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Monday, June 17, 2013
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Conflicts of Interest
Topic: NewsBusters

A June 15 NewsBusters post by John Williams complains that "NPR’s rising young celebrity-like star Ari Shapiro, White House Correspondent," has been allowed to stay in that position despite the fact that his spouse, Michael Gottlieb, works in the Obama White House Counsel’s office. "Despite this, NPR has kept Shapiro in the same position as White House Correspondent and has never disclosed on-air or on its website this significant conflict of interest," Williams adds.

Williams' complaint might be taken more seriously if he and his fellow NewsBusters weren't ignoring media conflicts of interest on their own side of the aisle.

In a NewsBusters item posted just a few hours before Williams' item, Randy Hall touts how Fox News host Greta Van Susteren is "delighted" to have Sarah Palin back at Fox as a contributor because "it will drive her critics crazy! They are obsessed with her!”

Unmentioned by Hall or anyone else at NewsBusters: Van Susteren's husband, John Coale, has served as an adviser to Palin, starting both her political action committee, SarahPAC, and her legal defense fund. Coale also rode along with Palin on parts of her 2011 bus tour.

That seems like a conflict of interest that should be disclosed, but NewsBusters is apparently giving Van Susteren a pass because she works for a right-wing-friendly channel.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:46 AM EDT

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