U.S. News Publisher Denies Giving to Campaigns, Despite 3 Recent Gifts to Dems
Professional journalism ethics suggest reporters should avoid conflicts of interest and, well, be accurate. Maybe Mortimer Zuckerman didnâ€™t get that memo. Zuckerman said he couldnâ€™t make political contributions â€“ when heâ€™s made 12 contributions to candidates in 13 years, 10 to Democrats.
Zuckerman, editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report and chairman of Boston Properties (NYSE:BXP), was asked about donating money to Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clintonâ€™s fading campaign by Huffington Post blogger and MSNBC â€śMorning Joeâ€ť regular John Ridley.
â€śI wish I could make a contribution, but Iâ€™m in the world of journalism and I canâ€™t, but thank you for the offer,â€ť Zuckerman said on May 9.
Oops. Maybe Zuckerman forgot, but his conflict of interest statement hasnâ€™t stopped him from donating in the past â€“ the recent past. According to OpenSecrets.org, a Web site maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics that tracks campaign contributions, Zuckerman has given $26,700 to individual campaign from 1995 to as recently as December 2007.
More than half that money was donated to Democratic candidates. The exceptions were $10,000 to former-Democrat-turned-Independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman.(I-Conn.) and $1,000 in 1995 donated to Sen. John Warner (R-Va.).Lieberman and Warner have co-sponsored global warming legislation to push a cap-and-trade bill in Congress.
Zuckerman has been portrayed as an economic prophet by the media. In the MSNBC segment, he warned that high oil prices â€śrepresent a huge threat to the basic economic security of this country.â€ť He was interviewed on the March 18 â€śNBC Nightly Newsâ€ť and spouted doom and gloom (similar to the claims he made just two months earlier.)
â€śMort Zuckerman doesnâ€™t sugarcoat it,â€ť NBC correspondent Mike Taibbi said. â€śOne of the countryâ€™s wealthiest real estate developers and the editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report has been saying for months weâ€™re in the worst economic downturn of his lifetime.â€ť
The problem with that statement is Zuckerman was born in 1937, during the Great Depression. According to Britannica.com, the Depression was a â€śworldwide economic downturn that began in 1929 and lasted until about 1939.â€ť Other sources give the ending date as the early 1940s.