Talking Points Memo rakes the media’s muck yet again. This time, Marshall’s marshals over at TPMuckraker investigate an “Executive Forum,” to take place in early December, for journalists, lawmakers, and—wait for it—lobbyists. The event will be hosted by Newsweek magazine (owner: The Washington Post Company) and—wait for it—the American Petroleum Institute, the oil-lobby behemoth. The latter of which has been—wait for it—“a key opponent of serious efforts to address climate change, spending over $3 million lobbying on the Waxman-Markey climate change bill this year.”

Oh, and: the panel’s subject will be—wait for it—energy policy and climate change.

Zach Roth (formerly of CJR) has the detail on the partnership, as well as the e-mailed invitation to “Climate and Energy Policy: Moving?”

From: Jennifer Slattery
Sent: Mon Nov 02 18:36:27 2009
Subject: V.I.P. Invitation / Newsweek Executive Forum - Climate and Energy Policy: Moving?

Dear XXX,

The editors of Newsweek cordially invite you to attend Newsweek’s Executive Forum entitled, Climate and Energy Policy: Moving? This Capitol Hill policy forum is scheduled on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at XXX in the XXX in the United States Capitol.

There will be an informal reception immediately following the discussion.

The panel discussion will be moderated [sic] Howard Fineman, Newsweek National-Affairs Columnist and Senior Washington Correspondent with special guest panelist Jack Gerard, President & Chief Executive Officer of American Petroleum Institute (API). Newsweek is also honored to have forum invitations currently pending confirmation with notable members of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate.

These additional program announcements will be made in the coming days and you will be apprised of these updates.

Newsweek is pleased to be co-hosting this panel discussion with API. To R.S.V.P. please click the below link and register for the event.



Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you need additional information or have further questions.

We look forward to hosting you on Tuesday, December 1 and value your continued interest in energy issues of importance.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Slattery
Manager, Newsweek External Relations

So…Salongate Part II? Or just your run-of-the-mill, Beltway-bubbly, journos-schmoozing-with-lawmakers-and-lobbyists event?

According to Mark Block, Newsweek’s director of external relations, the magazine has already hosted five such events with API—and Newsweek doesn’t consult API on the panels’ participants or the questions asked. There are, Block told Roth, “very strict church and state policies that have to be followed.”

Even so, one can’t help but notice: when it comes to such affairs…how thin the line between ‘routine glad-handing’ and ‘scandal.’

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.