Saturday, May 17, 2008

THINK TANK'S FUNDING TIED TO GETTING GOOD PRESS

Could this be happening with Washington think tanks as well?

GOLBE & MAIL, CANADA The Department of National Defense sets quotas for how many times a year a military think tank it subsidizes must appear in the news media, a contract made public at the request of the NDP shows. Critics say the five-year, $500,000 deal with the Conference of Defence Associations crosses the line from promoting debate to paying for supportive commentary - especially troubling when the Harper government is trying to sustain public backing for the Afghan mission. They say it also raises questions about the millions spent by National Defense each year on grants to other think tanks and universities and called on the department to disclose the terms of those deals as well. . .

The March, 2007, contract says the grant is part of a program to ensure an "independent voice for discussion and debate on security and defence issues outside of the academic sphere." It sets out 13 "expected results" for the CDA, including the requirements to:

"Attain a minimum of 29 media references to the CDA by national or regional journalists and reporters;"

"Attain the publication of a minimum of 15 opinion pieces (including op-eds and letters to the editor in national or regional publications)."

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