There is no such thing as the View from Nowhere. Reporters, editors, columnists and media CEOs all have their own politics. Some donate, some disclose those contributions and others choose to stay mum.
The conservative newspaper the Washington Times falls into this last group, according to Federal Election Commission filings reviewed by International Business Times. Reporter and editor Kelly Riddell gave Republican ex-contender Carly Fiorina the maximum individual amount of $2,700 last year, records show.
Riddell's husband, Frank Sadler, who served as Fiorina's campaign manager, kicked in another $2,700.
In addition to writing about Fiorina’s rivals — both Democratic and Republican — each day, Riddell has written about the candidate directly in several posts. One post discloses her husband’s professional ties to the candidate but makes no mention of her (or his) donations. Others don’t disclose any ties whatsoever.
Nor did Riddell disclose her ties during an appearance with Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly this week.
Washington Times Executive Editor Christopher Dolan told IBT that this was a violation of company policy and that the company would retroactively disclose Riddell's ties.
"On her posts about the GOP, we will go back and append those with information that her husband was campaign manager, and the donations," Dolan said. He added that Riddell began last year as an investigative reporter and was moved to politics, specifically the Democratic field, so as to avoid any conflict of interest concerning her husband's work on Fiorina's campaign.
"When we get to the general election, we will have to evaluate how we handle her, but I’m not to worried about that right now," Dolan said.
Other media figures who donated to Republican candidates included Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax, a well-trafficked conservative news site, who delivered a symbolic $250 to Donald Trump. Meanwhile Steve Price, the CEO of Townsquare, a Greenwich-based broadcasting company that owns more than 150 stations across the US, donated the max amount of $2,700 to both Carly Fiorina and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
The only other media donors who directly gave to the candidates, rather than a super PAC or more shadowy route, went for Jeb Bush. The former Florida governor collected $2,700 from Steven Berns, former chief financial officer of Tribune Media.
Other Jeb donors include conservative media watchdog Kenneth Oliver of the liberal-busting Media Research Center and Wall Street Journal contributor and NYU professor Thane Rosenbaum. The latter caused an uproar in 2014 when he wrote a WSJ op-ed defending Israel’s killing of Palestinian civilians during that year’s war in Gaza. Jewish and non-Jewish critics alike took Rosenbaum to task.
Other than that, perhaps due to the breadth of the GOP’s field and the outsized presence of anti-establishment juggernaut Donald Trump, media types have yet to tip their hands with many political donations on the Republican side.
After IBT published a report Wednesday of media donors to Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, Gawker Media altered its policy on disclosing donations in order to address any perceived conflict of interest. (IBT reported that staffer Ashley Feinberg had given $510 to Sanders last fall.)
“I don’t believe in regulating the political activity of reporters,” wrote Executive Editor John Cook in a staff memo. “But I do believe in making our motivations and biases clear to our readers, whether it’s implicit in our writing or explicit in disclosures.”
The memo came complete with its own disclosure that Cook volunteered for Barack Obama in 2008.