Politico’s Defense News, Brought to You by Northrop Grumman

Does taking Northrop Grumman’s money make Politico less likely to call out the Pentagon’s enormous and bloated military budget, war crimes committed overseas, or the gross wastage of public funds? 

by Alan Macleod
February 18th, 2021

Since its inception 14 years ago, Politico has risen to become an internet news giant. Now employing over 700 people and reaching 50 million people per month, the website and newspaper has become one of the most trusted sources of information on political issues in the United States. Key to this is its range of influential newsletters, which reach millions every day.

And yet the organization has entered into a number of very troubling partnerships that could potentially undermine the credibility and independence of its reporting. Both its defense and space newsletters, which keep readers informed and up to date on those topics, come sponsored by giant military and aerospace contractor Northrop Grumman.

To its credit, Politico is upfront about their partnership, with those sections bearing an advertisement label stating “presented by Northrop Grumman.” The question is whether readers can truly trust the outlet to accurately report and scrutinize those areas that are so critical to its chief sponsor. Does taking Northrop Grumman’s money make Politico less likely to call out the Pentagon’s enormous and bloated military budget, war crimes committed overseas, or the gross wastage of public funds?

Certainly, Politico does not seem to have gone after Northrop Grumman. The only articles tagging the defense giant in the past four years have been an op-ed entitled “America must return to the moon as soon as possible,” which paints the company as a vital part of that process, and a now-infamous story with the headline “How women took over the military-industrial complex.” That article presents Northrop Grumman’s hiring of its first female CEO as a massive step forward for feminism, proving that the defense industry represents a progressive, forward-thinking set of institutions

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The partnership with Northrop Grumman is far from the only worrying advertising deal Politico has signed, however. The outlet’s energy policy newsletter comes courtesy of oil behemoth ExxonMobil. Its healthcare and pharmaceutical newsletter is sponsored by private healthcare giant CVS Health. And its tax and finance newsletter is presented by controversial tax software company Intuit.

In most developed countries, the government has its own online system of tax filing. However, Intuit has lobbied heavily against the IRS creating a free app or software such as other nations have. As a result, millions of Americans struggle to file taxes using Intuit’s costly and cumbersome services. Intuit is legally required to allow military service members and those earning less than $66,000 per year to use its software for free but an investigation by ProPublica found that the company tricked large numbers of people into unnecessarily paying for its product. Intuit is currently under investigation by multiple state attorneys general as well as New York’s Department of Financial Services.

Meanwhile, Politico’s “Morning Tech” news is sponsored by American Edge, an organization that The Washington Post characterizes as a shady front group for big tech giants, whose purpose is to combat any attempts by regulators to rein in the worst excesses of the industry.

Pairing up: policies and promoters

The partnership with Northrop Grumman is far from the only worrying advertising deal Politico has signed, however. The outlet’s energy policy newsletter comes courtesy of oil behemoth ExxonMobil. Its healthcare and pharmaceutical newsletter is sponsored by private healthcare giant CVS Health. And its tax and finance newsletter is presented by controversial tax software company Intuit.

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In most developed countries, the government has its own online system of tax filing. However, Intuit has lobbied heavily against the IRS creating a free app or software such as other nations have. As a result, millions of Americans struggle to file taxes using Intuit’s costly and cumbersome services. Intuit is legally required to allow military service members and those earning less than $66,000 per year to use its software for free but an investigation by ProPublica found that the company tricked large numbers of people into unnecessarily paying for its product. Intuit is currently under investigation by multiple state attorneys general as well as New York’s Department of Financial Services.

Meanwhile, Politico’s “Morning Tech” news is sponsored by American Edge, an organization that The Washington Post characterizes as a shady front group for big tech giants, whose purpose is to combat any attempts by regulators to rein in the worst excesses of the industry.

Published at www.mintpressnews.com