgotson said. "I've made no contributions to any candidate or party since."
(D) CBS affiliate in Boston, WBZ, Liz Walker, newsmagazine host, $1,000 to Women Senate 2006, which gave to Democratic candidates, in December 2005; $2,500 to Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton in January 2005; $250 to Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in Michigan in March 2006; and $250 to Sen. Maria Cantwell, Washington Democrat, in March 2006.
Walker did not return a phone call, but WBZ spokeswoman Ro Dooley Webster said that Walker was not in the news department when she made those contributions, though she has since returned to a news department role. Walker had been the station's anchor for 20 years but left in January 2005 to become host of the station's community affairs and opinion show. She made the contributions in 2005 and 2006, before returning to a news role, doing pieces for the newscast.
(D) CBS affiliate in Los Angeles, KCBS, Claudia Bill, news writer, $250 to Democrat John Edwards in March 2007, and $500 to Democratic candidate Lois Capps in a House race in October 2003.
"I'm a news writer. I write copy for the anchors," Bill said. "What's written by the news writers is copy edited several times. I haven't covered any politics at all in this particular race. I made a donation as a private citizen, not as a member of CBS. If I were, say, Katy Couric, then you may have a different picture." She said she wasn't aware that CBS policy now forbids donations.
(D) CBS affiliate in Memphis, WREG, Markova Reed, anchor of morning and noon news, $250 to Ed Stanton, a Democratic House candidate from Memphis, in January 2006.
Reed did not return calls. WREG's president and general manager, Ronald A. Walter, said, "Yes, we do restrict employees, journalists particularly, from engaging in political activity. We don't want people doing that. We feel that in this particular case it was an innocent mistake on her part, and we have handled it internally."
(D) CNN, Guy Raz, Jerusalem correspondent, now with NPR as defense correspondent, $500 to John Kerry in June 2004.
Raz donated to Kerry the same month he was embedded in Iraq with U.S. troops for CNN. He also covered reaction to Abu Ghraib and President Bush's policies in the Middle East. In 2006, he returned to NPR, and covers the Pentagon.
"Yes, I made the donation," Raz said in an e-mail. "At the time, I was a reporter with CNN International based out of London. I covered international news and European Union stories. I did not cover US news or politics."
Both CNN and NPR prohibit political activity by all journalists, no matter their assignment.
(R) CW affiliate in Chicago, WGN, Jay Congdon, news producer, $500 to Republican senatorial candidate Cynthia Thielen of Hawaii in October 2006.
Congdon did not return phone calls. The station's management would only confirm that he is employed.
(R) CW affiliate in Los Angeles, KTLA, Diana Chi, news writer, 19 contributions totaling $8,025 to the Republican National Committee from 2002 through 2006.
Chi did not return phone calls. Nor did the news director, Jeff Wald.
(R) Fox News Channel, Ann Stewart Banker, producer for Bill O'Reilly's "The O'Reilly Factor," $5,000 in June 2006 to Volunteer PAC, which gave to Republican candidates. Her father was once a campaign treasurer for former Republican Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee.
Banker didn't return calls. A Fox News spokesman said donations are allowed.
(D) Fox News Channel, Codie Brooks, researcher for Brit Hume's "Special Report," $300 to Senate campaign of Harold Ford Jr., Tennessee Democrat, in March 2006, $200 more in June, and $2,100 more in September.
Brooks, who said her family is friendly with Ford's, said she raised much of the $2,600 from friends — it wasn't her money alone. "A lot of Fox employees have contributed to Democratic candidates. I know I'm not the only one."
(D) Fox affiliate in Omaha, KPTM, Calvert Collins, reporter, $500 in October 2006 to Jim Esch, Democratic House candidate from Omaha. Esch lost to the Republican incumbent in November.
Collins says that her father made the campaign contribution. "I had told my dad that I was friends with this man. He said, 'Would you like me to make a donation?' I said, 'That's up to you, but don't do it in my name.'" She said her father also made a $2,000 contribution in her name to Kay Granger, Republican, Texas, in 2004, when Collins was a student in broadcast journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Collins also posted a photo of herself with the candidate on her Facebook page, with the note, "Vote for him Tuesday, Nov. 7!" After the photo was posted on a blog about Nebraska politics, a public Web site, she posted a reply:
"I would like to take a moment to set the record straight, Jim and I are friends, and nothing more. It is part of my job to build rapport with candidates and incumbents during election season. I have many friends in other campaigns... It is also important to note, I have NEVER covered the 2nd District Congressional Race, and have no plans to do so in the coming week.
"To those of you who have been offended by this incident, I apologize. My relationships with politicians have not and will not affect my reporting. I appreciate your understanding."
She told msnbc.com, "I covered more politics than any of our reporters. I try to establish good relationships with both sides, so they would call our station. A lot of the political PR people are former reporters, so they have allegiance to one candidate or another."
The photo was taken at a cancer fundraiser, she said. "We have a lot of mutual friends." She said she posted it on her Facebook page where only her friends could see it. "I foolishly wrote, in jest, to vote for him, and forgot completely that that was on there. When my boss heard about it, I immediately removed it. Press people of opponents called it to attention."
"The irony is, if anyone had really done their research, I was a registered Republican. I have now changed to being an Independent, and I will stay that way my entire career. I learned a lot from this experience that I will never repeat. In a way, I'm glad this happened to me at age 23, and not 33, and I will learn from it."
Update on June 25: Collins is no longer at the station.
(D) Fox affiliate in Minneapolis, KMSP, Alix Kendall, morning anchor, $250 in September 2006 to Midwest Values PAC, which gave to Democratic candidates.
Kendall said she opposes the war and thought that her donation was anonymous.
"I also believe that the station doesn't own my political views and values. Did I make the contribution? I did. We all have political opinions in this business. A lot of us want to be politically active. But marching in a war protest isn't an option, being a recognizable person, so we give with our checkbook. I don't think that working for a news organization I give up my rights. I interview plenty of people that I don't agree with, but I also ask questions to get the other side. I think it's actually an advantage — in a news organization we have people of many political views. We have healthy debates. I think it's my civic duty to be involved in what matters to me. I think it's ridiculous that anyone who's sitting in front of a camera doesn't have an opinion — come on, we all do. Did I think about that at the time? No, I didn't. Maybe I should have. But I still feel I have a right to my civic duties."
(D) Fox affiliate in Washington, D.C., WTTG, Laura Evans, anchor, $500 in August 2006 to John Sarbanes, Democratic House candidate in Maryland. Evans anchors the 5 p.m. news. She is listed in FEC records by her married name, Laura Manatos.
On her blog on the station's Web site she commented recently on the Iraq war: " Everyone's trying to save face here ... all the while people are dying. Didn't voters in November speak loud and clear, saying they're tired of the fighting and want an end in sight?"
When first contacted by msnbc.com, Evans said her husband, lobbyist Mike Manatos, "actually made the contribution, and the check was written on our account."
But the records show that her husband had already given the legal limit to Sarbanes. He couldn't legally contribute more. When asked about those records, she said, "I hadn't talked to my husband. He reminded me that he had actually talked to me about this, because he had maxed out, could we write a check in my name. I said, 'Sure.' Now I remember having this conversation. It's within Fox policy, it was OK for me to do it."
Fox does allow news employees to make political contributions.
(R) MSNBC, Joe Scarborough, host of the "Morning Joe" talk show and the evening newscast "Scarborough Country," $4,200 in March 2006 to Derrick Kitts, Republican candidate for the House from Oregon. Scarborough was a Republican member of Congress from Florida from 1995 to 2001. He also provides political commentary for MSNBC, CNBC and NBC's "Today Show."
MSNBC policy requires journalists to report any potential conflict of interest and to seek approval from the president of NBC News before making any political contribution.
A spokesperson for NBC, Jeremy Gaines, replied to questions sent to Scarborough. "Yes, he did make a donation to Derrick Kitts. Kitts is an old friend of Joe's. Joe hosts an opinion program and is not a news reporter."
(D) MTV News, Gideon Yago, "Choose or Lose" presidential correspondent, $200 to Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark in January 2004; $500 to America Coming Together, which campaigned against President Bush, in September 2004; $250 to the Democratic National Committee in September 2004; $250 to VoteVets, which is running ads against the president's handling of the war, in March 2006, and $250 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in October 2006. He said he is no longer at MTV News.
Gideon Yago, raw:
"I don't understand. Things that I do as a private citizen?
"We're not a traditional news network in the sense of NBC or Fox or CBS.
"We're sensitive about equal time or fairness. We're non-biased.
"I mean, what the f---, man?
"I came back from doing coverage in Iraq and was very moved by what I saw. I was never told by my boss or anyone that we couldn't give to a campaign.
"I'm not a journalist now. Writing fiction.
"Ninety percent of what we did was simple identification, after 9/11: Who is Rumsfeld? Who is Colin Powell? Who is Al Qaeda?
"I try to call it as you see it.
"After my second trip to Iraq in 2004, I felt the conventional news media was not doing a good enough job of conveying the horrors and the failures of the war in Iraq.
"At 18 I was a registered Republican. At 24, I was a registered Democrat.
"I tried very hard — our job was not an indoctrination process — I tried to be as professional as possible whenever possible.
"We were a non-traditional news outlet. We were nonpartisan.
""OK, I've been rebuked. Thank you for spanking me in public.
"Do you hand in all your rights as a public citizen when you do this?
"I mean — who's your editor? I'm going to call him right now."
(D) NBC News, Victoria Corderi, "Dateline" correspondent, $250 in December 2005 to Democrat Josh Rales, who ran for Sen. Paul Sarbanes' open seat in Maryland. Rales finished a distant third in the primary. Corderi is listed in the FEC records by her married name, Keane.
"In a word, 'Yikes!'" Corderi said in an e-mail. "Josh Rales is a longtime neighbor and acquaintance. A good friend of mine gave him a cocktail party last year, a sort of 'meet and greet.' My husband and I went to be nice, knowing full well Josh was tilting at windmills with his candidacy. Later, my husband (who is a dyed-in-the-wool Republican, by the way) told me he'd written a check for a nominal amount so our friend would have something to show for the night. I'd not even thought to consider that since my name is on our checks that I would appear in public records as a contributor. I have a policy of not contributing to campaigns and not showing public support for candidates. This was a lapse that you brought to my attention."
The NBC policy does not outright allow or forbid donations but requires approval of the president of NBC News.
(R) PBS affiliate in New York, Thirteen/WNET, Rafael Roman, host of "New York Voices," $250 to President Bush in July 2004, and $300 to Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota the same month.
"I wouldn't do it again, quite frankly," said Roman, a former news anchor for WNET. "At that time it seemed to me that it wasn't part of a story that I was covering in the future. I would say, now, no. Even if you're not covering something, you might at some point. Citizenship is an important responsibility that's not taken away by the job you do, but I wouldn't do it again."
(D) Independent station KTVK, Phoenix, Steve Bodinet, reporter, $400 to John Kerry in May 2004.
Bodinet did not reply to messages.
(D) Msnbc.com, Rachel Schwanewede, senior editor, TodayShow.com, $461.30 to America Coming Together in October 2004. She was among the more than 20 journalists who bought tickets to the "Vote for Change" series of concerts to raise money to defeat President Bush in 2004. Msnbc.com is not counting the others as part of this list, but in the interest of transparency we are naming our own.
Schwanewede said she purchased the tickets for her husband's birthday for a Springsteen concert.
"There's no intention of mine to donate to any political campaign."
Msnbc.com policy requires permission of the editor in chief for any political activity.
Widzer said that he actually gave $1,000. The FEC records show two separate entries of $1,000 on the same day.
"I'm actually a Republican — one of the few Republicans who still support George Bush and think he's doing OK with the war effort," Widzer said. "One of my friends works for Bill Richardson and asked me to give to the campaign. She knew me from MSNBC, so she listed that."
(D) Salon.com, Gary Kamiya, writer at large and former executive editor, $250 to MoveOn.org, which opposed President Bush, in September 2004.
Kamiya, who now writes a column for Salon, was executive editor when he made the donation. In his column he has urged the impeachment of President Bush, whom he calls "a historic disaster."
Kamiya did not reply to messages. The editor of Salon, Joan Walsh, said he is traveling.
This week, after msnbc.com called, Salon.com decided to forbid political donations by all editorial staff.
"Salon hasn't had an explicit policy, but the growing importance and credibility of our political coverage convinced us that we needed one," Walsh said in an e-mail. We've told all editorial staff not to donate to candidates, campaigns, parties or groups that give money to candidates, campaigns or parties. We're including all edit staffers because we like to move people around, and come election time, most people contribute to campaign coverage."
The policy went into effect this week, Walsh said, but the editors "have been talking about it for a while."
(D) Salon.com, Katharine Mieszkowski, reporter, $400 in April 2007 to EMILY's List, which gives to Democratic candidates who support abortion rights. Also gave $200 in June 2003 to EMILY's List.
Mieszkowski writes mostly about technology, science and the environment. She has also written on explicitly political topics, including John Kerry, Al Gore, voting machines, Texas textbooks, President Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina, school vouchers and peace movements.
See the previous entry for Salon's new policy.
(D) The Atlantic Monthly, Martha Spaulding, assistant managing editor, $500 to the Democratic National Committee in May 2004.
No longer at The Atlantic, Spaulding said, "It's certainly not the Atlantic's contribution." She said she was not aware that contributions were disclosed on the Internet with a donor's occupation and employer. And she said she didn't understand how any company could forbid political activity by its employees.
The magazine said a tougher policy may be coming.
"Historically, we have not had a formal policy," said spokeswoman Amy Thompson, "and as an institution, The Atlantic is part of ‘no party or clique,’ as our founders put it. Even though we have not implemented an officially codified policy, Atlantic editorial staffers are discouraged from supporting political campaigns.
"We're discussing this issue, and may in fact move toward a formal prohibition on political donations by editorial staffers. Of course, we have always policed any conflicts-of-interest on the part of writers and editors working on political stories."
(D) Business Week, Prudence Crowther, chief copy editor, $200 to John Kerry in April 2004, and another $200 that July.
Crowther said she doesn't think of herself as a newsperson. "I'm not a journalist, so I can't help you. I did obviously contribute to the Kerry campaign."
Business Week policy allows donations for most staff. "Our Code of Journalistic Ethics requires journalists to disclose any potential conflicts of interest and to recuse themselves from stories if a conflict could occur," said spokeswoman Patti Straus. "As a business publication, we don't prohibit campaign contributions."
(D) The Economist, Andreas Kluth, technology correspondent, $500 to John Kerry in May 2004. He is based in San Francisco, covering Silicon Valley.
"In my case, just to be clear, I told the editors about it, and I don't even cover politics," Kluth said in an e-mail. "That said, I do think that journalists can write perfectly fair and balanced pieces as professionals and simultaneously have private opinions, vote, donate, etc. Conflicts of interest such as shareholdings (where press coverage could be seen to lead to personal profit) are delicate, so in all these cases, disclosure seems appropriate. At The Economist we regularly disclose all investments."
(D) The Economist, Joanne Ramos, financial writer, a total of $2,100 in September and December 2005 to Matt Brown, the former Rhode Island secretary of state, a Democrat who ran for the Senate before dropping out amid a fundraising controversy. Ramos has written about banking, corporate pension reform, auditor concentration, the hedge-fund sector, Iraq’s banking system and international accounting standards.
"I'm a finance writer. I don't write about politics," Ramos said. "I'm not sure what the policy is."
(R) Forbes, Jean A. Briggs, assistant managing editor, donations to the Republican National Committee of $250 in March 2007, $250 in December 2005, $250 in February 2004, $250 in February 2003, $250 in March 2002, $250 in February 2001 and $250 in August 2000; as well as $250 to Rick Lazio, House candidate, Republican, in August 2000.
"I don't make campaign contributions," Briggs said. "I'm the assistant managing editor of Forbes magazine. I don't make campaign contributions."
When the contributions were described, she said, "You call that a campaign contribution? It's not putting money into anyone's campaign."
(The Republican National Committee put $25 million into the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004.)
When asked whether she made these contributions, Briggs said, "I don't believe I have to answer that question. Goodbye. Thank you for your call." And she hung up the phone.
In a follow-up e-mail, Briggs complained that msnbc.com had not formally requested an interview before calling to ask questions.
Forbes policy allows campaign contributions. Says Monie Begley Feurey, senior vice president, corporate communications: "Forbes has no policy regarding employees' personal contributions to political parties or candidates, but it does encourage any employee to be involved in their communities in any way they choose."
Briggs is also listed as a board member by PERC, the Property and Environment Research Center, which advocates "market solutions to environmental problems." PERC has received funding from ExxonMobil and other oil companies. The organization's Web site says, "She exposes fellow New York journalists to PERC ideas and also brings a journalistic perspective to PERC's board. As a board member, she seeks to help spread the word about PERC's thorough research and fresh ideas."
(R) Forbes, Robert Lenzner, national editor, $1,500 to Kathleen Troia McFarland, House candidate, Republican, in November 2005.
"As a rule, I don't make any political contributions," Lenzner said. "That was before the campaign that started. I never made any other contributions. It was merely a social, personal thing. I do not write about politics. Her husband is a friend of mine. It was contributed on the spur of the moment. I did not make it as a member of Forbes magazine. I don't believe it's a violation of any policy of Forbes magazine."
(D) Forbes, Tatiana Serafin, senior reporter, $202 to John Kerry in April 2004. She covers billionaires, retailing and other topics.
"I don't feel comfortable talking about my politics," Serafin said. "I'd prefer not to answer questions."
(D) Inc., Jane Berentson, editor, $1,000 to the Democratic National Committee in April 2004. Berentson is the senior editor at the magazine.
"Inc. has no prohibition against campaign contributions," she said in an e-mail.
(D) The New Yorker, David Denby, film critic, $1,000 to John Kerry in March 2004, and $250 more in May 2004.
He writes reviews and capsule summaries of films, including Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" (an "epochal documentary"), Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" ("slipshod intellectually"), and "An Unreasonable Man," a documentary on Ralph Nader, whom he apparently hasn't forgiven for getting in the way of the Gore and Kerry presidencies ("a thoughtless man who believes only in himself.")
Denby did not reply to messages.
(D) The New Yorker, Henry Finder, editorial director and books editor, $250 to John Kerry in June 2004.
New Yorker policy allows donations.
"It's an interesting question," Finder said. On the one hand, he said, it's not convincing to think that by abstaining from making a donation, a journalist is "preserving some kind of equilibrium in my head where I don't have opinions. You can't will yourself to be indifferent between chocolate and vanilla.
"If people give, it's in the public realm. How do you justify opacity as somehow making journalism better, to say, we need to preserve an appearance of indifference. That's something like misrepresentation, a dubious form of disguise."
Though he said he could see the "prudential argument," that as an editor you wouldn't want to feed the public perception of bias, he expressed faith in "ordinary reportorial professionalism, that whoever the reporter, they're not writing a piece that will make the world better, in their view, but they're writing the piece that is the piece."
(D) The New Yorker, Tad Friend, Hollywood reporter, $500 to John Kerry in May 2004. Friend is the author of "Lost in Mongolia: Travels in Hollywood and Other Foreign Lands."
Friend did not reply to messages.
(D) The New Yorker, Ann Goldstein, head of the copy department, $500 to MoveOn.org in October 2006.
"That's just me as a private citizen," Goldstein said. As for what the New Yorker's policy might be, she said she hadn't considered it. "I've never thought of myself as working for a news organization."
(D) The New Yorker, Hendrik Hertzberg, senior editor, $2,000 to John Kerry in three payments in 2004. Hertzberg often writes the Comment in the front of the magazine, and was a speechwriter for Jimmy Carter.
Hertzberg, in answer to the question whether he made these donations, sent this reply: "Damn right."
(D) The New Yorker, John Lahr, theater critic, $200 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in June 2006, $250 to the Democratic National Committee in September 2004, and $500 to John Kerry in March 2004.
Sometimes Lahr works an anti-Bush quip into his work. (Such as, to the president, "thinking is a fuse that has to be blown in order for him to do what he wants to do.")
"The whole point about criticism is to stimulate debate," Lahr said. "My biases are transparent, because I express them. One of the implications of your question is that people have no integrity — that people wouldn't be fair.
"What would you have me write? It would be hard to find a sentient person who could take a strong position for what the Republicans have done in the past six years. What are you going to do, take a position for their position on global warming or the war in Iraq? C'mon!
"This is a Puritan folderol. If you scratch farther into the people who make these rules, say at The New York Times, they're all in somebody's pocket."
(D) The New Yorker, Janet Malcolm, writer, 17 donations for $6,700 since 2003 to Democratic campaigns and PACs, including EMILY's List and the Democratic National Committee.
Malcolm did not return phone calls.
(D) The New Yorker, George Packer, the prize-winning war correspondent for the magazine since 2003 and author of the 2005 book "The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq," $750 to the Democratic National Committee in August 2004, and $250 in July 2005 to Iraq War veteran Paul Hackett, a Democrat who campaigned against the war and for a seat in Congress in Ohio.
"Journalists don't give up their rights as citizens. They can and should vote; they can and should support candidates," Packer said in an e-mail.
"My readers know my views on politics and politicians because I make no secret of them in my comments for The New Yorker and elsewhere. If giving money to a politician prejudiced my ability to think and write honestly, I wouldn't do it. Fortunately, it doesn't."
(D) The New Yorker, Mark Singer, profile writer, $250 in April 2004 to Victory Campaign 2004, which supported America Coming Together, which opposed President Bush. In January 2004, he had written the magazine's profile of Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean.
"I will tell you the truth. I am not a political writer," Singer said. "I got a call in the summer of 2003 from David Remnick because Nick Lemann was going to run the journalism school at Columbia, and he needed someone to cover the Dean campaign. And I tried to avoid doing it, because I don't believe fundamentally in the process by which we elect presidents — obviously it's an insane process. And I had a son who was working in the Dean campaign — he was 17, up in Burlington. It was a conflict of interest. I disclosed in the piece that my son was working for the campaign."
As for the donation, "I knew I was never going to write another political piece in my life. There was a decent interval, or an indecent interval, after the article. I must have rationalized that a get-out-the-vote campaign, there was some distinction — but now that I'm talking to you, I see that there's not a distinction. Obviously I'm a Democrat. I understand the nature of the question you're asking — but it's much easier to influence the outcome of a political election by writing about it than it is by making a contribution.
"I believe very much that writers have to be aware of conflicts of interest in all sorts of situations. Probably there should be a rule against it. But there's a rule against murder. If someone had murdered Hitler — a journalist interviewing him had murdered him — the world would be a better place. As a citizen, I can only feel good about participating in a get-out-the-vote effort to get rid of George Bush, who has been the most destructive president in my lifetime. I certainly don't regret it."
(D) The New Yorker, Judith Thurman, writer, $1,000 to the Democratic National Committee in October 2004. Thurman, who normally writes about books, art and fashion, wrote the magazine's profile of Teresa Heinz Kerry, published on Sept. 27, 2004. Her donation to the Democratic National Committee was recorded on Oct. 7.
Reached at home, Thurman said, "Let me get back to you." She did not call back.
"I don't do political coverage here," Ehrenfeld said. "I report for Jane Bryant Quinn's finance coverage. We write about topics like health insurance, so sometimes we write about legislation. I do write some of my own stories, not political."
(D & R) Newsweek, Jane Bryant Quinn, personal finance columnist, $1,000 to Judy Aydelott, a Democrat who ran for Congress in New York. Previously gave $2,800 in four donations to a Republican, former Rep. Sue Kelly of New York.
"In my case, I gave to dear friends," Quinn said. "They came to me, and I gave. And I gave to both Republicans and Democrats."
A Newsweek spokeswoman described a policy with some room, particularly for freelancers like Quinn.
"We have an expectation that Newsweek journalists will not make any contributions to political campaigns," said Jan Angilella. "Are there exceptions to this general expectation? Yes. Depending on the particular circumstances, including an employee's or freelancer's specific role or responsibility."
(D) Newsweek, Anne Underwood, correspondent on health and medical stories, $1,000 to John Kerry in March 2004. The donation is listed under her married name, Enslow.
"I really don't want to participate in this," Underwood said, hanging up the phone.
(D) Rolling Stone, Jason Fine, deputy managing editor, $280 to the Democratic National Committee in September 2004.
Fine did not reply to messages.
(D) Rolling Stone, David Swanson, assistant editor, $202 to John Kerry in March 2004.
Swanson did not reply to messages. He is now at the company's Men's Journal.
(D) Rolling Stone, Jann Wenner, editor and publisher, $25,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 2006; $20,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 2006; $10,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 2004; $5,000 to committees supporting Bob Casey, a Democrat elected to the Senate from Pennsylvania in 2006; $1,250 to Democracy for America, Democrat Howard Dean's PAC, in 2004; $1,008 to America Coming Together, which opposed President Bush, in 2004; and $500 to Democratic Senate candidate Ned Lamont in Connecticut in 2006.
Although known for music coverage, Rolling Stone covers politics, too. And editor/publisher Wenner is still very much involved in editing the magazine, said publicity director Beth Jacobson.
"We encourage our editors to be active participants in the democratic process," Jacobson said. "We don't operate like a newspaper. We're a magazine with a point of view, and it's clear we have that point of view. People go to Rolling Stone — they know what they're going to get."
(D) Time, Jim Frederick, senior editor, $500 to the Vermont Democratic Party in October 2006.
"At the time I made that donation, I was Time’s Tokyo Bureau Chief. I am currently a senior editor at Time’s European edition, based in London," Frederick said in an e-mail.
Time's policy says, "Employees are free to engage in personal volunteer political activity and contribute personal resources to candidates and parties in any manner consistent with federal, state, and local laws."
(D) U.S. News & World Report, Michael Freeman, researcher, $250 to Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, in February 2007.
"I'm not a journalist. I work in fact-checking," Freeman said, though he is in the news department. About the policy, he said, "In past years, they've sent that out, and it seemed like it really wasn't clear whether it applied to me or not."
The magazine's policy says employees could be accused of a conflict of interest if they donate, while it doesn't explicitly bar such a donation.
A spokeswoman for U.S. News said the new editor, Brian Kelly, is reviewing the policy.
(D) U.S. News & World Report, Amanda Spake, senior writer, $250 to John Kerry in August 2004. Spake covered public health issues and policy. Now a freelance writer, she is on a fellowship from George Soros' The Open Society Institute to study the health effects of Hurricane Katrina.
"I went to a luncheon for Kerry," Spake said. "I had friends who were organizing that luncheon, and I felt I had to do it."
As for any conflict of interest, she said, "I never covered politics. I covered public health. It did not impact my coverage one bit."
(D) Vanity Fair, Elise O'Shaughnessy, contributing editor, $2,000 to Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean in January 2004.
A spokeswoman for Vanity Fair said that O'Shaughnessy was a contributor to the magazine when she made this donation. She is a former executive editor of Vanity Fair. For a time earlier this year she was editor of Tango magazine for women
"While Vanity Fair does not have a policy regarding its contract writers’ making political contributions, we would expect a writer to recuse himself from any story that presented a conflict of interest or even the appearance of one," said spokeswoman Beth Kseniak.
(D) Vanity Fair, Michael Shnayerson, contributing editor, $2,000 to John Kerry in March 2004. The magazine has described Shnayerson as its de facto environmental editor, because he writes frequently on the topic, but he also has written about the likelihood of hacking of electronic voting machines, Halliburton's war-related profits, anti-terrorism data mining, global warming skeptics and other political topics.
"The fact is that there was no ban on political contributions at Conde Nast publications, at least as best I could determine (nor is there now)," Shnayerson said in an e-mail.
"I did give the matter some thought before I wrote my check, and it seemed to me that this was at worst a gray area, and at best a fairly clear one in favor of making the contribution. ... As a contributing editor, I write four stories a year. One might be about the environment or related to politics; the others might be about anything from a media subject to a fashion designer. This is different from a newspaper writer who covers a political beat, and to me tips the balance in favor of my right, as a citizen, to make any legal political contribution I choose to make."
He added this postscript: "I must say I do wish, in retrospect, that I had that $2,000 back to make a perhaps wiser contribution this go-round!"
(in order by approximate daily circulation)
(D) McClatchy Newspapers, Beryl Adcock, news desk chief, Washington bureau, $1,000 to John Kerry in April 2004. (She also gave a total of $650 to the Democratic National Committee in 2002 and 2003.) A blogger called these contributions to the attention of Adcock's bosses, Tony Ridder and Clark Hoyt. (Hoyt is now the public editor at The New York Times.) The bureau, then part of Knight Ridder, was known for its reporting that called into question the rationales for the war in Iraq.
"I was extremely upset and shaken that I had misunderstood something so important, and offered my resignation to Clark so as not to bring any further embarrassment to the company," Adcock said in an e-mail. "He refused it. He and Mr. Ridder both expressed regret that I had misunderstood the policy and had been hurt by it. I had discussed my donations on more than one occasion with more than one other editor here; I'd never made any secret of them, not knowing I wasn't supposed to be doing it. After this emerged, I sure wished that one of those editors had told me — or even told my bosses — so I could have stopped sooner.
"I no longer have a copy of the Knight Ridder ethics policy. Roughly, I recall it saying that employees are permitted to engage in political activity but that if there's a question of a conflict of interest they should discuss it with their supervisors, or something like that. I copy-edit stories and compile our news budgets and other communications with our newspapers, and it did not occur to me that my Washington bosses considered those functions a conflict of interest with making campaign donations.
"I was under the same policy at Knight Ridder's The Charlotte Observer newspaper in North Carolina, where I'd worked before coming to the Washington bureau. There I mostly worked in the features section, so I was confident there was no conflict of interest. I probably should have rethought that when I came to Washington, but I simply read the ethics policy, saw it was the same one I was used to, and my husband and I continued making our occasional donations."
(D) The Wall Street Journal, Krishnan Amantharaman, managing editor of the classroom edition, $500 to Barack Obama in two payments in February and March of 2007.
"I asked for those contributions back," Amantharaman said. "I don't want to comment on this."
(D) The Wall Street Journal, Henny Sender, senior special writer, $300 to John Kerry in May 2004. Sender covers Asia.
"Dow Jones' Code of Conduct does indeed bar news employees from contributing to partisan political organizations," Sender said in an e-mail. "I had been in Asia most of my career and this had never been an issue for me. As soon as I learned of this policy, which was shortly after I made that donation, I asked for and received a refund of my check back from the Kerry campaign. So for me, I wrote the check, realized the mistake, got the money back."
(D) The Wall Street Journal, Eben Shapiro, editor of the Weekend Journal section on Fridays, $1,500 to Democratic Victory 2004 in June 2004.
"The entry you're asking about reflected a purchase of art I made at a fundraiser," Shapiro said in an e-mail. "Shortly afterward, I was reminded of the Dow Jones' Code of Conduct provision barring news employees from contributing to partisan political activities. At that point, I returned the art and my money was refunded. So, while my mistake landed me on the list you're checking, at the end of the day my contribution was erased."
(D) The New York Times, Randy Cohen, ethics columnist, $585 in three donations in August 2004 to MoveOn.org, which conducted get-out-the-vote drives to defeat President Bush. In addition to the syndicated column "The Ethicist" for the Times Magazine, Cohen answers ethics questions for listeners of NPR.
Freelancers like Cohen are covered by the Times policy, which says, "Times readers apply exacting standards to the entire paper. They do not distinguish between staff-written articles and those written by outsiders. Thus as far as possible, freelance contributors to The Times, while not its employees, will be held to the same standards as staff members when they are on Times assignments, including those for the Times Magazine. If they violate these guidelines, they will be denied further assignments."
Cohen said he thought of MoveOn.org as nonpartisan and thought the donation would be allowed even under the strict rule at the Times.
"We admire those colleagues who participate in their communities — help out at the local school, work with Little League, donate to charity," Cohen said in an e-mail. "But no such activity is or can be non-ideological. Few papers would object to a journalist donating to the Boy Scouts or joining the Catholic Church. But the former has an official policy of discriminating against gay children; the latter has views on reproductive rights far more restrictive than those of most Americans. Should reporters be forbidden to support those groups? I’d say not. Unless a group’s activities impinge on a reporter’s beat, the reporter should be free to donate to a wide range of nonprofits. Make a journalist’s charitable giving transparent, and let the readers weigh it as they will.
"Those who do not cover anything, but write a column of opinion should have even more latitude. It is such a writer’s job to make his views explicit. Those donations to nonprofits will no doubt reflect the views he or she is hired to express. In evaluating such civic engagement, it is well to remember that to have an opinion is not to have a bias. To conceal one’s political opinions is not to be without them."
After msnbc.com checked the names of Times staff and contributors on this list with a spokesperson for the Times, Cohen sent this addendum:
"That said, Times policy does forbid my making such donations, and I will not do so in the future."
Update on June 25: One newspaper has dropped Cohen's column.
(D) The New York Times, Christine Muhlke, deputy editor, style magazine, $500 to John Kerry in June 2004, and $1,800 in two donations in 2004 to Downtown for Democracy, which made independent expenditures to oppose President Bush.
Muhlke referred questions to a Times spokesperson, who said Muhlke joined the Times staff in April 2005, after the donations. Before then she was a contributor on contract, writing food articles. The Times policy, which forbids donations, says that it applies to freelance writers as well as staffers, while they are on Times assignments.
(D & R) The New York Times, Nancy Tilghman, freelance writer, $2,300 to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in March 2007; $1,000 to Bill Manger, Democratic candidate for Congress, in August 2004; $1,000 to President Bush in March 2004; and $2,000 to Wesley Clark, Democratic presidential candidate, in December 2003. Her most recent Times bylines were in January 2006 and sporadically from 2001 through 2004. Her 2007 donation also listed the Times as her employer.
Tilghman said she no longer writes for the Times.
(D) Los Angeles Times, Nick Cuccia, design editor, $500 to John Kerry in March 2004, and $1,500 more in July 2004. Cuccia is a page designer on the features desk.
"I was not responsible for, or involved in, editing or placing national, political or campaign stories in the paper," Cuccia said in an e-mail.
The Times policy in effect at that time applied only to political writers: "Staff members should not take part in political or governmental activities they may be called upon to cover, or whose coverage they supervise."
In 2006, the Times completely overhauled its ethics policies, including a ban on political contributions by any editorial staff member.
"I am in compliance with that policy," Cuccia said, "and intend to remain so. Beyond that, I haven't any further comment."
(D) Los Angeles Times, Manohla Dargis, film critic, now at The New York Times, gave $1,000 to John Kerry in mid-July 2004, when she was still at The Los Angeles Times, and $1,000 more in late July, after she had been hired by The New York Times, but before she began the job. Previously, while at the L.A. Times, she gave $300 to Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader in September 2000, and $500 to Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean in December 2003.
Dargis has reviewed Michael Moore's "Sicko," among other films with political themes. She wrote that "Sicko" was "persuasive, insistently leftist."
"I made the Dean, Nader and first Kerry donations when the Los Angeles Times had no policy/guidelines prohibiting political donations by the likes of me," Dargis said in an e-mail. "The second Kerry donation was made when I was a free agent, employed neither by the Los Angeles Times nor by the New York Times."
(D) Los Angeles Times, DanNeil, automobile critic, $250 to the Democratic National Committee in July 2004. Neil received the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 2004.
"Yup, that's me, all right," Neil said in an e-mail.
"Two things: I'm a columnist, not a straight-news guy, and my political affiliations are not, I don't think, in doubt. Goes to the question of whether my 'activism' by donation is indicative of some covert (and mythic) liberal bias in the press.
"Two, I believe — I am not certain of this — the paper's policy specifically bars public political advocacy/activism. In other words, I couldn't go out and rep the DNC and then pretend to be an impartial commentator, as Paul Begala has done, or come very close to doing, in any event.
"This policy has, at times, worked a hardship on me. I wanted to march with Latinos in Los Angeles in 2006 — justice for Latino immigrants being a human rights issue right on my front door in Los Angeles — but I couldn't because of my understanding of the paper's policy on public advocacy."
(R) Los Angeles Times, Charles Perry, food writer, $200 to the Republican National Committee in October 2004.
"Yes, that $200 was my donation," Perry said in an e-mail.
"The Times ethics policy states as its basic principle that editorial employees may not use their positions at the paper to promote personal agendas or causes, nor should they allow their outside activities to undermine the impartiality of Times coverage, in fact or in appearance. I wholeheartedly support this policy, without any reservation.
"I'm a food and drink writer, not a news reporter. I have always felt there was no problem with contributing to my party because Food is a non-political section (could I somehow smear Democrat beers and whitewash Republican ones?). Therefore I felt my political contributions could scarcely discredit my writing, or my employer.
"The ethics policy says that staff members may not "contribute money to a partisan campaign or candidate" (though it also says "The Times does not seek to restrict staff members' participation in civic life"). Since 2004, just to be on the safe side, I have declined to make any political contributions."
(D) New York Daily News, Celia McGee, reporter, $1,000 to New York Sen. Hillary Clinton in May 2005, when McGee was on staff for The Daily News, and another $1,000 in March 2007, when she was a freelancer for The New York Times.
The Daily News spokeswoman said McGee left the paper in February 2006. A Times spokesman said the prohibition applies to freelancers "when they are on Times assignments."
(D) New York Daily News, Matthew Roberts, photographer, $404 to John Kerry in March 2004.
Update on June 21: Roberts called to say, "It doesn't sound like this is going to be a positive story. This sort of story could not possibly be positive for me, so I'm not going to respond. Good luck. Goodbye."
(R) The Washington Post, Stephen Hunter, film critic, $250 to the National Republican Congressional Committee in June 2004. Hunter received the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 2003. He also is known as a writer of thriller novels.
"That is indeed my donation, probably an unwise idea," Hunter said.
"A couple of years afterward, I was called aside by someone in management and told not to do it again. And being an obedient boy, I didn't do it again."
(D) The Chicago Tribune, Maureen Ryan, entertainment reporter, $1,500 to John Kerry in three donations in 2004; $1,000 to the Democratic National Committee in October 2004; and $500 to the Ohio Democratic Party in October 2004.
In September 2005, the Tribune's public editor disclosed in his column that Ryan had given to Kerry, then had written a column unfavorably comparing President Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina to Oprah Winfrey's response when she visited New Orleans.
In her own column, Ryan apologized to readers : "You should have had that information up front. I am sorry you did not. Having said that, I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that if Kerry had been elected, and events in New Orleans played out exactly the way they did last week, I would have written the same piece, substituting Kerry's name for Bush. Though I contributed to a Democratic cause, last week I praised Fox News' coverage of the post-Katrina disaster. Though I celebrated Oprah Winfrey's actions after the flood, I have written articles critical of her in the last year. As I have in the past, I will continue to attempt to be as honest and as fair as I can be in my television coverage, and I would feel honored if you could forgive this unintentional oversight and continue to share this space with me. Because you readers — even those of you who disagree with me — are the reasons I do what I do."
The paper's public editor responded to msnbc.com's questions sent to Ryan, saying the rules were tightened in early 2005.
"The Tribune ethics policy includes a blanket ban on editorial employees making any political contributions," wrote public editor Tim McNulty. "Now a few particulars...
"Back in 2004, Ms. Ryan was a writer in the feature section of the newspaper. She asked both her immediate supervisor and my predecessor as public editor if it was OK for her to make contributions.
"She was told at the time that it was permissible as long as she was not involved in political coverage. Ms. Ryan did not have any role then in reporting directly or even indirectly on politics.
"Since that time, the company found it impractical to monitor exceptions and far better, we think, to simply say in the ethics policy that 'no editorial employee, whether involved in political coverage or not, may donate to or be affiliated in any way with such groups' (referring to political parties and causes)."
(D) The Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein, classical music critic, $200 to the Democratic National Committee in October 2004.
Update on June 21: Von Rhein sent this by e-mail: "I write strictly about classical music for the Chicago Tribune and was unaware of the paper's policy regarding political contributions by staff writers, even when acting as private individuals. I since have been informed of the policy and have told my editors I will adhere to company guidelines in the future."
(D) San Francisco Chronicle, William Pates, letters editor for the editorial page, $600 to John Kerry in three donations in March and April 2004. Pates, who selected which letters were published, was moved to the sports copy desk after the staff of a Web site at San Jose State University, Grade the News, asked about his contributions. The Newspaper Guild contested the transfer and Pates is now back as the letters editor.
Pates did not return a message, but he told The Associated Press that he had not thought the paper's policy against political activity would apply to him, because he worked on the opinion pages.
The paper's editorial page editor, John Diaz, told msnbc.com that Pates had done an honest, professional job in his "gatekeeper role" and just hadn't thought the issue through.
(D) Newsday, Long Island, Rita Hall, section designer/artist and sometime writer, $210 to Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton in March 2006, and ...
"Dig deeper," she said. "I gave $2,000 to Kerry." Indeed, she did, in March 2004. "I'm not allowed to do this. I know it's against the rules," she said of giving to candidates. "I'll probably get fired. They're looking for any excuse to cut staff here."
She also slipped some anti-Bush material into a first-person column she wrote about her son, who won the Top Chef competition on the Bravo network. "In passing I mentioned that I was interested in finding people who hated Bush as much as I did. They took that out.
"My view is: You're still going to have an opinion whether you admit to it or not. If you don't admit to it, you're being dishonest. Let's be transparent."
Newsday's senior editor, John Mancini, who hadn't known of Hall's contributions, said, "It is against our policy for anyone on the editorial staff to make political contributions. Anything that would call into question our objectivity. It stems from the appearance of conflict being a problem."
(D) The Boston Globe, Rebecca Ostriker, arts editor/writer, $2,000 to John Kerry in June 2004.
Ostriker was on vacation and did not reply to messages.
Globe editor Martin Baron said Ostriker was a part-time copy editor in the Living/Arts section in June 2004. Now she is on staff.
"Our policy is clear," Baron said in an e-mail. "No political contributions by anyone in the newsroom. I am not aware of any breaches of the policy in the last few years."
(D) The Boston Globe, Henry Riemer, sports statistician, $1,700 to Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean in 2003-2004 and $1,000 in 2004 to Democracy for America, which gave to Democrats. Riemer retired in 2004.
"We felt the need in 2004 to clarify a seeming ambiguity among some staffers about whether those who had no involvement in political coverage could make political contributions," said Globe editor Martin Baron. "The discovery (by our own reporters) of Henry Riemer's contribution was one reason we issued a clarifying memo."
(R) The Star-Ledger, Newark, Robin Gaby Fisher, feature writer, $200 to President Bush in March 2004 and $300 to the Republican National Committee in November 2004.
Fisher said she doesn't cover politics and the paper doesn't have a policy on contributions. She gave in 2004, she said, because of the war. "It frightened me that it was a bad time to change course, because we were in the war. After getting your call and reflecting on it, I think it was kind of a bad idea."
(D) Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Barbara Haugen, copy editor, $250 to Sen. Amy Klobucher, a Democrat, in October 2006.
Haugen did not return phone calls. The paper's managing editor, Scott Gillespie, said, "We have a conflict of interest policy. We ask that people who are involved in political coverage — we dissuade them — we actually dissuade the entire staff. We haven't banned it outright for the entire newsroom. Our policy says that people should avoid doing any partisan politics on their own, avoid any politics. It's especially emphasized for people who do political coverage."
(D) Detroit Free Press, Susan Hall-Balduf, copy editor, $300 to John Kerry in July 2004. Now editing news copy, she gave when she was in features.
"I was scolded," Hall-Balduf said. "We did a story on how easy it was to look up these records on the Internet, and they were not happy to find a couple of our own people on the list. But I made the point that I worked only in features, and I never edited any stories that have to do the election. I was told not to do it again. I wouldn't do it again. But at the time my job was focused on the doings of Britney Spears."
(D) Detroit Free Press, Joel Thurtell, reporter, $500 to the Michigan Democratic State Central Committee in September 2004.
"Whatever the Free Press policy is," Thurtell said, "I actually have my own policy about that: I'm a citizen of the United States. I have a right to support whatever candidate I like."
Thurtell said his political views don't influence his reporting, as demonstrated by his role as a reporter on the stories disclosing the ways that Democratic Rep. John Conyers used his congressional staff to run personal errands and do campaign business.
"I got tons of e-mail from liberal-type people who likened me to Karl Rove. I have tried to be as honest as I possibly can as a reporter."
(D) The Oregonian, Portland, Steve Amick, reporter, $200 in July 2004 to the Democratic National Committee. Amick is no longer at the paper.
"I don't want to be interviewed," Amick said, hanging up the phone.
(R) The Miami Herald, Harry Broertjes, copy editor/page designer, $250 to the Republican National Committee in June 2006, $500 more in August 2006 and $200 to President Bush in August 2004.
Broertjes, on the Broward County staff, did not return telephone messages. Herald managing editor Dave Wilson said the policy is clear: "Journalists should not make campaign contributions."
(D) The San Diego Union-Tribune, Penni Crabtree, business reporter, $225 in October 2004 to MoveOn.org, which ran get-out-the-vote efforts to defeat President Bush.
Crabtree did not reply to messages.
Update on June 28: The Union-Tribune will review its policy, which now allows donations, editor Karin Winner told KPBS, while the public radio/TV station moved in the other direction, repealing its own ban on campaign contributions by journalists.
(D) The San Diego Union-Tribune, Bob Elledge, assistant news editor, $250 to Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark in January 2004 and $500 to John Kerry in July 2004. Also gave $250 to Clark in 2003.
Elledge did not reply to messages.
See the update above on Union-Tribune policy.
(D) The San Diego Union-Tribune, Shaffer Grubb, graphic artist, $500 to MoveOn.org, which opposes President Bush, in 2006; $500 in 2006 to Michael Arcuri, a Democrat elected to Congress from New York, in 2006, and $500 in 2006 to Christine Jennings, a Democrat who lost a still-contested congressional race in Florida.
Grubb does elegant infographics. He began working at the paper in May 2005 after graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
"I asked my superior before I gave," Grubb said. "It's allowed."
See the update above on Union-Tribune policy.
(D) The San Diego Union-Tribune, Arline Smith, news production editor, $500 to the Democratic National Committee in October 2004.
"Yes, that is my donation," Smith said in an e-mail. "I am the production editor at the Union-Tribune. This means I coordinate the flow of type and pages from the Newsroom through Composing to Platemaking. In my job I have no responsibility for the assigning, reporting or editing of political stories or for their placement, headlines, etc. There is nothing in our ethics policy that bars me from making political donations."
See below for her husband, Charlie.
See the update above on Union-Tribune policy.
(D) The San Diego Union-Tribune, Charlie Smith, copy editor, $500 to the Democratic National Committee in June 2004.
"That's my wife, Arline," Smith said. "She is the one who made the donations." And his wife agrees. (See Arline Smith, above.)
See the update above on Union-Tribune policy.
(D) The Sun, Baltimore, John Scholz, copy editor, $250 to the Democratic National Committee in March 2004.
According to an article in The Sun, Scholz retired in July 2004. He worked for the business copy desk and did not view the donation as a conflict, the newspaper said. The Sun at that time had no policy banning donations. Scholz was due to retire soon after that article was published.
(D) San Jose Mercury News, Rachel Wilner, sports editor, $250 to John Kerry in June 2004.
Wilner said her understanding was that the paper's policy allows contributions unless it would present the appearance of a conflict of interest.
(D) Boston Herald, Chris Donnelly, news librarian, 16 donations in 2003 and 2004: $3,200 to the Democratic National Committee, $2,500 to John Kerry, $675 to MoveOn.org, which opposes President Bush, and $200 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Donnelly, who now works for a database company, said he thought of himself as a librarian, not a journalist, although he worked for the news department. He said he didn't know the paper's policy.
(D) South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, Ethan Skolnick, sports columnist, $250 to Peter Deutsch, Democratic candidate for Senate, in July 2004; and $250 to Debbie Schultz, Democratic candidate for House, in June 2005.
"I no longer can make any more," Skolnick said in an e-mail. "At the time that I made them — they were both friends of a politically active friend — I was not aware of the newspaper's policy that restricts us from doing so (even if we work in sports, as I do).
"Anyway, after carefully reading the ethics policy last year, I disclosed the donations to my editor. When I've been asked for donations since, I have declined. I also told political organizations to take me off of their call lists."
(D) Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Randy Galloway, sports columnist, $750 to the Democratic National Committee in three payments in 2004 and 2005; and $500 to Democratic Rep. Martin Frost in September 2004. Previously gave $1,000 in 2002 to Senate candidate Ron Kirk, Democrat.
"That was my wife, Janeen," Galloway said in an e-mail. "It's a joint checking account, both names on the checks. She makes her own political donations."
(D) Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Vincent Langford, sports copy editor, $500 to the Democratic National Committee in October 2006.
Update on June 22: Langford sent an e-mail: "The Star-Telegram has no restrictions on making a political contribution. It now says in a story available online and which appeared in Friday's edition that the policy will be reviewed. I think this is a good thing, and that in the future I wouldn't have my name on a political contribution because of the problem of perception, even though in no way would I ever let the way I vote influence the way I would report a story or edit a story. You don't bring your politics or your religion into the newsroom. I don't have bumper stickers on my automobile because I wouldn't want to park in the Star-Telegram lot and give someone the perception of political influence. The Internet has become a bumper sticker preventing even the smallest contribution, no matter what your job is at a news organization, which I think is sad and regrettable but the present reality."
The executive editor, Jim Witt, said in the story Friday that the Star-Telegram will review its policy: "The public records search that we did on our entire newsroom staff didn't turn up anything that caused me heartburn, but I think we'll revisit our policy now that this issue has been raised," he said. "The political season is coming up, so it's probably a good time for us to review it. Most of the bigger papers in Texas totally prohibit contributions by any staff member regardless of whether they are in a position to influence anything or not.
"Our credibility is the most important thing to us, and if our current policy means that might be affected in an adverse way then we certainly want to address it. At the same time, I want our staff to enjoy the same rights and privileges that others in our society benefit from, and we want to be smart and fair about how we expect them to behave."
(D) The Hartford Courant, Nancy Gallinger, copy editor, $250 to John Kerry in July 2004.
"That is my contribution," Gallinger said in an e-mail. "Since that time, Tribune has adopted a policy against political contributions by journalists."
(D) The Hartford Courant, Bill Lewis, copy editor, $250 to John Kerry in August 2004. Lewis, who was a copy editor on the A section, or news, is now in features.
Lewis did not reply to messages.
(D) Richmond Times-Dispatch, Michael Hardy, state political reporter, $1,000 in February 2006 to Democrat Matt Brown, the former Rhode Island secretary of state, who ran for the Senate before dropping out amid a fundraising controversy.
As a state capitol political reporter in Virginia, Hardy writes frequently about Democrats and Republicans.
"My contribution in a Rhode Island primary was based on a personal decision," he said in an e-mail. "As for my assignments, I cover the governor's office, state appellate courts and the General Assembly. I have no national responsibilities."
The managing editor of the Times-Dispatch, Peggy Bellows, did not reply to messages.
Update, July 11: According to Style Weekly in Richmond, Hardy and copy editor Pam Mastropaolo (see below) were suspended for one month without pay for violating the paper's ethics guidelines. The union is contesting the suspension.
(D) Richmond Times-Dispatch, Pam Mastropaolo, copy editor, $1,650 to the Democratic Party of Virginia in February 2007, and $1,165 in February 2006.
Mastropaolo didn't reply to messages. Nor did the managing editor, Peggy Bellows.
Update, July 11: According to Style Weekly in Richmond, Mastropaolo and political reporter Michael Hardy (see above) were suspended for one month without pay for violating the paper's ethics guidelines. The union is contesting the suspension.
(D) Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, Calif., Robert Taylor, fine arts reporter, $500 to the Democratic National Committee, October 2004.
"I write about visual arts for the Times," Taylor said. "I'm a features writer and reviewer. If I were a political reporter, I might have made a different decision. If we have a policy on making political donations, I'm not aware of it."
(D) The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Calif., Mark Benoit, wire editor, $500 in October 2004 to MoveOn.org, which ran get-out-the-vote efforts to defeat President Bush. As a wire editor, Benoit is a copy editor who selects which state, national and international stories to publish.
"I'd rather not talk about it," Benoit said.
(D) Palm Beach Post, Fla., George McEvoy, columnist, $200 to John Kerry in May 2004, another $200 in June 2004, and $204 to the Democratic National Committee in September 2004.
McEvoy did not reply to messages.
(R) The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Barbara Bradley, fashion editor, $300 to the Republican National Committee in November 2004. Previously gave $500 to President Bush in December 2003.
"I am a fashion and features reporter and was ignorant of our newspaper's policy against donations by reporters," Bradley said in an e-mail. "My editors informed me, and I made no more contributions."
(D) The Des Moines Register, Stephen P. Dinnen, business reporter, $250 to John Kerry in June 2004. His byline is S.P. Dinnen.
Dinnen said he wasn't sure whether he gave to Kerry or not. "It might have been my wife. She's active in politics." He said he wasn't sure how the campaign would have gotten his occupation and employer for the records.
(D) The Honolulu Advertiser, Chris Neil, wire editor, $500 to John Kerry in June 2004. The wire editor selects national and international news stories.
Update: Neil said that he was relieved of his duties as wire editor, for the rest of the 2004 election, after editors heard from a reader about his donation. The paper had published an article, which he had edited, explaining how to look up campaign contributions on the Internet. He was reinstated to that position after the election, but recently moved to another role, as a general copy editor.
Neil said the issue of whether or not journalists should make donations is complicated. "I will not categorically say that it should be allowed, but I'm leaning that way. Which is better? For the views to be known, or not known? The reverse is there's a lot of bias in the media that's hidden -- and that's more valuable to a politician than a campaign contribution."
(D) The Blade, Toledo, James Bradley, copy editor, $250 to John Kerry in June 2004, and $250 to the Democratic National Committee in September 2004.
Bradley, who edits news copy, said he didn't know whether the paper has a policy on political activity. "It's never come up."
(D) Lexington Herald-Leader, Brian Throckmorton, copy desk chief, $250 to John Kerry in June 2004. His staff edits local news articles, selects wire stories and writes headlines.
"The thing that we try to avoid is the appearance of partiality," Throckmorton said. "And for me that means bumper stickers and yard signs and things that might lead the public to easily but falsely suspect that there's a problem with our impartiality. But something as private as a donation which they might have to work to find out...."
Besides, he said, "the fact of a political donation doesn't imply lack of impartiality or bad news judgment to begin with, and one person making a donation doesn't imply that there's a bias throughout the newsroom."
Then Throckmorton said, "I'm not comfortable being included in the story. Do not publish my name."
The paper's managing editor, Tom Eblen, said in an e-mail, "Herald-Leader newsroom employees are not allowed to actively or publicly participate in politics. Our policies strongly discourage, but do not prohibit, this type of donation."
Update, June 27: The Republican Part of Kentucky called on the newspaper to fire Throckmorton. "We have no plans to fire Brian," editor Linda Austin said in an article in the Herald-Leader. "He violated no existing policy. However, we are reviewing our policy regarding newsroom employees and political contributions."
(R) The Morning Call, Allentown, Pa., Beth Hudson, sports reporter, $500 to the Republican National Committee in October 2004.
Update on June 21: The paper's editor, Ardith Hilliard, sent this reply by e-mail:
"The Morning Call does not condone contributions by editorial staff to political causes, candidates or parties. For many years this was a common understanding in the newsroom. However, it was not part of a written ethics code until December 2004. The reporter who gave the contribution in 2004 understands the code of ethics and adheres to it.
"I've covered sports exclusively since I was in college, so my story topics and my personal beliefs don't cross paths, " said sports writer Beth Hudson in the statement passed on by her editor. "I've never aspired to cover politics for a newspaper. But when our paper asked all employees to sign on to a new ethics policy — which covered a long list of items, including contributions — I did so and understood the rules."
That policy says: "Members of the editorial staff may not hold public office or work on behalf of a political candidate, issue campaign or party. Neither should they engage in petition drives or in public demonstrations in favor of or in opposition to a cause or make contributions to any candidate, party or political cause. This does not preclude political party membership and does not presume to interfere with a person's rights as a citizen to vote and to express political opinions privately."
(D) The Daytona Beach, Fla., News-Journal, Marc Davidson, editor, $200 to Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida Democrat, in March 2006, and $250 to Sen. Russell Feingold, Democrat from Wisconsin, in July 2002.
Davidson, the senior editor and a member of the paper's owning family, said in an e-mail that the paper "has no policy prohibiting contributions by employees. It does require its editorial employees not to RUN for office, though. I think my grandfather, who made most of the policies we follow, thought that preventing donations would rob them of their last right to political expression — a line he didn't want to cross.
"Yes, those are my donations. I've always been an active Democrat, and until my responsibilities at the N-J became editorially related, I was a figure in the county Democratic Party.
"But I will say that no one is ever in doubt over this newspaper's politically liberal stance, and it's unlikely that I would send money to a candidate I was not already committed (in my mind) to support. That support would be evident in my work, regardless of my contributions.
"As a general rule of thumb we try to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest, so it's unlikely that you'd see too many political contributions large enough to make those lists coming from any editorial staff. I'm kind of the exception to that rule because, as I said earlier, no one is in any doubt about the paper's stances and since my name (rightly or not) is inextricably linked with the paper, no one is going to construe an occasional donation by me as being in conflict and everyone is going to assume I sent a contribution even if I didn't.
"I don't often make such contributions, but sometimes, as with the Nelson one you list, I felt it was vital to support him."
Update on June 25: Davidson sent a correction, saying he was wrong about the policy. He said it reads: "News staffers are encouraged to be involved in their communities to the extent that such activities don't create real of apparent conflicts of interest. Involvement in politics, demonstrations and social causes that would create conflicts of interest or the appearance of such conflicts should be avoided. News staffers should avoid any public political activity, including contributions. They should not run for office, sign political petitions or campaign for any candidate or political cause."
"Needless to say," he added, "I disagree with this policy."
(D) Albany, N.Y., Times Union, Greg Montgomery, graphic design editor, $500 to the Democratic National Committee in September 2004; $725 to MoveOn.org, which opposed President Bush, in 2004; $1,600 to John Kerry in 2003-2004; and $250 to Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., in 2006.
Montgomery said he doesn't think of himself as a journalist — he designs covers for magazines and feature sections and does the occasional news graphic or map. He said the paper has no written policy on political activity. When he gave, he said, "I thought that was a particular point in time when it was time to stand up and be counted." As for any future donations, he said, "It's a moot point, because I'm out of money."
(R) The Washington Times, film critic Gary Arnold, $1,000 to the Republican National Committee in four donations in 2004. Also $1,400 total to the RNC in six donations in 1997-2003. Arnold was the full-time critic for The Washington Times before becoming a freelancer for the paper at the end of 2005.
Arnold said he'd like to see more disclosure of the political views of journalists. "I'm always reading things from political reporters who pretend to be impartial, but it's clear what their biases are."
He said that political issues are "a non-issue for 90 percent of the movies I review" but that the minority is getting larger, with much of Hollywood wearing its opinions on its sleeve.
(D) San Gabriel Valley Newspapers, Calif., Eric Terrazas, sports editor, $200 to the Democratic National Committee in October 2004, and $500 more in May 2006.
Update on June 21: "Yes, those were my donations to the Democratic National Committee," Terrazas said in an e-mail. "I'm a lifelong Democrat and I have donated to the DNC from time to time for the last several years.
"As a journalist, I know that objectivity is essential. But since my donation was coming from my own pocketbook, I didn't think it would be a big deal to donate to the DNC. Also, I believe our newsroom doesn't have a policy against campaign donations."
(R) The New York Sun, Liz Peek, financial columnist, $2,000 to Elizabeth Dole, Republican, in March 2007; $2,000 to the Volunteer PAC, which supports Republicans, in June 2006; $1,000 to Mark Kennedy, Republican, in June 2006; $500 in June 2006 to Straight Talk America, which supported Republicans; $15,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee in April 2006; and $4,200 to Kathleen Troia McFarland, Republican House candidate, in November 2005. In previous years, she gave $65,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Peek did not return calls. A PR person sent an e-mail asking what the story was about but then would not answer questions.
The managing editor of The Sun, Ira Stoll, said, "We don't have a written policy on that. I can imagine situations where it might pose a conflict. But to me the right to contribute to a campaign is a basic free speech right, and I would want to err on the side of allowing those contributing to the Sun to exercise those rights, and it has the side benefit of disclosing to those readers something that might otherwise be hidden from them."
But, we asked, were the donations disclosed to the readers in the Sun? "No, but as you've proven, they are easily found on the Internet."
"Our readers are very sophisticated," he said, able to tell the difference between an editorial endorsing a candidate and a journalist donating to a candidate.
(D) The Lincoln, Neb., Journal Star, Paul Fell, editorial cartoonist, $450 in 2006 to Maxine Moul, Democratic candidate for the House.
"For your information, I did contribute the amounts listed to the Maxine Moul for Congress campaign in 2006," Fell said in an e-mail. "I am a freelance cartoonist, who contracts with the Lincoln Journal Star to draw three editorial cartoons a week.
"They don't pay me enough money to be able to dictate how I conduct myself in political campaigns. I generally do not donate to political candidates, but Maxine Moul is a longtime friend and former newspaper publisher where I got my start as a cartoonist back in 1976.
"Frankly, I don't give a rat's ass what the Lincoln Journal Star or their parent organization, Lee Enterprises, policies are on allowing newsroom staff to give to candidates and parties. I do not believe they did disclose my donations. That's their problem, not mine."
Update on June 25: Fell is no longer with the newspaper.
(D) The Lincoln, Neb., Journal Star, Sylvia Hermanson, copy editor, $250 to the Democratic National Committee in January 2007.
Hermanson said this was a joint contribution with her spouse. "So, am I busted? I'll have to check our policy on newsroom practices."
(R) Macon, Ga., Telegraph, Stephen "Keich" Whicker, local government reporter, $250 to Republican congressional candidate Mac Collins in October 2006.
Whicker, who covered a different congressional race for the paper, said he didn't contribute — it was his father of the same name who paid for a ticket to a fundraiser where President Bush was speaking. But it was the son, the reporter, who used the ticket to attend the fundraiser. "Dad's a Republican. He couldn't go, and basically he gave the ticket to me to go."
"Because I cover politics, I'm extremely careful about that sort of thing. I don't even vote in elections. I didn't pay for it. I went to attend — I'd never seen the president before."
(D) New Hampshire Union Leader, David Johnson, sports copy editor, $500 to James Craig, the state House Democratic leader and candidate for Congress, in March 2006.
"I don't believe they have a policy on that," Johnson said of the Union Leader, the state's largest newspaper. "I've never heard one way or another. It doesn't affect anything that I do personally. Not that sports doesn't have political issues. It does."
The paper's managing editor, Edward C. Domaingue II, did not reply to an e-mail.
(D) Corpus Christi, Texas, Caller-Times, Elvia Aguilar, business writer, $500 to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in March 2007.
She said she accompanied her father and brother to a Clinton fundraiser, but that it was her father, not she, who made the contribution. "No, my news organization doesn't allow journalists to make campaign contributions. And I didn't make a campaign contribution," Aguilar said in an e-mail. "I accompanied my father and brother to the event, and my father paid for this with the cashier's checks. I do not know why I showed up as a contributor."
(D) National Catholic Reporter, Margot Patterson, senior writer and arts/opinion editor, $2,100 to Claire McCaskill, Senate candidate, Democrat, in October 2006; a total of $800 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 2004 and 2006; $1,000 to Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver in 2004; and $250 to Howard Dean, Democratic presidential candidate, in February 2004.
Patterson has reported from the Middle East and written extensively about political topics, including cover articles on the Iraq war, for the independent national weekly in Kansas City. Both Rep. Cleaver and Sen. McCaskill oppose the war.
The reporter also signed a petition against the war and paid to have it published as the advertisement "KC Metro Citizens Oppose War On Iraq!"
None of this was disclosed to the readers of NCR, which bills itself as "the independent newsweekly."
Patterson said her policy is more honest than the "hypocrisy" of reporters who hold positions but don't back them up with donations.
"Most reporters I know have opinions, regardless of whether in their capacity as citizens they choose to give to a political candidate," she said in an e-mail. "I feel my responsibility as a journalist is to be fair to the people and issues involved and to be as accurate as possible. That responsibility is incumbent upon me regardless of whether I choose to vote — or not — or choose to contribute money to a political campaign — or not."
"As I see it, I was born a citizen of the U.S. and I will die a citizen of the U.S. and my responsibilities to my country do not suddenly cease because I take a particular job. When I see my country embark on a course of action that I think disastrous to its future and fatal to its citizens, I think it my duty to do my utmost to stop it. That includes supporting candidates who will promote a less aggressive foreign policy and who will defend constitutional government and the rule of law. All of us have multiple roles and identities in life that we negotiate."
About signing the petition against the war, Patterson wrote in the e-mail, "I’m sure I had long since forgotten about that ad when writing the articles." In any case, she said, that's not "an ethical problem. For one thing, I wasn’t covering the same people I gave money to when I wrote the articles. For another, the newspaper I work for has been strongly and unequivocally opposed to the war from the outset and has made that abundantly clear in its editorials. NCR has always been anti-war and it is NCR policy not to accept a dime from the Department of Defense. I do not think NCR readers can be in any doubt as to where the paper stands when it comes to war. It’s against it. There is no attempt to be neutral or even-handed about this topic."
Her editor, Tom Roberts, said he was "less than a strict constructionist on the matter of what reporters should be allowed to do in the exercise of citizenship and conscience." He said that the paper's articles have in fact been neutral and even-handed, though its editorials have opposed the war. On campaign contributions, he allowed them unless they would be perceived as a conflict of interest.
"The contribution to the ad, on the other hand, is clearly another matter. Although the paper, editorially, has consistently and strongly opposed the war even before it started, a reporter signing a petition crosses the line to activism and we've spoken about it."
(D) York, Pa., Daily Record, Teresa Cook, copy editor, $500 to Democratic House candidate John Sarbanes in Maryland in July 2006.
Cook didn't return calls. Her editor, James McClure said, "I'm not going to comment."
(D) Muskegon, Mich., Chronicle, Terry Judd, reporter and chief of the newspaper's Grand Haven bureau, $1,900 to the Democratic National Committee in six contributions from 2004 through 2006; and $2,000 to John Kerry in March 2004.
"You caught me," Judd said. "I guess I was just doing it on the side."
The paper's metropolitan editor, John Stephenson, said appearances of a conflict do matter. "We run letters all the time from people who say we're right-wing this or left-wing that." He checked with the paper's senior editor and found that the paper has no written policy on donations, but he said it will consider one now.
"This information makes us want to think further and more deeply about what we encourage and discourage in reporters," Stephenson said. "We have always historically said, 'You guys can have any political beliefs you want, just don't wear your hearts on your sleeve, or your bumper. Truthfully, this sort of thing may be the new bumper.' Ten years ago, you may have to have waded through a mountain of paper to find this stuff. We are rethinking. It's OK to do something if our readers don't know it? Is it all about appearances, or is there more principle here? It's an interesting question."
(D) Fort Wayne, Ind., News-Sentinel, Fran Adler, copy editor, $250 in August 2006 to Dr. Tom Hayhurst, Fort Wayne city councilman and Democrat who lost the congressional race in 2006 for the 3rd Congressional District.
Adler said, "Well, you know, it was from my husband and me. I'm surprised that my name is on it. That's neither here nor there. That's just how you found me. We are people and citizens, and we have the right to support candidates in our own ways.
"I was asked to distribute flyers at a 4-H fair, but my editors thought something that visible was inappropriate. But I was allowed to make a contribution. I'm a citizen, and I'm going to have my opinions regardless. I think I can be absolutely objective about him and his opponents and anything. I'm in the distinct minority in this newspaper in my political leanings — I don't think it's an issue."
The paper's editor, Kerry Hubartt, said he hadn't thought of campaign contributions as public. "We don't mind contributions as such, but we have to tell our staff they can't openly participate in a campaign, handing out flyers.
"There are probably things we may not know about in terms of participation," Hubartt said, "that might make us nervous if we did know about them."
(D) Fort Wayne, Ind., News-Sentinel, Faith Van Gilder, copy editor, $500 in October 2006 to Dr. Tom Hayhurst, Fort Wayne city councilman and Democrat who lost the congressional race in 2006 for the 3rd Congressional District.
"Actually, my husband and I gave," Van Gilder said. "I don't remember why.
"We just rewrote our ethics policy for the newsroom about two years ago. I looked at it, and it said you can't run for political office. It doesn't mention donations or wearing a political button or putting a political bumper sticker on your car. We have a pretty small newsroom, 30-35 people, and we, for the most part, we all know each other's political stripes.
"I'm sure one of our main objectives is to be very neutral when we're writing a headline, when we're editing copy. We would never put our personal opinions in a cutline. When you're a professional journalist, you separate what you believe from your job. I've been in the business for 25 years. Maybe someone who is younger has struggled more with that. I'm able to keep the two separate."
(D) Martha's Vineyard, Mass., Times, Whit Griswold, copy editor, $650 to MoveOn.org, which got out the vote against President Bush, in September 2004, $1,500 more in October 2004, $500 in September 2006, and $1,000 in November 2006; and $500 to Joseph Courtney, Democratic House candidate in Connecticut, in September 2006.
Griswold said he now believes that he shouldn't donate to candidates.
"Your question's a good one. I never even thought of it. I'm not a reporter. I don't think of myself as setting policy — I don't. But I have a little influence as a copy editor. I can see, if the world was perfect, I shouldn't do it. My boss doesn't want us to run for office. Coincidentally, he's a conservative Republican and did endorse Bush twice. I'm way over on the other side."
(D) Air America and CBS, Betsy Rosenberg-Zimmerman, environment talk show host and environment reporter, $500 in June 2005 to Joe Nathan, Democrat; 1,000 in October 2004 to Environment2004 PAC, which made independent expenditures opposing President Bush; $1,000 in June 2002 to Colorado Senate candidate Thomas Strickland, Democrat; $250 to John Kerry in March 2002; and $1,000 in September 1998 to EMILY's List.
Rosenberg-Zimmerman contributed while she was reporting on the environment for CBS Radio and KCBS in California, and then when she moved to Air America to host a talk show. Her program on April 17 was devoted to Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, to whom she contributed by giving $1,000 in February 2004 to the California Victory ’04 PAC. "Congratulations for all your bold leadership," she told Boxer. She didn't disclose to her listeners that she was a Boxer donor.
She said she is not a journalist now, although her program's Web site calls her one. Now she's a "radio activist."
"For a while I was calling myself an environmental reporter, because it was kind of newsy thing. That bio may just be an old bio."
(D) National Public Radio, Corey Flintoff, newscaster, $538 to Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean in December 2003. He is well known from "All Things Considered."
"That contribution was actually made by my wife, but it was on a joint account, so my name showed up on it," Flintoff said. "Since then, NPR has instituted a strict policy against campaign donations or political activity of any kind. I agree with the policy and follow it scrupulously. My wife still makes contributions."
Flintoff said a blogger called the contribution to NPR's attention, helping to lead NPR to tighten its policy.
(D) National Public Radio, Michelle Trudeau, correspondent, $500 to Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean in two contributions in September 2003, and $500 more to Dean in May 2004. Trudeau covers science topics for "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered."
Trudeau did not reply to messages.
(D) National Public Radio affiliate in Washington, WAMU, Susan Goodman, reporter, $450 to Judy Feder, Democrat, in a congressional campaign in 2006; and $1,000 to the Ben Cardin for Senate campaign, Democrat, in 2005. Goodman, no longer at the station, reported on politics and public affairs. She also contributed feature stories to NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered."
"Yes, I made those contributions and I voted for those people," Goodman said. "I did not cover those campaigns. I wouldn't cover anyone I was actively supporting."
If donations were not allowed, "I wouldn't work at a place like that. I don't think you should give up your rights as a citizen if you work as a journalist. I guess there are a few issues that I have no opinion on, but there are very few issues that I have no opinion on. There's an attempt to be balanced and fair. I feel as a citizen and a voter, I am responsible to myself, and to know about issues and take a stand. As for being a journalist, hey, you try to present your story in a way that opens the issue for people to ask questions, not to sell somebody on something."
(D) WWJ News Radio, Detroit, Vickie B. Thomas, reporter, gave a total of $1,000 to Senate candidate Kweisi Mfume in the Maryland race for a Senate seat in June and December 2005.
Thomas did not return telephone calls.
(D) Bloomberg News, Katherine Burton, reporter, $250 to John Kerry in March 2004, and $500 in June 2004 to Downtown for Democracy, which opposed President Bush. Burton covers investment management, including hedge funds.
Burton did not reply to messages.
The editor in chief of Bloomberg, Matthew Winkler, said that political donations are generally allowed at Bloomberg, but not if they might present a conflict, such as for political reporters. It's up to employees to police themselves. Someone at his level, he said, can't make any contributions.
Winkler himself gave $750 to the 2000 Gore campaign and the Democratic National Committee in 1998-1999 and gave to Democrats in earlier years. As reported by Washington City Paper in 2002, Winkler said these donations were made by his wife from a joint account and that he and his wife were one "economic entity." He said he and his wife would make no more donations. But in 2004, the records show, his wife gave $1,600 to Al Gore and the Democratic National Committee.
"I can't control everything my wife does," he told msnbc.com. "I try. I try. I try."
(D) Bloomberg News, Robert Dieterich, energy editor, $250 in June 2004 to America Coming Together, which opposed President Bush.
"I'm not going to comment on this," Dieterich said. "I'm not going to have a conversation about this. I'm not going to give you a read one way or another." And he hung up the phone.
(D) Bloomberg News, Joshua Fellman, reporter in Asia, $500 to Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean in December 2003, and after Dean dropped out, $500 to John Kerry in March 2004. Fellman has written about the Bush administration policies on the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.
Fellman did not reply to messages.
(D) Bloomberg News, Robert Houck, multimedia news editor, $250 to Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean in January 2004. He also gave $710 to Dean in 2003.
Houck did not reply to messages.
(D) Bloomberg News, Milanee Kapadia, reporter, $1,000 to John Kerry in May 2004. She is now a reporter for NY1, a cable news channel in New York City.
Kapadia did not reply to messages.
(D) Bloomberg News, James Polson, reporter on energy and utilities, $250 to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri in October 2006.
"The reason I made the donation is, I'm also the managing partner of a family farm in Missouri," Polson said. "My cousin who works the farm was a big McCaskill supporter. I cover electric companies in 50 states. I actually had not consulted the ethics policy."
(D) Bloomberg News, Carlos Torres, reporter in Washington, $250 to John Kerry in July 2004. He also gave $250 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in September 2003. Torres covers U.S. economic news.
"I have nothing to say about that," Torres said.
(D) Bloomberg News, Robert Urban, real estate reporter, $225 in August 2004 to MoveOn.org, which opposed President Bush. Also gave $250 to Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean in November 2003.
"I have no comment," Urban said.
(D) Bloomberg News, John Wydra, radio newscaster, $200 in October 2004 to the Democratic National Committee and $400 in 2003 to the same. No longer at Bloomberg, Wydra is starting a Web site, WydeWorld. "In 1986," the site says, "John took a one-year leave of absence from CBS in order to run for public office as a candidate for Congress in the 13th U.S. Congressional District in New Jersey, where he won the Democratic primary, but lost to the incumbent in the general election. That experience was the foundation for his intensified interest in public affairs."
Update on June 21: Wydra sent an e-mail saying that he gave to the party, with which he was already identified as a former candidate, but did not give to individual candidates.
As to his work, "I believe that during my career, I acted honorably in presenting the news without bias, intentional or accidental." He is posting more in a series of commentaries on his Web site.
(D) Dow Jones Newswires, Samuel J. Favate Jr., editor, $1,036 total in August and October 2004 to America Coming Together, which ran get-out-the-vote efforts to defeat President Bush.
Favate didn't reply to messages. These donations may have been ticket purchases to the "Vote for Change" concerts.
On his personal blog, Favate rails against the Iraq war, for gun control, for a tax audit of Christian psychologist James Dobson, etc.
An older blog, still online until recently, lists Favate's "people I don't like": George Bush, Pat Robertson and the Christian Coalition, Donald Rumsfeld, the Republican Party, John Ashcroft, Bill Frist, Dennis Hastert, Tom DeLay, Ann Coulter, the f---ing NRA, corporate America ("these are the people who are really in charge"), Clear Channel, Halliburton, Cablevision, and Wal-Mart. "You can be sure that I will be adding to this list from time to time, so try not to piss me off."
After msnbc.com left a message asking about the blogs, his name disappeared from the current blog and the older one went dark, though you can see a copy.
Dow Jones spokesman Howard Hoffman said, "No, we don't have a blog policy, and we're not overly concerned about what Sam did or didn't do on his blog exercising his free speech rights."
(D) Dow Jones Newswires, Billy Mallard, credit markets editor, $200 to MoveOn.org in October 2006.
"I actually was aware of the restriction on partisan political contributions in the Dow Jones Code of Conduct before I made the contribution but thought MoveOn.org was OK because it wasn't the Republican Party or Democratic Party," Mallard said. "Once this surfaced last week, I spoke with my editors and agreed that this is a partisan group. Therefore I should not have sent a contribution and have asked for my contribution to be returned."
Dow Jones spokesman Howard Hoffman said, "We take our independence and our integrity seriously, and our Code of Conduct requires all news employees and executives to refrain from partisan political activity. We do understand that people sometimes make mistakes and they have an opportunity to make amends."
(D) Reuters, Lisa von Ahn, news desk editor, $200 to the Democratic National Committee in September 2004.
Von Ahn, who is listed as a desk editor, referred questions to the public relations person for Reuters, who said the company allows journalists to make "personal contributions."
(D) Reuters, Michael Erman, reporter, $250 to the Democratic National Committee in March 2004.
Erman covers oil and energy companies and issues. He wrote recently about corporate funding of skeptics of global warming. He declined to answer questions, referring the call to the public relations person, who said Reuters allows journalists to make "personal contributions."
(D) La Stampa, newspaper in Turin, Italy, Paolo Mastrolilli, New York correspondent, $250 to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in February 2007.
Mastrolilli did not reply to calls and e-mails.
(D) New Delhi Television, Stephen Marks, reporter, Bethesda, Md., $2,300 to Hillary Clinton in March 2007.
Update, July 15: The general secretary of New Delhi Television, Rajiv Mathur, wrote to say that Marks was an intern, not a staff reporter, from February to May 2007 -- when this contribution was made. Mathur stressed that New Delhi Television had not made the donation. (Under U.S. law, donations by corporations wouldn't be legal anyway.) New Delhi Television had not replied to an e-mail inquiry sent on June 3.
(D) The Korea Daily News, Chang W. Kim, journalist, Kew Gardens, N.Y., $1,000 to Hillary Clinton in February 2006.
Msnbc.com was not able to reach Chang W. Kim.
(D) Oriental Daily, Chun Fai Cheng, reporter, Las Cruces, N.M., $250 to the Democratic National Committee in December 2005.
Msnbc.com was not able to reach Chun Fai Cheng.
(Correction: One of the names was included in error in this list of newspeople who contributed to political campaigns. Joe Cline, a graphic artist at The San Diego Union-Tribune, is in the advertising department, not in news. His name has been removed. Because Cline had given to Republicans, the adjusted tally is 143 journalists: 125 giving to Democrats and liberal causes, 16 to Republicans, and two to both parties.)
© 2013 msnbc.com Reprints