May 16, 2010, 8:33 pm
Report on Lobbyist Commissioned by Humane Society
By JOSEPH PLAMBECK, New York Times Blog
It reads much like a newspaper article.
For 3,500 words, the report details the workings of Richard Berman, a lobbyist in Washington and a regular foe of the Humane Society of the United States.
But in fact, the report was commissioned by the Humane Society itself and published on its Web site last week.
The author, Ian T. Shearn, 56, is a longtime newspaperman who spent 10 years at The Star-Ledger in New Jersey, where he was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize. He left the paper in 2008.
The dearth of available journalism jobs has since left him, like many underemployed journalists, chasing freelance jobs and doing some consulting. Read More
Last week I shared how the HSUS had hired a former journalist to start attacking people who disagree with them. Today we find out that the author of the article had been out of work. So when he was hired to do this “independent” investigation I’m sure he wanted to keep his new employer happy. In order to do that, some of the facts had to go out the window. I’ve never met anyone involved in this story, but from the outside looking in, this was a very obvious and desperate attempt by the HSUS to deflect criticism. It certainly doesn’t fit into their stated goal of helping animals. Besides that, the things being said about the HSUS by the Center for Consumer Freedom must be true or else they would be attacking the message rather than the messenger. It’s another unfortunate example of a journalist giving up his chosen profession to be a paid activist.