Liz Trotta attacks Think Progress for their reporting on the US Chamber of Commerce and their foreign funding. Trotta reads two lines from a New York Times op-ed that Think Progress has already thoroughly debunked as her proof that their reporting isn't to be trusted because they're a "far left" blog.
October 16, 2010

Liz Trotta attacks Think Progress for their reporting on the US Chamber of Commerce and their foreign funding. Trotta reads two lines from a New York Times op-ed that Think Progress has already thoroughly debunked as her proof that their reporting isn't to be trusted because they're a "far left" blog. Sadly Liz Trotta wouldn't know what a real journalist looked like if one bit her on the nose.

Here is the response from Think Progress to that NYT's op-ed.

GRAPHIC: How The Chamber Gets Its Foreign Money:

After consulting with the Chamber of Commerce’s chief lobbyist Bruce Josten, the New York Times and the Washington Post publish articles today largely dismissing concerns about the Chamber’s foreign sources of funding as a means to raise money to air political attack ads. Both the Times and the Post articles fail to appreciate the scope of the Chamber’s foreign sources of funding, focusing instead too narrowly on independently-run, foreign-based “AmChams.” The Times casually disregards our report as part of a “Washington spin cycle” (which apparently also involves the New York Times editorial board). [...]

In fact, as ThinkProgress has noted, “AmChams” are only a small piece of the puzzle. Most of the Chamber’s foreign sources of funds come from large multi-national corporations which are headquartered abroad, like BP and Siemens. Direct contributions from foreign firms also are accepted under the auspices of the Chamber’s “Business Councils” located in various foreign countries. [...]

Neither the Times nor the Post appear to have pressed the Chamber to answer two critical questions:

1) How many foreign sources of funding does the Chamber have? The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent received this statement from a Chamber spokeswoman: “[Of] the Chamber’s 300,000 members, a relative handful are non-U.S. based companies.” How many is a “relatively handful,” and how much do they contribute?

2) Are the foreign funds being directed into the same general account that is used to pay for partisan attack ads? Again, the Post’s Greg Sargent pressed on this point. The Chamber, which is running more than $10 million in political advertising just this week (the largest expenditure in one week by an outside group), said, “We are not obligated to discuss our internal accounting procedures.”

You can read all of their recent posts on the US Chamber of Commerce here. Full transcript of Liz Trotta's hackery below the fold.

Wright: The Whitehouse waging a battle this week with the US Department of Commerce over campaign contributions. The Whitehouse charging that some of those contributions come from foreign sources. But those allegations and where they may have come from igniting even more controversy. So how has the media been covering all of this? Author and journalist and Fox News contributor Liz Trotta joins us now with more details, and Liz, what say you about this situation?

Trotta: Well, Kelly remember the days when we heard Hillary Clinton talk about the vast right wing conspiracy? Well it turns out that we might have a left wing conspiracy, in the blogs... the left wing blogs.

This is a story that separates real journalists from bloggers and it's so interesting. The story about the Chamber of Commerce, namely that they were siphoning funds off the political... from taking foreign contributions and then giving them to electioneering came from, a very far left web site and they are a part of, or an arm of The Center for American Progress.

From there it seemed to morph into, which always is getting into the leftie act and then from there it seemed to turn up on the... in the Senate with Senator Al Franken, Democrat from Minnesota and then from there it went to President Obama who called it a threat to democracy.

Well of course it took the New York Times among other main stream media to point out that none of this was true. Let me read you just a little quote from a New York Times piece putting this into perspective.

...a closer examination shows that there is little evidence that what the chamber does in collecting overseas dues is improper or even unusual, according to both liberal and conservative election-law lawyers and campaign finance documents.

In fact, the controversy over the Chamber of Commerce financing may say more about the Washington spin cycle — where an Internet blog posting can be quickly picked up by like-minded groups and become political fodder for the president himself — than it does about the vagaries of campaign finance.

Well, they led the charge Kelly among mainstream media who really put this story down. The Whitehouse finally had to admit that there was no evidence that the Chamber was doing this.

Wright: Yeah and you know the Chamber of Commerce actually came on our air, representatives of the Chamber of Commerce came on Fax News... Fox News and flatly denied any of these allegations that the president and vice president have charged them with. So what happens after this?

Trotta: Well I think what happens after this, I think all it did was put the Obama administration in more trouble and you know, of course Democrats everywhere because it seems so unseemly, we have this unseemly picture of a president of the United States using unsourced and illegitimate material from left wing blogs.

One would hope that his sources were better than that. One would think that the president would have the best sources in the world. But this really was a faux pas on their part, but kudos to the mainstream media for setting it right and not buying into this left wing conspiracy.

Wright: Well you know we are facing the mid-terms. The president is falling in the polls in terms of popularity. Is this something that could be construed as an act of desperation in terms of trying to make sure that Democrats win?

Trotta: Yes. I think that's absolutely right and you know especially, also a wonderful little detail is that Robert Gibbs, the Whitehouse spokesman as you know, press spokesman again spent all week putting the Chamber of Commerce down. It turns out he worked for a group like this where nobody divulged where the funds went. So there you are.

Wright: Liz Trotta, we thank you for that. Thank you for your report to us as well.

Trotta: Thank you.

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