Rick Berman Fools The Tennessean For 3rd Time

Oh, Tennessean. Your gullibility would be laughable were it not so very appalling. Seriously, what does this say about your reputation that a D.C. lobbyist has managed to fool you not once, not twice, but three times in one six month period? Somewhere on K street a corporate lobbyist is laughing his ass off at you.

On Thursday I posted a blog item about D.C. corporate lobbyist/professional astroturfer Rick Berman and his staff of sock puppets, namely David Martosko.

On Friday, The Tennessean runs a “Tennessee Voices” column by, you guessed it, David Martosko, attacking the HSUS. Yes that would be the same HSUS that just filed an ethics complaint against Martosko’s employer Rick Berman. Timing is everything, isn’t it?

The Tennessean of course identified Martosko as:

…director of research at the Center for Consumer Freedom, a nonprofit watchdog group that deals with activities of tax-exempt activist groups.

Hah! I think I’ve already covered that ground but for those who haven’t been paying attention (ahem, Gannett employees!) that’s a bit of a stretch. It’s a more like an industry front group, funded by Cargill, Tyson Foods, Coca-Cola, Monsanto, and others. From Wikipedia:

IRS records show that in 2007, the CCF paid more than $1.5 million to Berman and Company for “research, communications, and other services.”[25] Both the Center for Consumer Freedom and American Beverage Institute are managed by and share facilities with Berman and Company,[26] a public affairs firm owned by lobbyist Richard Berman and also associated with Center for Union Facts.

This is now the third time The Tennessean has fallen for Rick Berman’s propaganda game. Back in February they ran an anti-MADD Tennessee Voices column by “Sarah Longwell,” who fronts several of Rick Berman’s phony organizations, including the restaurant industry-funded American Beverage Institute.

But wait, there’s more. In December 2009, The Tennessean ran an anti-minimum wage op-ed by “Kristen Lopez Eastlick,” identified as “senior economic analyst at the Employment Policies Institute.” Eastlick is a very busy lady:

Kristen Lopez Eastlick has been listed in many different capacities for nearly all of Berman & Company’s front groups. She has been cited as everything from director of policy analysis to chief administrative officer, and has been linked to the Center for Consumer Freedom, the American Beverage Institute, the Employment Policy Institute, the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Literacy, Activist Cash, and the Employee Freedom Action Committee. Eastlick is a frequent editorial writer and Berman spokesperson.

Okay, Tennessean. Will the third time be the charm or is there going to be a fourth incident before your Opinion page editors learn how to hit the Google?

And they say the internet killed the newspaper business. Yeah, right. Looks like a suicide to me.


Filed under astroturfing, media, Rick Berman, The Tennessean

6 responses to “Rick Berman Fools The Tennessean For 3rd Time

  1. >You do very good research, Beale. But heres a question…is it possible that the editors at the tennessean know all of this but are electing to publish it anyway? I mean, no other publication is likely to call them out, right? Aren't they just filling column inches, cheaply?

  2. >Possible. I was told that the person who used to manage the Tennessee Voices section is no longer there (don't know if they got reassigned or quit or what) and whomever is doing it now is really seeming to fill column inches. Most of the "voices" don't seem to be from "Tennessee" any more, rather lobbyists and PR people from DC and New York and whatnot. Don't even know why they call it Tennessee Voices any longer.The column was supposed to be a place for people in the community to express their views in a longer format than an LTE. Now it's just a place to stick a news release.

  3. >It isn't an accident, a lie travels around the world twice before the truth gets its shoes on nowadays.

  4. >(In passing.)I don't think they fell–they jumped.

  5. >I am so sorry to be from the south. I prefer to remember my life in a more moderate state. For you people in Tennessee, get out while you still can. The south will not rise again. There is a level of corruption associated with southerners that will never be purged. Run…. Everyone there with an IQ over room temperature, just run away!!!

  6. Mark @ Israel

    >Tennesseans must wake up before they will be hit again but please don't run. After all there is still the so called "fourth time". The south will rise in an opportune time! Maybe not now but later.