Lobbyists Slimy; No One Too Surprised

Two weeks after Mike Allen broke the story of The Washington Post’s planned “salons,” he’s back today with another tale of unseemly buck-raking behavior: the news that a conservative organization made a blatant “pay for play” proposal to FedEx.

Allen’s lede:

The American Conservative Union asked FedEx for a check for $2 million to $3 million in return for the group’s endorsement in a bitter legislative dispute, then flipped and sided with UPS after FedEx refused to pay.

In reply the ACU has sent out a press release, in which it claims the story carries a “false headline,” notes David Weigel at The Washington Independent. Readers can peruse the letters that form the core of Allen’s story, posted at Politico’s site, and judge for themselves.

The story has been picked up around the blogosphere but hasn’t really caused the firestorm Allen’s Post piece did. Which is good news for journalists: we may tend to fare poorly in those polls about “most respected professions,” but people still expect more from us than from lobbyists.

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Greg Marx is an associate editor at CJR. Follow him on Twitter @gregamarx.