ThinkProgress

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ThinkProgress
ThinkProgresslogo2011.jpg
Web address thinkprogress.org
Type of site
Political blog
Available in English
Owner Center for American Progress Action Fund
Editor Judd Legum
Launched 2005
Alexa rank
3,324 (November 2015)[1]
Current status Active

ThinkProgress is an American political news blog. It is a project of the Center for American Progress, a progressive public policy research and advocacy organization. The blog is edited by Judd Legum, who founded it in 2005. Since a 2011 re-design, the blog operates a number of sections, including climate, economy, health, justice, LGBT, security and culture.

History[edit]

ThinkProgress was founded in 2005 by editor Judd Legum, a lawyer.[2] It was edited by Faiz Shakir from 2007 to 2012, when he became Nancy Pelosi's Director of New Media,[3] and Legum returned.[2] It included a daily newsletter that contained a recap and analysis of major political news and the blog Wonk Room, which was published until 2011. In that year, the site was redesigned to offer separate blog sections, organized by subject matter,[4] and consolidated other CAP blogs, including ClimateProgress, founded by Joseph J. Romm.[5] The blog's sections after the redisgn include climate, economy, health, justice, LGBT, security and culture.[5]

According to About.com, ThinkProgress "is frequently ranked amongst the top five most popular blogs on Technorati."[6] In September 2015, the staff of ThinkProgress unionized with the Writers Guild of America, East.[7] Previous staffers who went on to write for other media outlets include: Alyssa Rosenberg and Andrea Peterson joined The Washington Post, Matthew Yglesias moved to Slate and then Vox, Zaid Jilani writes for various media, and Nico Pitney and Amanda Terkel joined The Huffington Post.[2]

Climate coverage[edit]

Its climate section, Climate Progress, was founded by climate scientist Joseph J. Romm. The blog discusses climate and energy, political news related to climate change, and responses to climate change by the media. In 2008, Time magazine named Climate Progress one of the "Top 15 Green Websites".[8] In 2009, Thomas Friedman, in his column in The New York Times, called Climate Progress "the indispensable blog",[9] and in 2010 Time included it in a list of the 25 "Best Blogs of 2010".[10] The UK's The Guardian ranked Climate Progress at the top of its list of blogs in its "Top 50 Twitter climate accounts to follow".[11]

Accusations of bias[edit]

Chamber of Commerce article[edit]

In 2010, Lee Fang wrote in ThinkProgress that the United States Chamber of Commerce funded political advertising campaigns from its general fund, which solicits funds from foreign sources.[12] The Huffington Post reported that MoveOn.org asked the United States Department of Justice to investigate.[13] FactCheck.org said that the claim that "foreign corporations are 'stealing our democracy' with secret, illegal contributions funneled through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce" had "little basis in fact. ... At least 84 foreign companies pay at least $885,000 in dues to the [Chamber of Commerce], according to ThinkProgress. Still lacking, though, is any proof that the money is being used in the chamber’s ad campaign."[14] Eric Lichtblau of The New York Times said that the article "provided no evidence that the money generated overseas had been used in United States campaigns."[15]

Antisemitism[edit]

In 2011, Josh Block, a former spokesman from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, accused various liberal writers, including several at ThinkProgress, of antisemitism.[16][17] Block distributed a compilation of writings and other public statements on Israel by Center for American Progress (CAP), the parent organization of ThinkProgress, and Media Matters for America.[16][18][19][20] Ben Smith of Politico asserted that Media Matters for America and CAP were "two of the Democratic Party’s core institutions challenging a bipartisan consensus on Israel and Palestine."[21][17] Smith said "warm words for Israel can be hard to find on [CAP's] blogs" and that Media Matters for America and CAP were "heretical" for their "critical stance on Israel."[17][21] ThinkProgress stood by its reporting and denied the charges of antisemitism.[22] Smith later acknowledged receiving the dossier from Block prior to his Politico post.[16][19]

Former ThinkProgress writer Zaid Jilani used the term "Israel-firsters" on his personal Twitter account, referring to Americans who allegedly prioritize the interests of the Israeli government over those of the United States.[20][23] Several Jewish organizations said the term could be construed as anti-Israel or antisemitic.[20] The tweets were deleted, and Jilani and the editor of ThinkProgress apologized for Jilani's use of the term.[20][23]

Editorial independence[edit]

In 2011, Smith and Kenneth Vogel wrote in Politico that the ThinkProgress reporting staff "isn’t exactly walled off from [the Center for American Progress Action Fund] message machine, nor does it necessarily keep its distance from liberal groups organizing advocacy campaigns targeting conservatives."[24] ThinkProgress editor Legum said ThinkProgress "is editorially independent of CAP".[25]

In 2014, Jilani said that when he wrote for ThinkProgress, he was pressured to support President Barack Obama's policies concerning the Afghanistan troop surge. ThinkProgress editor Legum denied that the blog's editorial process was swayed by the White House.[26][27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Thinkprogress.org Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  2. ^ a b c Beaujon, Andrew. "How ThinkProgress became 'real competition for scoops'", Poynter.org, April 7, 2014
  3. ^ "Nancy Pelosi Hires Think Progress' Faiz Shakir as Director of New Media". The Huffington Post. 8 May 2012. 
  4. ^ McDuffee, Allen (May 27, 2011). "CAP’s new sites and a goodbye to Wonk Room". The Washington Post. 
  5. ^ a b Shakir, Faiz. "Welcome To Your New ThinkProgress", ThinkProgress, May 31, 2011, accessed November 6, 2015
  6. ^ Moreau, Elise. "Top 10 Most Popular Blogs", About Tech, 2011
  7. ^ Somaiya, Ravi (September 23, 2015). "ThinkProgress to Unionize With Writers Guild of America". New York Times. Retrieved 6 November 2015. 
  8. ^ Roston, Eric. "Green Websites: Climate Progress". Time.com, April 17, 2008 (originally published in Time magazine in 2007), accessed November 29, 2010
  9. ^ Friedman, Thomas L. "The Inflection Is Near?", The New York Times, March 7, 2009
  10. ^ "Best Blogs of 2010". Time magazine, June 28, 2010
  11. ^ "Top 50 Twitter climate accounts to follow". The Guardian: Environment Blog, May 11, 2010
  12. ^ Fang, Lee. "Exclusive: Foreign-Funded ‘U.S.’ Chamber Of Commerce Running Partisan Attack Ads". Center for American Progress. ThinkProgress. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  13. ^ Stein, Sam (October 5, 2010). "MoveOn Asks DoJ To Launch Criminal Investigation Of Chamber's Funding". Huffington Post. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  14. ^ "Foreign Money? Really?". FactCheck.org. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  15. ^ Lichtblau, Eric (October 8, 2010). "Topic of Foreign Money in U.S. Races Hits Hustings". New York Times. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b c Greenwald, Glenn (January 19, 2012). "The “anti-Semitism” smear campaign against CAP and Media Matters rolls on; A campaign to disparage progressive writers makes a shameful comeback". Salon. Retrieved December 1, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b c Greenwald, Glenn (November 5, 2015). "Leaked Emails From Pro-Clinton Group Reveal Censorship of Staff on Israel, AIPAC Pandering, Warped Militarism". The Intercept. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  18. ^ Elliott, Justin (December 8, 2011). "Right-wing listserv targets Israel’s critics; Ex-AIPAC official urges conservative journalists to echo charges of "anti-Semitism"". Salon. Retrieved December 1, 2015. 
  19. ^ a b Armbruster, Ben (December 8, 2011). "REVEALED: The Secret, Coordinated Effort To Smear ThinkProgress As Anti-Semitic And Anti-Israel". Center for American Progress. ThinkProgress. Retrieved December 1, 2015. 
  20. ^ a b c d Wallsten, Peter (January 19, 2012). "Center for American Progress, group tied to Obama, under fire from Israel advocates". Washington Post. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  21. ^ a b Smith, Ben (December 7, 2011). "Israel rift roils Democratic ranks". Politico. Retrieved 1 December 2015. An AIPAC spokesman, Ari Goldberg, declined to comment on CAP’s views. 
  22. ^ Gude, Ken; Shakir, Faiz (December 7, 2011). "Politico Inaccurately Reports CAP’s Positions On The Middle East". Center for American Progress. ThinkProgress. Retrieved December 1, 2015. 
  23. ^ a b Weinthal, Benjamin (January 7, 2012). "E-mail reveals anti-Semitism at US think tank". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  24. ^ Smith, Ben; Vogel, Kenneth (April 12, 2011). "Center for American Progress news team takes aim at GOP". Politico. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  25. ^ Wemple, Erik. "Jonathan Gruber’s stature at liberal think tank/Web site: From expert to guy who’s 'lying'", The Washington Post, November 13, 2014, accessed December 5, 2015
  26. ^ Feldman, Josh (March 8, 2014). "Liberal Blogger: WH Was ‘Berating’ Us to Stop Hammering Obama on Afghanistan". Mediaite. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  27. ^ Adler, Jonathan (March 9, 2014). "When think tanks are in the tank". The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 

External links[edit]