New York Times columnist and CBS News political analyst Jamelle Bouie addressed what has been described as a “secretive” group of the Democratic Party’s top donors last week in potential violation of the paper’s ethical guidelines.
Bouie was invited last week to speak behind closed doors to Democracy Alliance, which according to its website described itself as the “largest network of donors dedicated to building the progressive movement in the United States,” although not formally affiliated with the party.
Bouie’s appearance may be in violation of The New York Times’ ethical guidelines, which prohibit paid speeches to political groups and urge staff members to be “especially sensitive to the appearance of partiality when they address groups that might figure in coverage they provide.”
Bouie told the Free Beacon he kicked off the group’s conference with a conversation with Democracy Alliance senior advisor Julie Kohler. He spoke about his “1619” Times essay, which he said was meant to “reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”
He didn’t answer questions regarding whether or not it was a paid speaking engagement and whether he sought the approval of the Times and CBS News to appear in front of the left-leaning group, the report said.
The New York Times ethical guidelines for journalists stipulate that a staff member must consult with the standards editor or the deputy editorial page editor before accepting an invitation to such an event.
Janell Ross, a Washington Post reporter, was put on leave for participating and speaking on a panel in one of the group’s 2017 conferences without her paper’s approval.
This year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, delivered a private briefing to the group, and House Intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff, and House Judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler, have addressed the group at its previous two gatherings. Each member of the alliance must give at least $200,000 annually to groups approved by the coalition.
Liberal billionaire George Soros and Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer are two individuals known to be a part of the donor club, which actively works to keep its member lists hidden. The alliance has poured $1.83 billion into progressive infrastructure since its formation in 2005.