Jul 1 1998

Root, Root, Root for the Home Team

Local Media Push Public Subsidies for Private Stadiums

The day after voters in King County, Washington, had apparently approved a plan to hike the local sales tax by a tenth of a percent to fund a new ballpark for the Seattle Mariners baseball team (9/20/95), the Seattle Times got right to the point with its banner headline: “Stadium Leads by 4,000 Votes.” A photo showed exultant baseball fans raising their fists in glee at the early returns. As it turned out, the stadium-tax referendum was de­feated by a slim margin. But sta­dium backers needn’t have wor­ried: As has been the case in cities across the country, the Washing­ton […]

Jul 1 1996

Heritage of Extremism

Some of the think tank’s leading figures—past & present

Paul Weyrich (cc photo: Chip Berlet/Wikimedia)

When we started out, Heritage was routinely referred to as an “ultra-conservative,” “far right” or “extreme right wing” organization. Today our ideas—which are based on the same philosophical principles as they were two decades ago—are considered mainstream. —Heritage Foundation Annual Report, 1993 Paul Weyrich: Co-founder and first Heritage president, Weyrich was a long-time associate of the John Birch Society. Weyrich left Heritage in 1974 to found the Free Congress Foundation, an activist group that still works closely with Heritage. Convicted Nazi war criminal Lazlo Pasztor works out of FCF’s Washington office, maintaining links to Eastern European organizations with roots in […]

Jul 1 1996

And End-Run Around the Giants

New technologies provide ways to avoid the media monopoly

Make your own media! I’m what they call a “media critic”—I teach a course called Politics of Media as a journalism professor at the State University of New York’s College at Old Westbury, and criticize media plen­ty, especially in the pages of Extra!. My focus is on concentration of media ownership, especially its impact on cov­erage of the environment and nuclear power. My work has documented the leverage of corporate pol­luters on media, and the owner­ship of much of network TV by the world’s biggest nuclear manufac­turers: General Electric and West­inghouse. But at the same time, I’ve been telling students […]

Jul 1 1996

The Media’s Favorite Think Tank

How the Heritage Foundation Turns Money into Media

Based in a spacious brick building a few blocks from the Capitol, the Heritage Foundation is running the most effective media operation in American politics. Heritage has succeeded with a savvy strategy: Raise a lot of money from rich people with a right-wing agenda. Hire writers, commentators and out-of-office politicians who share that agenda, and call them “fellows,” “policy analysts” and “distinguished scholars.” And, always, back them up with a public-relations juggernaut that’s second to none. The big money came easy. Back in 1973, beer baron Joseph Coors contributed a quarter-million dollars to get the project rolling. Since then, some […]