As founder of BreakingBrown, I’ve said on several occasions that many of the people in the black blogosphere and Twitterverse are paid provocateurs instead writers with a vested interest in the black community.
The editor and co-founder of Politic365, a black politics website, was recently revealed as a paid lobbyist for tobacco and telecom.
During an interview on Wednesday, Vice reports that Kristal High revealed that she was being paid by lobbying firm DCI. And just in case you don’t know, lobbying firms pay for influence, not just for the sake of handing out free money.
Talk show host David Pakman made it clear during the interview that both High and another guest, Everett Ehrlich, were pitched to his program as guests by DCI.
“Are individuals like you and Everett Ehrlich, are you paid by DCI?” Pakman asked High.
“I think you have to really consider what it is you’re suggesting, you’re asking there,” High tried to explain. “If people are working on different issues, there could be, say, a consulting arrangement that’s separate and apart from whatever it is people are advocating for.”
Pakman, however, refused to let the subject drop.
“In other words, DCI may be paying you as a consultant,” Pakman pushed. “But they’re not paying you for the media appearances or being a spokesperson for the point of view that their clients espouse.”
“Right,” High responded.
Not surprisingly, High has defended the FCC’s plan to end net neutrality, as have the NAACP and Urban league, even though such a move could hurt independent black media providers and their consumers.
High also attempted to take on Vice, showing up in the comments section of net neutrality articles to do the bidding of big telecom, which probably had something to do with why they outed her as a corporate shill.
High also defended big telecom in an op-ed for the Huffington Post, but not once did she reveal that she was being paid by the very group whose interests she was supporting. High’s articles up at Huff Post have since been removed for “violating our blogger terms, which require bloggers to disclose possible conflicts of interest or any financial affiliations they may have with parties or topics they’re writing about.”
Here’s more about Politic365 from Vice:
Politic365 was “incubated” by the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, a group profiled last year by the Center for Public Integrity. They found that the outfit takes huge checks from telecom giants to mobilize African American and Latino support for industry priorities, like opposing net neutrality or supporting corporate media mergers.
This is why the need for INDEPENDENT black media is so great. The site also shilled for the Comcast merger:
Another news article on the site muses that the proposed Comcast merger with Time Warner Cable could “benefit minorities.” When Comcast merged with NBC, Politic365 also celebrated that conglomeration as somehow beneficial to communities of color.
Now is probably as good a time as any for High to reveal how much money she’s taken from DCI and other lobbying interests during her time at Politic365.