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MSNBC: Mark Ames and Yasha Levine
Broke the Koch Brothers' Takeover of America
Yasha Levine and Mark Ames

“I feel like the voice of business journalism is sort of, it’s an authoritative voice of God.”

—Adam Davidson


Editor’s Note: This article, and S.H.A.M.E.’s larger investigation of Adam Davidson, has caught the attention of the New York Observer’s Foster Kamer, who suggests that the authors have made a “compelling case” that the NPR programming Adam Davidson is associated with is “inherently conflicted.”  What are the charges? Kamer summarizes:

First, that a notoriously hostile 2009 Planet Money interview between Davidson and Elizabeth Warren—the special adviser to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—was ethically tainted by Planet Money‘s financial arrangements with “the sole sponsor underwriting Davidson’s Planet Money show and his salary.” Levine and Ames argue that the sponsor in question—a financial services conglomerate—lobbied against the creation of the CFPB before it was created (and around the time of the interview), which is evidence of an insidious conflict of interest. Furthermore, they allege that Davidson is accepting speaking fees from the industry he covers for both NPR and The New York Times Magazine, something largely viewed as an unsavory, questionable practice by most journalists (and journalism institutions, which usually have guidelines against that sort of thing).


Adam Davidson is the co-creator and host of the popular economic news radio program Planet Money. On air, Davidson plays the role of an earnest, brainy reporter who’s doing his best to make sense of the complicated, jargon-filled world of finance to report business news in a way that NPR listeners can understand. However, behind the dweeby, faux-naive facade Adam Davidson presents to his listeners is a shrewd propagandist with a long, consistent history of shilling for powerful and destructive interests—and failing to disclose his financial ties to the companies and industries he reports on. (more…)

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Posted: August 10th, 2012

The S.H.A.M.E. Project had a great first month that’s exceeded our expectations—and we couldn’t have done it without help from eXiled readers like you. We figured that the first month would be a period of testing out both the material and technology, but what we underestimated was just how big the response would be. Already, of the three major media figures we’ve covered, the biggest name of those three, Malcolm Gladwell, has contacted us and is showing signs of cracking. (more…)

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Posted: June 27th, 2012

Here is the private letter from Charles Koch to Nobel Prize economist Friedrich Hayek, godfather of today’s free-market movement. The letter was obtained by Yasha Levine from the Hayek Archives at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. It is part of a series of correspondences in which Hayek, Koch and the University of Chicago all reveal themselves to be fans of state-backed health care and retirement benefits in private, while publicly denouncing and destroying these same programs.

This is the first time Charles Koch’s letter to Hayek promoting Social Security has been released to the public. (more…)

Posted: September 29th, 2011

“Ha-ha! Those suckers will believe anything! “

This article appeared in the October 17, 2011 edition of The Nation

There’s right-wing hypocrisy, and then there’s this: Charles Koch, billionaire patron of free-market libertarianism, privately championed the benefits of Social Security to Friedrich Hayek, the leading laissez-faire economist of the twentieth century. Koch even sent Hayek a government pamphlet to help him take advantage of America’s federal retirement insurance and healthcare programs. (more…)

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Posted: September 29th, 2011

Debra Medina ... Bush Republican

This article was first published by TruthDig (

The Tea Party Revolution has struck the Texas gubernatorial race, with the insurgent Republican candidate, Debra Medina, gaining in the polls and threatening the leading candidates, incumbent Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Medina has positioned herself as a radical anti-government outsider who would cut Texas free from federal government programs and influence in favor of the free market. However, according to an investigation of Medina’s business records, her company, Prudentia Inc., benefited greatly over the past decade from federal government subsidies and lucrative municipal government contracts.

Our investigation shows that when you scratch the surface of Texas’ rising tea party star, you’ll find just another Bush-Republican, big-government hypocrite.

On Tuesday, Texas will hold a gubernatorial primary election that has come down to a three-way fight for the GOP nomination. Surprisingly, Medina, a rookie Republican candidate from the tiny rural town of Wharton who has positioned herself as the tea party alternative, is soaring beyond expectation. She has become a national celebrity, suddenly posing a threat to Gov. Perry and Sen. Hutchison. A tougher, rougher, stockier version of Sarah Palin, Medina surged in the polls after she slammed her mainstream Republican opponents in a televised debate, accusing both Perry and Hutchison of succumbing to “big-government solutions” and selling out their Republican ideals. (more…)

Posted: February 24th, 2010