CNN Dives Head First Into Television Payola

Evidently, it's simply way too much for network news executives to require any kind of independence.

In the wake of the Richard Wolffe brouhaha, some may still insist that its rare for television networks to promote corporate spokespeople as disinterested, nonpartisan "political analysts." If you are one of those people, check this out - it gives you a good sense that this happens all the time:

Longtime CNN political analyst Bill Schneider has joined, Third Way, a think tank that bills itself as advancing "the next generation of moderate policy ideas." Schneider, who will continue his on-air political analysis at CNN, will be the organization's first Distinguished Senior Fellow & Resident Scholar.

You may recall that "Third Way" is one of the most notorious corporate front groups in Washington, most recently working to destroy health care reform:

Third Way was launched in early 2005 to produce policy papers and messaging tactics for congressional Democrats, with a focus on Blue Dog senators. It was then, as it is now, drenched in corporate money and tangled in ties to big business. These ties stretch from the board of trustees, thick with hedge-funders and investment bankers, to its lone senior fellow for health policy, David Kendall, a former Blue Cross Blue Shield consultant.


David Sirota was the top spokesman for Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee. He is currently writing a book on the middle class economic squeeze for Crown Publishers. You can contact him at
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