The Post sees only lobbyists on one side of reform 

Barack Obama's favorite former Republican officials--Bob Dole, Bill Frist, Tommy Thompson, and Louis Sullivan--all support "health-care reform" and are also all in the pay of health-care companies that stand to profit from Obama's "reform." I found this interesting enough to write two columns about it (here and here).

The Washington Post, on the other hand, has had covered these pro-ObamaCare Republicans while maintaining a blackout on their financial stake in "reform." Meanwhile, "reform" opponents get their conflicts of interest published on the Post's pages.

Let's start with Dole's endorsement of ObamaCare: The Post ran an AP piece on Dole's Kansas City statements, and the paper mentioned Dole's support in a piece previewing the Senate Finance vote. Liberal blogger Ezra Klein blogged "The fact that Bill Frist and Bob Dole have come out in support of it is probably only making [Mitch] McConnell's job harder." The paper's "44" blog reported on Obama's touting of Dole's support, as did an AP piece the Post ran that day. An AP piece ran in the Post regarding a DNC ad quoting Dole, and a Post blog mentioned Dole and Obama's "strange bedfellows" allegiance on health care.

In all of these mentions, the Post never mentioned that Dole is a registered lobbyist at Alston & Bird, where he represents health-care clients.

Bill Frist's and Tommy Thompson's support for ObamaCare showed up in the Post's page plenty of times, and in none of those articles (as far as I could tell) did the Post mention that Thompson is a health-care consultant at a K Street firm and Frist is a partner in an investment firm that invests in health-care companies.

I'm not positing that Frist's, Dole's, and Thompson's financial stake in "reform" disqualifies their arguments -- I'm arguing that these conflicts are worth mentioning when reporting on "strange bedfellows" and "bipartisanship." The Post apparently doesn't think so -- or doesn't think to inquire.

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Timothy P. Carney

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