What will Dana Milbank say?

This seems like a credibility-destroyer to me:

For $25,000 to $250,000, The Washington Post is offering lobbyists and association executives off-the-record, nonconfrontational access to “those powerful few” — Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and the paper’s own reporters and editors.

The astonishing offer is detailed in a flier circulated Wednesday to a health care lobbyist, who provided it to a reporter because the lobbyist said he feels it’s a conflict for the paper to charge for access to, as the flier says, its “health care reporting and editorial staff.”

The offer — which essentially turns a news organization into a facilitator for private lobbyist-official encounters — is a new sign of the lengths to which news organizations will go to find revenue at a time when most newspapers are struggling for survival.

It’s time to stop pretending that elite national media does anything other than represent wealthy interests, isn’t it?

I don’t think a blogger ethics panel is enough to take care of this problem. Some blogger ethics legislation is in order.






90 replies
  1. 1
    Michael says:

    In the porno industry, they call that “fluffing”.

  2. 2
    geg6 says:

    Just when I think the WaPo couldn’t shock me any more with their lack of any sort of journalistic credibility or integrity, they flabbergast me with this.

    Unfuckingbelievable.

  3. 3
    The Moar You Know says:

    I often feel I’m the most cynical person on earth, but damn…that’s a jawdropper.

  4. 4
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Well, I knew it was just a matter of time before the Washington Post just gave up pretending to be a newspaper and came out openly as pimps.

    I just wasn’t expecting it to be this soon.

    Hey Kristol! You holdin out on me? Don’t make me go upside your head, Neotch!

  5. 5
    CaseyL says:

    This is gobsmacking.

    How the fuck can they do that? I mean: they’re pimping those “Obama administration officials, members of Congress,” and while I hardly expect any kind of probity or integrity from politicians, this is just so blatantly corrupt it leaves me damn near speechless.

    Plus, I don’t see any quid in the quid pro quo for the politicians. The Post gets money, the johns get access – but what do the Administration and members of Congress get out of it? Positive press? Does the Post split the money with the politicians?

  6. 6
    Cathy W says:

    What the gosh-darn mother-bleeding frack? This is wrong on so many levels I’m not even sure where to begin with it.

  7. 7
    Michael says:

    Hey Kristol! You holdin out on me? Don’t make me go upside your head, Neotch!

    I’m in awe.

  8. 8
    Violet says:

    Wow. I don’t even know what to say to that.

    The national media is an embarrassment and does a disservice to this country. Isn’t this sort of thing criminal in some fashion? It should be.

  9. 9
    tom says:

    So we have now come to the point where a health care lobbyist is more ethical than the Washington Post.

  10. 10
    donovong says:

    If this is not a violation of some federal law, it fucking ought to be.

    I refuse to even click there anymore, even to read Ezra. Fuck em.

  11. 11
    mistermix says:

    In addition to the complete lack of “journalistic ethics” involved here, didn’t those dummies realize that some lobbyist who didn’t have $25K to spend on a schmooze-fest would drop a dime on them?

  12. 12
    gbear says:

    Is there any record of which ‘Obama administration officials’ were going to be there? It’ll be interesting to find out if the administration was activly participating in this, or if the WaPo just ginned up the credentials of some hangers-on. I’m betting on the later.

  13. 13
    gex says:

    The Washington Post had credibility?
    ETA: gbear, have you heard about the Camp Pendleton murder of a gay soldier?

  14. 14
    Louise says:

    And the real disgrace is that no one in any other national media group will make anything of this story — probably because they’re either planning to do it — or already doing it.

    This is disgusting.

    ETA: I am heartened, just a teeny bit, by going over to Politico and seeing that the story is huge on its front page.

    I see that the Post may have a way to excuse this, by pushing it off on a consultant they hired; it’s seems a reasonable bet that they’ll say he “over-promised.”

  15. 15
    Napoleon says:

    Wow, just wow.

  16. 16
    The Moar You Know says:

    Is there any record of which ‘Obama administration officials’ were going to be there?

    @gbear: This is a crucial question, actually. If the administration is in any way actively participating in this, they have just shot any credibility they have to hell.

  17. 17
    ericvsthem says:

    Amusing to see a lobbyist blowing the whistle on WaPo, even if it may have more to do with the lobbyist being unwilling to pay off journos for access – instead of politicians, as they are used to doing – than concern over the unethical behavior.

  18. 18
    PeakVT says:

    Whistleblowers are such dicks.

  19. 19
    gbear says:

    @gex: No, hadn’t seen that. Do you have a link? Cripes.

    @themoaryouknow: I agree. If their response is to stonewall, this will be very sad. I hope this gets resolved for the better quickly.

  20. 20
    mistermix says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    If the administration is in any way actively participating in this, they have just shot any credibility they have to hell.

    It’s not the administration’s job to police the Post’s ethics. The Post presented them with an opportunity for access and the admin would be stupid not to take it.

  21. 21
    A Mom Anon says:

    Isn’t this also just a sleazy way to pay for dirt and gossip? Anyone with an axe to grind could sling any BS they wanted to and get paid. Wonderful.

    Makes me wonder how many other papers are doing this.

  22. 22
    Cat Lady says:

    Howie “conflict of interest” Kurtz will set us all straight by using false equivalencies and George Will’s fact-checkers.

  23. 23
    sparky says:

    ehhh. the Post will just say it was an overzealous marketer, and the event will be buried, just like similar screw-ups at the LAT were.

    the point here is that there is no idea of ethics any longer. this is what happens when you have a society built on marketing. i am starting to think that modern mass marketing and its attendant lack of ethos is really the rot at the bottom of the culture in the US. after 75 years, it’s not surprising that everyone starts to think it’s just a question of marketing properly.

  24. 24
    gex says:

    @gbear:
    Sullivan’s post has several links.

    ETA: He had been telling friends and family that he was being harassed by someone, but of course thanks to DADT he couldn’t do anything within the military structure to deal with the problem.

  25. 25
    SGEW says:

    First reactions:

    – Um. Isn’t this just called “political lobbying”? Don’t we have some srs laws about that an’ stuff? Call legal department, plz. (IANALY).

    – This is a Politico article (skeptical Gen. Akbar is skeptical). But, then again, they’ve gotten some important stuff right before.

    – Takes two to tango. Is Helen Thomas’ recent criticism of Obama’s media strategy more than hyperbole?

  26. 26
    Warren Terra says:

    I’m with CaseyL – while the WaPo’s sleazy actions need to have consequences, I’d also like to know who the politicians and officials were and especially to know how they were involved and what they knew about what was going on.

  27. 27
    slag says:

    I hate these people. All of them.

  28. 28
    geg6 says:

    @donovong:

    I refuse to even click there anymore, even to read Ezra. Fuck em.

    This. Sorry, Ezra.

  29. 29
    SGEW says:

    I miss Ezra’s blog.

  30. 30
    mistermix says:

    @Warren Terra: To paraphrase a great American thinker, the administration goes to the public with the media they have, not the media they wish they had.

    They aren’t like a judge who needs to recuse himself because there’s a conflict of interest. The administration’s job is to get its message out in whatever forums are available.

    We’re so used to a supine and easily manipulated press that we tend to blame the administration for something that’s the press’ fault.

  31. 31
    bhagamu says:

    Dunno if all the anger should be directed at the WaPo. The cynic in my says that no congressperson or Obama Administration official would have blown the whistle on this; were they going to participate in WaPo-commisioned mediated meetings with lobbyists for free?

  32. 32
    Kris says:

    What would Dana Milbank say?

    It’s hard out there for a pimp.

  33. 33
    geg6 says:

    @Kris:

    Okay, now I have coffee all over my monitor.

  34. 34
    Karen S. says:

    Those will be some mighty big checks they’ll be writing in this version of checkbook journalism. When I worked as a newspaper reporter not too long ago, I remember covering village board and city council meetings during which, from time to time, a grip-and-grin photo op was staged. You know the type of thing: local banker or some other local moneybags presents funds raised (in the form of a giant check) to a local charity of some sort. The benefactor and beneficiary of the benefactor’s generosity pose for pictures gripping the big check and grinning.
    Will we see such grip-and-grin photos coming out of these “non-confrontational” meetings I wonder?

  35. 35
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @geg6: Me three.

    There was kind of a mini-withdrawal actually when I took the link off my home page, I had gotten used to checking in daily to see how many disgraced right wingers they had added to the opinions section and checking the news.

    Bad habit though, and it passed in a day or two. I refuse to support those Neoconservative apologists in any way.

  36. 36
    The Moar You Know says:

    Dunno if all the anger should be directed at the WaPo. The cynic in my says that no congressperson or Obama Administration official would have blown the whistle on this; were they going to participate in WaPo-commisioned mediated meetings with lobbyists for free?

    @bhagamu: This. This is what the administration needs to answer and damn quick – was WaPo going to sell access to Obama’s people and giving them a cut?

  37. 37
    EdTheRed says:

    Good thing they got rid of that opinionated hack Froomkin. Now they’re free to pursue legitimate journalistic endeavors like this. I wonder when they’re going to lure John Yoo away from the Philly Inquirer…

  38. 38
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Everybody should read Matt Taibbi’s article. Greed is one of the seven. Well done Matt Taibbi.

  39. 39
    EdTheRed says:

    I can’t wait for their Ombudsman to come back from vacation so he can ignore reader comments about this.

  40. 40
    Jason says:

    The Post can sell whatever “access” it wants, I can’t imagine it’s anything different than what they usually do, just with branding. They’re marketing these meetings as semi-public discussions in somebody’s house, which I suppose is just a marketing/networking opportunity for people with specific interests in topics such as:

    The first “Salon” is titled, “Health-Care Reform: Better or Worse for Americans? The reform and funding debate.”

    Sounds fascinating. Is health care reform better or worse for Americans? Responsible people may disagree!

    I mean, I’m about as far away from this community as one can get, economically and culturally. So I don’t pretend to understand. My impression, however, is that this is business as usual, bar the substantial markup.

  41. 41
    flounder says:

    I was actually impressed at the price. I always mistook the WaPo for a cheaper whore.

  42. 42
    Tim F. says:

    WTF. Even as cynical as I was in my last post, I was still not cynical enough.

    How fucking cynical do I have to be to keep up with these people? Christ.

  43. 43
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    This is the last straw. The media infotainment complex is now officially a strategic threat to the safety and welfare of the people of the United States. Nuke them* from orbit; it is the only way to be sure. If we don’t already have JDAMs with Fred Hiatt’s name stencilled on, time to get some.

    *The WaPo, that is.

  44. 44
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    Not surprising that WaPo’s gone a-whoring. What is surprising is that a (supposedly) reportorial organization is emphasizing that these meetings between powerful people will be off the record. This is a revealing look at just how much WaPo is more about being of, by, and for the Village than it is about being a newspaper.

  45. 45
    ronin122 says:

    I must say, if a lobbyist thinks your ethics are lacking, you’re in deep shit. [Disregarding the possibility that the lobbyist probably was just too pissy to want to pay an intermediary for access]

  46. 46
    InflatableCommenter says:

    This seems like a credibility-destroyer to me.

    It sounds like a death rattle to me.

  47. 47

    It’s time to stop pretending that elite national media does anything other than represent wealthy interests, isn’t it?

    Jesus Christ, Doug, I have never thought anything ELSE. That’s precisely why I stopped paying any attention years ago.

  48. 48
    InflatableCommenter says:

    @bhagamu:

    What horseshit.

  49. 49
    Edith Prickly says:

    Froomkin was lucky to get out of there before this. What a disgrace.

  50. 50
    gex says:

    Sigh. Like others have mentioned, I suppose I am going to have to stop reading Ezra too. To be honest, I’d stopped going as often mainly because BJ hosts my blog roll, and the link hasn’t been updated.

  51. 51
    sal says:

    Why shouldn’t they charge for what they’ve been doing for free? Free milk & the cow, baby.

  52. 52
    Tom says:

    I still read the Date Labs and movie reviews by Desson Thompson.

    Thats… pretty much it though.

  53. 53
    cleek says:

    Ezra will always be the new guy at Pandagon, to me.

  54. 54

    Many have been calling them whores for a long time, we just couldn’t put a price on it. Well, thanks to Mike Allen we now know the answer to that nagging detail. If you think about it, by DC standards they go anywhere from streetwalker to high priced outcalls.

    I would also be interested in just who those government officials (elected or not) the WaPo believes would participate in these salons. We could then put the question to them directly.

    Maybe we could each contact our Senators and Reps to find out if they would participate in this sort of activity.

    Has anyone ever heard of anything similar to this previously? Are we being naive in assuming that this has never been done before, but packaged just a little differently to hide what is really going on?

  55. 55
    InflatableCommenter says:

    @John Hamilton Farr:

    We were saying, on these pages, years ago, that MSM is basically a business model. Nothing more, or less, which is neither bad, nor good. But in any case, these business will make decisions primarily on the basis of business imperatives, and should be expected to act accordingly.

    In the case of WaPo and other dailies, that business model is failing. And so things like this are going to happen. I don’t think it is going to affect much of anything. MSM sold out many years ago. Nothing new.

  56. 56
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    “Where’s your old lady?”
    “She’s out whoring-together the rent money.”

    Wish I could remember the name of the book that conversation was in. Seems to fit though.

  57. 57
    Xanthippas says:

    This is so astoundingly stupid and indefensible that I’m honestly having trouble believing it’s true. I’m looking forward to the Washington Post’s response.

    It’s not the administration’s job to police the Post’s ethics. The Post presented them with an opportunity for access and the admin would be stupid not to take it.

    You’re not really off the hook just because you’re the hooker and not the pimp.

  58. 58
    cleek says:

    xpost: according to Yglesias, the event has been cancelled

  59. 59
    The Moar You Know says:

    I’d just like to make it very clear that this is not the kind of change I voted for last November.

  60. 60
    Pat says:

    Ok, come on.

    @18 PeakVT has to have the post of the day.
    “Whistleblowers are such dicks.”

  61. 61
    Ned R. says:

    Politico has posted the Post’s response:

    The flier circulated this morning came out of a business division for conferences and events, and the newsroom was unaware of such communication. It went out before it was properly vetted, and this draft does not represent what the company’s vision for these dinners are, which is meant to be an independent, policy-oriented event for newsmakers. As written, the newsroom could not participate in an event like this. We do believe there is an opportunity to have a conferences and events business, and that The Post should be leading these conversations in Washington, big or small, while maintaining journalistic integrity. The newsroom will participate where appropriate.

  62. 62
    Little Dreamer says:

    So Froomkin wasn’t let go because of financial considerations? Hmmmmm.

    OT: WSJ is also doing a dirty deed. They are pushing propaganda regarding the Honduras situation. To note: Zelaya was removed because he wanted to call a Constitutional Convention which could have made some changes to the Constitution of Honduras – WSJ is stating Zelaya was looking to hold onto power with this constitutional change, yet, Zelaya’s term is up soon after the November election (sorry, I didn’t look up that info) and he could not have been re-elected. It term limits were expanded, it would affect future elected officials, NOT Zelaya.

  63. 63
    Nellcote says:

    response from the Post:

    Post spokesperson Kris Coratti has now sent the following statement to POLITICO:

    The flier circulated this morning came out of a business division for conferences and events, and the newsroom was unaware of such communication. It went out before it was properly vetted, and this draft does not represent what the company’s vision for these dinners are, which is meant to be an independent, policy-oriented event for newsmakers.

    As written, the newsroom could not participate in an event like this.

    We do believe there is an opportunity to have a conferences and events business, and that The Post should be leading these conversations in Washington, big or small, while maintaining journalistic integrity. The newsroom will participate where appropriate.

  64. 64
    Xanthippas says:

    OT: WSJ is also doing a dirty deed. They are pushing propaganda regarding the Honduras situation.

    Yes, but this is not at all unusual from them.

  65. 65
    Little Dreamer says:

    @Xanthippas:

    Does that mean it shouldn’t be noted? Do we not note when we find things such as this?

    I have to tell you, I had to do quite a few hours of reading on this Honduras thing to get the deal on what happened. There is a lot of propaganda out there about whether this was a legal coup or not. I haven’t seen it discussed here at all. I’m just passing on the information I found. I thought perhaps others would like to know. The WSJ article is dated today.

  66. 66
    Comrade Dread says:

    So, if I understand correctly, the Washington Post (a long time fluffer for the powerful elite) has been promoted to pimp.

  67. 67
    Persia says:

    @donovong: Ezra switched employers at the wrong time, huh?

  68. 68
    The Moar You Know says:

    The flier circulated this morning came out of a business division for conferences and events, and the newsroom was unaware of such communication. It went out before it was properly vetted, and this draft does not represent what the company’s vision for these dinners are, which is meant to be an independent, policy-oriented event for newsmakers. As written, the newsroom could not participate in an event like this. We do believe there is an opportunity to have a conferences and events business, and that The Post should be leading these conversations in Washington, big or small, while maintaining journalistic integrity. The newsroom will participate where appropriate.

    Shorter WaPo: Once marketing figures out how to phrase this properly, we’re going to go ahead and do it. Make the check out to “Washington Post”.

  69. 69
    Ed Drone says:

    So we have now come to the point where a health care lobbyist is more ethical than the Washington Post.

    Winner!

    Ed

  70. 70
    Jason says:

    meant to be an independent, policy-oriented event for newsmakers

    Ah. Newsmakers. Well. I like the idea that the atmosphere in which these newsmakers are busy, like, photosynthesizing or something doesn’t so much as color the hermetically-sealed newsroom, poppin’ out news-stories for that old momandpop operation called the Post. God’s bounty, really. Some people have to get up at five a.m. to make the donuts.

  71. 71
    Brian J says:

    Exactly who are the Obama administration officials that are participating in this? I can’t imagine it’s anyone who matters.

  72. 72
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    Someone should bring to Dana Milbank’s attention the fact that he’s now working in a massage parlor.

  73. 73

    The Rev. Sun Young Moon keeps his rag afloat through fees for arranged marriages.

    And so does the Post.

    The flier circulated this morning came out of a business division for conferences and events, and the newsroom was unaware of such communication. It went out before it was properly vetted, and this draft does not represent what the company’s vision for these dinners are

    Hello boys and girls. Can you say flop sweat?

  74. 74
    InflatableCommenter says:

    @Little Dreamer:

    This is an interesting sidelight. And there is good news and bad news.

    The bad news is that MSM does such a crappy job of reporting the facts that people have to google their own way to the facts and figure out for themselves what is going on.

    The good news is that people can google their own way to the facts and figure out for themselves what is going on.

    We are living in really extraordinary times. MSM is a carnival, the information streams and community connections that matter are now in the hands of the people.

  75. 75
    Mnemosyne says:

    Since government officials participate in conferences all of the time, I think I’ll need to see something a little more substantive showing that they (a) were getting a cut and/or (b) knew that the “guest” list was being limited to lobbyists and industry executives before I start freaking out about the Obama administration taking bribes from lobbyists.

    It would also be nice to know if the Post had already lined up anyone from the administration to appear or if they were trolling for buyers before they had anyone committed. There are usually fairly strict rules about what kinds of forums administration officials can participate in as representatives of the government.

  76. 76
    Xanthippas says:

    @little dreamer

    Does that mean it shouldn’t be noted? Do we not note when we find things such as this?

    Not at all. I just don’t think it’s as noteworthy as the revelation about the Post, because WSJ editors are noted for their willingness to push right-wing propaganda. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be noted.

    I will say, that there’s even a controversy over the “legality” of the coup, sort of undermines those who are claiming it is legal.

  77. 77
    BDeevDad says:

    There is now a twitter hash tag detailing possible access you could buy. #WapoDeals

  78. 78
    Elie says:

    I agree with Inflatable Commenter but this situation also brings to mind a comment by one of the erudite commenters on this blog made to me a few days ago. He/She (?) attributed the demise of the American newspaper exactly to overinterest in the rich which while funding certain aspects of the interprise – (ads for products for the rich), would not provide enough circulation volume (not enough rich people) to by itself support the newspaper business. I think that is absolutely true and keeps being borne out over and over as we watch these mastodons in their agonal wallowings. How despicable! This would normally be a mortifying disclosure in the old days of newsprint honor, but no more. Now just a lame-a–ed excuse from some department…some bureaucratic shoulder shrugging – it wasnt “vetted”.

    The people will get our information ourselves, since those of you who once had that capability and responsibility chose to just get rich and stay blind and lazy. But now you can stand in line behind all the other dying mastodons of the 20th century.

    I promise to never buy another one of these things ever again…(WAPO or NY Times)

  79. 79
    valdivia says:

    @Little Dreamer:

    I have been following the situation in Honduras for a few months–part of my job–and Zelaya *was* actually looking to stay in power, the only reason to have the referendum was to cancel the prohibition against reelection so he could run again. he is not the only one in lat am to do this, and it is not a sin of the right or the left, it is simply about disrespect for institutions and a desire for permanent power. Zelaya was clearly seeking to stay in power. this does *not* justify the coup but the Honduras situation is one in which both sides have zero respect for democracy, even if i agree with his policies that does not make Zelaya right in what he was trying to do, he was wrong and he was trampling on the rule of law. As is the army and those supporting the coup.

  80. 80
    Ned R. says:

    Ah, more damage control via the on-the-spot reporting of one H. Kurtz:
    The Washington Post’s executive editor said today he is “appalled” by a plan to charge lobbyists as much as $250,000 for off-the-record gatherings at the home of the paper’s publisher — with Obama administration officials, members of Congress and the paper’s reporters and editors — and insisted that the newsroom will not participate.

    “It suggests that access to Washington Post journalists was available for purchase,” Brauchli said in an interview. The proposal “promises we would suspend our usual skeptical questioning because it appears to offer, in exchange for sponsorships, the good name of The Washington Post.”

    Brauchli was responding to fliers, circulated by the paper’s parent company, offering an “intimate and exclusive Washington Post Salon, an off-the-record dinner and discussion at the home of CEO and Publisher Katharine Weymouth.” The fliers, which said participants would be charged $25,000 to sponsor a single salon and $250,000 to underwrite an annual series of 11 sessions, were reported this morning by Politico.

    “We do not offer access to the newsroom for money,” Brauchli said. “We just are not in that business.”

  81. 81
    Ned R. says:

    I’m skeptical of their questioning as well. [/instantrimshot.html]

  82. 82
    Fulcanelli says:

    Geez, I wonder what you get for the $250K full monty, and will it wind up on YouTube?

    Unbe-fucking-lievable.

    That rumbling sound you’re hearing and feeling is the Devil excavating a new circle in Hell.

  83. 83
    D-Chance. says:

    Wasn’t Ezra Klein’s strong point “health care reporting”?

    Wonder how much of a cut he’s getting out of this, or whether this was the perk that convinced him to sign on…

  84. 84
    D-Chance. says:

    To his credit… the denial:

    There are two things I can say about this. One is that I think it appalling. The second is that I was never informed of, or invited to, any such salons (nor do I know who, if anyone, was). If I had been, I would have refused to attend.

  85. 85
    Calouste says:

    Only $25,000? I mean, how much advertising space can you buy in the WaPo for 25K and how much less effective will that be than a few strategically inserted sentences in a “news” article?

  86. 86
    Persia says:

    @BDeevDad: It’s getting harder and harder to find bad things to say about Twitter.

    And dammit, WaPo, you made me enjoy Michelle Malkin too!

  87. 87
    Gregory says:

    @A Mom Anon:

    Isn’t this also just a sleazy way to pay for dirt and gossip? Anyone with an axe to grind could sling any BS they wanted to and get paid. Wonderful.

    And best of all, since the sessions are “off the record,” the dirt and gossip would just show up later in phrases like “…but Washington insiders expressed concern over [insert Obama proposal here]…”

  88. 88
    Gregory says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Shorter WaPo: Once marketing figures out how to phrase this properly, we’re going to go ahead and do it. Make the check out to “Washington Post”.

    That’s about the size of it.

  89. 89
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Neotch. That’s so brilliant. Damn. I wish I’d thought of it.

    @Kris: It’s harder out there for a ho.

    @gex: Damn. That sucks. Did you read the comments on the second story? Classic blaming the victim. “Well, if he had just stayed in the damn closet….” Um, DADT hasn’t been lifted yet, fools.

  90. 90
    Barry says:

    “Shorter WaPo: Once marketing figures out how to phrase this properly, we’re going to go ahead and do it. Make the check out to “Washington Post”.”

    No, make them out to ‘c0nd0m, inc.”. They were fools not to arrange from some middleman organization to act as a layer of plausible deniability; I’d have had some ‘institute’ or ‘foundation’ or ‘think tanks’ serve as the latex. I’m sure that a number would have been very eager, for a 10% cut and a chance to be there.

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