Daily Archives: August 3, 2010

Newsweek magazine SOLD to Who?

To democrats/progressives:

Sarah Palin’s husband, Todd, has purchased Newsweek magazine.

This is an outrage, right?

Oh, wait a minute.  I got that wrong.  It’s Democrat Congresswoman, Jane Harman’s husband, Sidney Harman, instead.

Now tell me how this is not a conflict of interest?

Imagine the outcry if this were a republican!!  Let’s watch the double standard play itself out here.  I’m sure it will be a-okay since it’s a mighty democrat involved.

On August 2, 2010, Sidney Harman, the 91-year-old founder of audio equipment maker Harman International Industries Inc., and husband of Representative Jane Harmon, (D/Calif) has agreed to buy Newsweek, ending a nearly half-century chapter for the magazine as part of The Washington Post Co.

Jon Meacham, the magazine’s top editor since 2006, will step down.

****

On July 8, 2010, Mattie Fein, Jane Harman’s (republican) opponent in the 36th district in California, wrote an open letter to Newsweek’s Managing Editor Jon Meacham voicing concerns over Jane Harman’s history of strong arm tactics that could potentially influence Newsweek magazine if an acquisition by Harman International is successful.

TORRANCE, Calif., Aug. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The following is an open letter from Mattie Fein to Donald Graham, CEO of Washington Post Co., on the Harman International bid to acquire Newsweek:

Dear Mr. Graham:

According to The New York Times, at present, you are inclined towards accepting the bid for Newsweek submitted by audio and defense software company Harman International.  But neither Jane Harman nor Newsweek’s Jon Meacham have answered my documented concerns that Harman International sells dual use electronics with business in Iran through a wholly owned Austrian subsidiary; that Jane Harman should divest herself of her millions in Harman International shares to avoid a conflict of interest or loyalties in Congress; and, that Jane Harman has a troublesome history of interfering with a free press to advance a political agenda, which would only be aggravated by her millions of dollars of share ownership in Harman International.  Consider the following elaboration.

Jane Harman is notorious for attempting to cripple the role of the press in providing organized scrutiny of government and exposing government wrongdoing.  She interceded with The New York Times to attempt to kill the disclosure of the government’s illegal warrantless Terrorist Surveillance Program; and, when that failed, she urged an Espionage Act prosecution of the newspaper for unearthing government action on this issue.  Jane Harman was following if not bettering the instruction of those who conceived an attempt to thwart publication of The Pentagon Papers by Washington Post, which The Washington Post courageously opposed.

In a recent letter to Newsweek’s Jon Meacham, I flagged a Harman-Iran issue crying out for further investigation.  A wholly owned subsidiary of Harman International in Austria is distributing arguably dual use electronic equipment in Iran at the same time the United States is tightening sanctions there to deter nuclear proliferation.  Iran is listed by the United States as a state sponsor of terrorism.  I urged Jane Harman to divest her shares, but she has neither said nor done anything.  Members of Congress, like Caesar’s wife, should be above suspicion.

Newsweek has neglected to report on Harman’s scorn for a free press or conflict of interest in owning Harman International shares that gain in value from trade with Iran.  The Washington Post on June 14, 2010 published an article on lawmaker’s conflicts of interest targeting Jane Harman but, no follow through on the Iran issue. The silence is deafening. Is there a sinister force at work?

You and your family are the stewards of Newsweek’s long and honorable tradition of independent news reporting or editorializing.  I would suggest you consider asking Meacham and Harman to answer my concerns about compromising that fine tradition in conducting due diligence.

Sincerely,  
Mattie Fein  
Candidate for Congress, CD-36, CaliforniaMattie Fein wins Republican nomination to unseat Jane Harmanhttp://mattiefein.com/component/wordpress/archives/203.html

http://www.thestreet.com/story/10810119/1/jane-harman-and-newsweeks-meacham-both-mute-on-harman-influence-on-newsweek-and-call-to-end-harmans-business-ties-to-iran.html

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=11308120

UPDATE: http://www.npr.org/2011/04/13/135386579/owner-of-newsweek-sidney-harman-dies

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/daily_harman_newsweek_beast_first_riuLgCBMO9xKT1WiC7wBSL

Posted:  08.03.10  Updated:  12.05.11

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Filed under Human Interest, Media, politics, Uncategorized