So there was an investigation by MSNBC reporter Bill Dedmaninto American reporters giving political contributions to candidates for federal office. And one reporter pops up as giving money from the Sun-Sentinel. Can you guess who?
Yeah, it was Ethan Skolnick.
He's always been such a blowhard political ha-- ... hey, wait a minute, Ethan Skolnick? He's a sports reporter. And a good guy (I once played on a softball team he "coached"). The investigation found that he gave $250 to Peter Deutsch, Democratic candidate for Senate, in July 2004, and $250 to Debbie Schultz, Democratic candidate for House, in June 2005.
Here's Skolnick's explanation, which he e-mailed to Dedman:
"I no longer can make any more. 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."
Probably a good idea, but does anybody really care if a sports reporter gives political contributions? If it was Anthony Man, there's be a problem. But is there a conflict in supporting Democratic candidates while waxing poetic on the Marlins? I don't give it a second thought, but I suppose newspapers should be consistent.
The findings on the Palm Beach Post and Miami Herald were a little closer to the bone. Just a little. The Post's George McEvoy, who is an editorial columnist, gave $400 to John Kerry and $204 to the Democratic National Committee in 2004. McEvoy didn't reply to Dedman's request for comment. It helps that McEvoy is a columnist paid to give his opinion rather than straight political reporting, and reading his stuff it's no secret where he leans (just read this). Still probably not a good idea, perception-wise, but hardly newsworthy.
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But now we get to the worst case, this one involving a copy editor/page designer for the Miami Herald named Harry Broertjes, who gave $250 to the Republican National Committee in June 2006, $500 more in August 2006 and $200 to President Bush in August 2004.
Broertjes, who works in the Broward bureau, didn't comment to Dedman, but Herald managing editor Dave Wilson told Dedman the policy was "clear": "Journalists should not make campaign contributions."
I agree. But giving money to Bush? That's the worst crime of all.
(Gotta go, the Liberal Bias Police are coming).