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ProPublica is self-described “as an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. Our work focuses on truly important stories, stories with 'moral force'.
‟ We do this by producing journalism that shines a light on exploitation of the weak by the strong and on the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them.” “I might find that believable except for the fact that ProPublica is funded by Herbert and Marion Sandler, the founders of Golden West Financial, who exploited the weak for their personal gain through their aggressive marketing of sub-prime mortgages to the marginally qualified. They did not 'vindicate the trust placed in them,'either in their behavior with sub-prime mortgages, or in their sale of their about-to-collapse company to Wachovia, which [nearly] failed as a result.” — Cheat Seeking Missiles
“A media outlet that will produce left-wing 'investigative' hit pieces that can be given to cash-strapped newspapers at no cost… Unfortunately, what used to be called 'muckraking' is likely to produce little more than left-wing ranting and conservative bashing. On the basis of what's been produced so far, ProPublica would be better known as ProLiberal.” — Cheryl Chumley, 2008-09 Phillips Foundation Journalism Fellow, Capital Research Center, Foundation Watch, May 2009
“ProPublica, an initiative launched last month in the United States to help revitalize investigative journalism, is a great idea trapped in the worst aspects of the best instincts in contemporary corporate commercial journalism.” — Robert Jensen, Professor, School of Journalism and Director, Senior Fellows Honors Program, College of Communication, University of Texas, Austin, February 2008
“Now if this enterprise were called a 'progressive' nonprofit, as other projects are, it wouldn't be news. But given the chairmanship of Herbert Sandler, and Steiger's claim that ProPublica will be run according to the 'strictest standards of journalistic impartiality and fairness,' there's reason to wonder if this isn't a new bid to drive the political agenda leftward under media disguise.” — Investors Business Daily Editorial, October 2007
“What do the Sandlers want from their millions? Perhaps to return us to the days of the partisan press… If I were a newspaper editor considering ProPublica copy for a future issue, the first thing I'd want is proof of a firewall preventing the Sandlers and other funders from picking – or nixing – the targets of its probes. And if I were an editorial writer, I'd call upon Herbert Sandler to provide ProPublica with 10 years of funding ($100 million), and then resign from his post as the organization's chairman so he'll never be tempted to bollix up what might turn out to be a good thing.” — Jack Shafer, Editor at Large, Slate, October 2007
“Under control of billionaire mortgage lender and founding donor Herbert Sandler, a board of directors including the Pew Charitable Trusts, a manager from the Rockefeller Foundation – as independent as a lapdog on a leash with allegiances sworn in advance to left-wing causes.” — UndueInfluence.com
“ProPublica will most certainly push a liberal agenda. …Sandler, like Soros, is a political philanthropist. His passion in life is to fund groups that counter the 'vast right-wing conspiracy.' There is no way he is going to waste $10 million per year on an organization that does not advance that agenda.” — John Carlisle, Director for Policy, National Legal and Policy Center, The American Spectator, January 2008
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