Many in Congress invested in news media

June 15, 2011 at 4:09 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 15 (UPI) -- Many members of Congress have financial interests in the media that cover them, financial disclosure documents show.

The Center for Responsive Politics reported Wednesday some 60 senators and representatives, or their spouses, have investments in at least 19 media corporations.

Among them, at least seven members have media investments worth at least $100,000. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., ranks first with his family's millions of holdings in several companies, including Comcast, which is buying NBC, and News Corp., which owns Fox News and The Wall Street Journal.

Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., struggling to survive a sex scandal, owns between $1,001 and $15,000 in The New York Times, his latest report shows.

"If congressmen are investing in The New York Times, does that filter into the newsroom?" asked Kevin Smith, chairman of the ethics committee of the Society of Professional Journalists. "What happens is that it does raise red flags."

Former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., recently indicted on campaign finance violations for covering up adultery, reported investments in Comcast and Viacom, two of the biggest media conglomerates, in his 2004 disclosure.

Gannett, Disney (which owns ABC), News Corp., CBS, The Washington Post, Thomson Reuters and E.W. Scripps Co. are among the other news organizations where lawmakers invest.

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