The editor of a politics website geared toward communities of color revealed that she is paid to be a “consultant” for a lobbyist group that has represented both the tobacco industry and the cable industry, Vice magazine reported.
Politic365.com co-founder and editor-in-chief Kristal High revealed her ties to the lobbying firm the DCI Group during an interview on Wednesday with talk show host David Pakman in which Pakman mentioned that both High and a past guest, Everett Ehrlich, were pitched to his program as guests by DCI.
“Are individuals like you and Everett Ehrlich, are you paid by DCI?” Pakman asked High.
“I think you have to really consider what it is you’re suggesting, you’re asking there,” High said. “If people are working on different issues, there could be, say, a consulting arrangement that’s separate and apart from whatever it is people are advocating for.”
“In other words, DCI may be paying you as a consultant,” Pakman responded, pushing back. “But they’re not paying you for the media appearances or being a spokesperson for the point of view that their clients espouse.”
“Right,” High answered.
According to Vice, High and colleagues at her website have posted in the magazine’s comments section defending the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) otherwise heavily-criticized plans regarding net neutrality.
In one instance, High reportedly commented that Vice was wrong to focus on the “lobbying dollars” being used to influence the public discussion regarding the issue, a sentiment she revisited on Pakman’s show.
“The argument has also kind of devolved, in my opinion, to this nitpicky sort of, ‘Who’s in your pocket? How are you making money?’” she told Pakman. “I think that misses the point of the actual issue here.”
However, High did not reveal whether she was being paid by the DCI Group when she made her comments at Vice, or when she wrote columns for the Huffington Post, including a December 2013 op-ed in which she criticized net neutrality advocates by saying their arguments “fall short of reality.”
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