Robert Bryce – The Media’s Industry-Funded Go-To Guy

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Robert Bryce, a fellow at the dirty industry-funded Manhattan Institute, is under increasing scrutiny as media outlets continue to use him as an “expert” on energy issues without disclosing his ties to the energy industry. DeSmogBlog’s Brendan DeMelle has written several pieces on Bryce’s connections to the industry, as well as how media outlets, including the New York Times, continue to allow Bryce to write op-eds on energy issues that are laden with fallacies without disclosing his conflict of interest.

From Brendan’s previous reports on Bryce’s New York Times piece:

Bryce penned an op-ed attacking renewable energy while promoting nuclear and fracked shale gas, with no disclosure in his byline about the Manhattan Institute’s fossil fuel clients. I offered Bryce’s piece as an example in order to formally seek answers about the disclosure policy at the Times and whether it was adequate in light of the failure to disclose Bryce’s dirty energy backing.

Now Media Matters has done a fantastic job of detailing the numerous media outlets that are allowing the industry hack Bryce to pen his agenda-driven drivel, as well as uncovering where his group’s funding is coming from:

Manhattan Institute Is Funded By ExxonMobil. According to ExxonSecrets.org, the Manhattan Institute has received $385,000 from Exxon since 1998, including $50,000 in 2010.

Manhattan Institute Has Received Funding From The Koch Family Foundations. The Manhattan Institute has received over $1.3 million total from the Claude R. Lambe Foundation and the David H. Koch Foundation over the years, both of which are associated with Koch Industries, an oil, gas and chemical corporation. From 2001 to 2009 (the most recent year for which data is available), the Lambe Foundation gave The Manhattan Institute $200,000 annually. The Lambe Foundation’s board of directors is “comprised entirely of Koch family members, senior Koch executives, and staff who serve Koch foundations,” including the CEO of Koch Industries Charles G. Koch, according to Greenpeace.

In addition to the reporting of Media Matters, a website called TrueTies.org has taken a close look at Bryce’s clear conflicts of interest and asked the New York Times to craft a policy of disclosure of conflicts of interest for its op-ed contributors.

Agenda-driven journalism is a growing problem in America, and without full disclosure from media outlets, viewers and readers have an almost impossible task of sorting the industry’s views from actual facts.

Head over to Media Matters to read more about who Robert Bryce really represents in his op-eds. Who is Robert Bryce?

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine, and his articles have appeared on The Huffington Post, Alternet, and The Progressive Magazine. He has worked for the Ring of Fire radio program with hosts Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Mike Papantonio, and Sam Seder since August 2004, and is currently the co-host and producer of the program. He also currently serves as the co-host of Ring of Fire on Free Speech TV, a daily program airing nightly at 8:30pm eastern. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009.  Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced.

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