Journalists, “Media Professionals” Gave Over $469,900 To Political Candidates

An analysis of FEC filings by the Center for Responsive Politics found that 235 people who “identified themselves on government documents as journalists, or as working for news organizations…together have donated more than $469,900 to federal political candidates, committees and parties during the 2010 election cycle.”

Among those willing to discuss their contributions:

Paul Tharp, a business reporter for the New York Post, last year donated $750 to Rep. Michael McMahon (D-N.Y.), the Center’s analysis of Federal Election Commission records show. Tharp said his two donations represent a “satisfaction with [McMahon’s] public service” and his work with the arts.

“Just because I am a reporter doesn’t mean I give up my rights,” Tharp said. “I have an interest in public service, but not politics. I cover business.”

Chris Hayes of the Nation noted that his $250 donation went to the congressional campaign of a good friend, Alabama Democrat Josh Segall, and Vanity Fair’s Bethany McLean said her donations, totaling $2,000, were to her husband’s “close personal friend,” lllinois Senate candidate David Hoffman (D). Here’s Seymour Hersh on his $1,000 donation to Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho):

Hersh said the two met while Minnick worked in the Nixon administration.

“I’ve always respected him,” said Hersh…

Hersh said it’s “great” that journalists are giving money.

“A: It’s nobody’s business. B: It’s not like I’m giving money to a presidential candidate or a party,” he added, saying that he’s also given money to a Washington state senatorial candidate, who is Republican. “I’m giving money to people I think are good people.”

Among the “six media professionals who have contributed more than five figures since January 2009?” Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, “maxed out contribution limits last year, giving $30,400 to the DNC.” Ditto ESPN Executive Producer Maura Mandt. And Richard Mellon Scaife, owner and publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has contributed $14,400 to the RNC and Pennsylvania Republican candidates.

Have a look at the the downloadable spreadsheet with all the details (Teaser: there are more donations to D’s than to R’s.)

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.