WaPo Gives Raytheon Lobbyist Free Range To Publish Pro-War Editorials
MINNEAPOLIS – The Washington Post, the capital’s paper of record, is at again – pushing war propaganda and failing to disclose glaring conflict of interests within the paper, particularly regarding one of its contributors whose ties to the nation’s largest weapons manufacturers have been conveniently omitted from his WaPo editorials.
As Media Matters reported, WaPo contributor Ed Rogers has been given free range to praise and push for more military action against the Syrian government, all while failing to disclose that Rogers doubles as a lobbyist for defense contractor Raytheon, the very company that manufactured the Tomahawk missiles used in last week’s strike.
Rogers, on April 8th, penned a piece titled “Could it be? Is President Trump on a roll?” in which he lauded Trump’s strike against a sovereign nation, stating that “the Syria attack couldn’t have been a better example or come at a better time.”
Then, on Wednesday, Rogers published another article entitled “The afterglow of the strike on Syria won’t last long” where he asserts that more action must be taken to not repeat the mistakes of previous “victories” achieved by past Presidents:
“Even though the events are not entirely comparable, let’s remember that the colossal victory President George H.W. Bush had in Iraq in 1990 did not last long. In true Churchillian fashion, Bush was voted out in 1992. The afterglow of Trump’s strike on Syria is not going to last much longer.”
While Roger’s author bio states that he is chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR group, it fails to state who exactly is represented by the firm. Last year, BGR netted $120,000 for lobbying Congress on “defense and communications procurement” as well as “defense appropriations and authorizations” according to lobbying disclosure reports. These same reports also name Ed Rogers specifically as a Raytheon lobbyist.
Raytheon’s, and thus Roger’s, interest in further strikes is clear, given that each of the 59 Raytheon-manufactured missiles used in the attack cost over $1 million each, meaning that the strike alone netted Raytheon a handsome profit upwards of $80 million. It should also come as no surprise that, after the strike, the company’s stock jumped, leading traders to gush over “red-hot” Raytheon. Raytheon, if Roger’s editorials are any indication, is likely itching for more business – and thus, more war.
The Washington Post has been consistently criticized in recent years due to its repeated failure to adhere to basic journalistic practices – a failure many blame on the paper’s not-so-secret connections to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Not long after billionaire Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, bought the Post from its long-time owners in 2013 – Bezos secured a $600 million contract with the CIA for its use of Amazon Web Services (AWS).
AWS, now servicing every U.S. intelligence agency, has a proven track-record of “currying favor” with the U.S. intelligence community. For instance, in 2013, media watchdog FAIR noted that soon after WikiLeaks had published State Department cables, “WikiLeaks was booted from Amazon’s web-hosting service AWS … So at the height of public interest in what WikiLeaks was publishing, readers were unable to access the WikiLeaks website.”
The conflict of interest between the CIA and the Washington Post was clear to many at the time, including Robert McChesney of the Institute for Public Accuracy who stated:
“If some official enemy of the United States had a comparable situation—say the owner of the dominant newspaper in Caracas was getting $600 million in secretive contracts from the Maduro government—the Post itself would lead the howling chorus impaling that newspaper and that government for making a mockery of a free press. It is time for the Post to take a dose of its own medicine.”
Despite the fact that this conflict of interest is as clear now as it was then, the Washington Post has consistently failed to inform readers of its ties to the CIA, even as the views the paper espouses have aligned with those of the intelligence community in recent years. Chief among these has been the vilification of Russia following last year’s election where the Post, on several occasions, gave license to the McCarthyist accusations that Trump colluded with Russia and that Russia has “intervened” in the electoral process – a narrative the CIA was particularly invested in pushing despite the fact that concrete evidence to support this claim was never released.
While the Washington Post’s failure to describe Roger’s gross conflict of interest may not be unsurprising, given the Post’s refusal to do the same, it nonetheless marks a new low for the paper – finalizing its conversion from a journalistic publication to a propaganda blog. As Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone warned the Post after it published a particularly sloppy article late last year:
“Jump into bed with them [politicians] and you not only won’t ever be able to get out, but you’ll win nothing but a loss of real influence and the undying loathing of audiences.”
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