MSNBC Releases List of Editors/Reporters Who Made Political Donations

By: E&P Staff MSNBC released today a list of 144 journalists who donated to political campaigns or causes from 2004 to early 2007, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Those who work for newspapers made up the largest number. Some papers have ethics clauses that prohibit or discourage such donations, many do not.

Amazingly, the full account at includes responses from most of the journalists about the matter.

For example, Dan Neil, the Pulitzer-winning auto critic for the Los Angeles Times (who gave $250 to the Democratic National Committee in 2004) replies: "Yup, that's me, all right." He also explains: "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."

Stephen Hunter, film critic at The Washington Post and another Pulitzer winner, also gave $250 to the DNC in 2004. He explains: "That is indeed my donation, probably an unwise idea. 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."

Rita Hall, section designer/artist and sometime writer at Newsday, is named for giving $210 to Sen. Hillary Clinton in March 2006. She advises: "Dig deeper. I gave $2,000 to Kerry." She adds: "I'm not allowed to do this. I know it's against the rules. I'll probably get fired. They're looking for any excuse to cut staff here....

"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, according to MSNBC, 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."

Joel Thurtell, reporter a the Detroit Free Press, gave $500 to the Michigan Democratic State Central Committee in 2004. He stood by his guns: "Whatever the Free Press policy is, 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." He said his political views don't influence his reporting: "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."

Here is the MSNBC list for newspapers. "R" stands for Republican causes or candidates, "D" for Democratic causes or candidates. Full details on the actual donations and the replies are at


(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.

(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.

(R) The San Diego Union-Tribune, Joe Cline, graphic artist.

(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. Click for details.

(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. Click for details.

(D) Martha's Vineyard, Mass., Times, Whit Griswold, copy editor.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here