Wash. Times Smears Yet Another Obama Nominee As A "Radical"

››› ››› MELODY JOHNSON

The Washington Times attacked John Bryson, President Obama's Commerce Secretary nominee, as a "radical environmentalist" and a "job destroyer." In fact, Bryson is a former energy company executive who sits on the boards of several major corporations, and his nomination reportedly has the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; moreover, the Times has a long history of baselessly smearing Obama officials and nominees as "radicals."

Wash. Times Smears Bryson As A "Radical," "Job Destroyer"

Wash. Times: "John Bryson, Job Destroyer." In a June 9 editorial, The Washington Times called Bryson a "job destroyer," "radical environmentalist," and a "shill for rent-seeking crony capitalists whose primary goal is to suck down taxpayer money on worthless fads like electric cars, windmills, and solar panels." From the Times:

The White House needs to get moving to free up these markets for U.S. exporters. In doing so, Mr. Obama also needs to have a leader in place at the Commerce Department who is going to help businesses take advantage of these expanded opportunities. With unemployment at 9.1 percent, it doesn't make sense for the administration to add to its ranks yet another shill for rent-seeking crony capitalists whose primary goal is to suck down taxpayer money on worthless fads like electric cars, windmills and solar panels.

[...]

Given the opposition, Mr. Obama ought to look for someone with a track record of creating jobs, not someone whose claim to fame is building an organization dedicated to destroying them. [The Washington Times, 6/9/11]

Wash. Times: "Bryson Co-Founded The Natural Resources Defense Council, A Radical Outfit That Relies On Lawsuits And Activist Courts To Advance An Anti-Industrial Agenda." From the Times editorial:

Mr. Bryson co-founded the Natural Resources Defense Council [NRDC], a radical outfit that relies on lawsuits and activist courts to advance an anti-industrial agenda. Mr. Bryson even used his time as chairman and CEO of Edison International to advocate government coercion to address so-called "global warming." A member of the United Nations Secretary-General's Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change, Mr. Bryson told a conference in 2009 that it's "incredibly important" that the United States "comes forth in this year with federal climate change legislation." [The Washington Times, 6/9/11]

In Fact, Bryson Is A Former Energy Company Executive Who Sits On The Boards Of Major Corporations

NY Times: Bryson Was Chairman And CEO Of Edison International. The New York Times reported:

Trained as a lawyer, Bryson helped co-found the Natural Resources Defense Council in 1970 and headed California state commissions governing utilities and water during Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) first administration. Bryson retired as chairman and CEO of Edison International, the parent company of electric utility Southern California Edison, in 2008 after 18 years. [The New York Times, 6/1/11]

U.S. Chamber Of Commerce President Reportedly Supports Bryson Nomination. The New York Times also reported:

But another familiar opponent of many Obama administration policies, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue, sounded a more conciliatory note.

"With his extensive knowledge of the private sector and years of experience successfully running a major company, we hope Mr. Bryson will be a strong voice for American business," he said. [The New York Times, 6/1/11]

Bryson Sits On The Boards Of Directors Of Several Major Companies. The New York Times further reported:

Bryson, a graduate of Yale Law School, sits on the board of directors of Boeing, Walt Disney Co., Coda Automotive Inc., the California Endowment and the W.M. Keck Foundation. He is chairman of the board of the Public Policy Institute of California and of the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California's Board of Overseers.

Bryson is also a senior adviser to asset management firm KKR, a trustee of the California Institute of Technology, co-chairman of the Pacific Council on International Policy and an adviser to Deutsche Bank Americas. [The New York Times, 6/1/11]

NRDC Is A Mainstream Organization And Has Been Praised As One Of Nation's Best Charities

Charity Navigator Gives NRDC Four Out Of Four Stars. Charity Navigator, a nonprofit that describes itself as "the nation's largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities," gave the NRDC a rating of four stars overall on a scale of zero to four stars, based on "two broad areas of a charity's financial health -- how responsibly it functions day to day as well as how well positioned it is to sustain its programs over time." [Charity Navigator, accessed 6/10/11]

As Far Back As 1990, Wash. Post Reported That NRDC Is "Solidly In The Environmental Mainstream." The Washington Post reported in April 1990:

Along with groups like the Sierra Club and the National Wildlife Federation, NRDC is solidly in the environmental mainstream exemplified by the so-called "Group of 10," organizations that banded together in 1981 to coordinate strategy during the Reagan administration. [The Washington Post, 4/19/90, via Nexis]

"An Administration Of Radicals": Wash. Times Has A History Of Attacking Obama Appointees, Nominees

Wash. Times: "An Administration Of Radicals." Past Washington Times editorials have labeled judicial nominees Sonia Sotomayor, Edward Chen, David Hamilton, Louis Butler, and Goodwin Liu radicals. The Times has also affixed the "radical" label to positions taken by Education Department official Kevin Jennings, nominee for Assistant Attorney General Dawn Johnsen, and adviser to the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Rosa Brooks. In addition, on October 13, 2009, the Times published an editorial headlined, "An administration of radicals," which it billed as a "dishonor roll" of administration officials. The editorial named Jennings, Jones, Sotomayor, Butler, Holdren, Koh, White House adviser Ezekiel Emanuel, and National Intelligence Council nominee Charles W. Freeman Jr. [Media Matters, 5/28/09, 10/28/09, 11/3/09, 11/4/09; The Washington Times, 10/12/09, 10/13/09, 3/3/10]

Wash. Times Op-Ed: Becker, Feldblum, Berrien Part Of Obama's "Gallery Of Radical Rulers." In an April 6, 2010, Washington Times op-ed, Robert Knight pushed numerous falsehoods to attack Obama officials Craig Becker, Chai R. Feldblum, and Jacqueline A. Berrien as "the latest left-wing activists to gain public office in President Obama's gallery of radical rulers." Knight further rehashed falsehoods about numerous other Obama officials. [The Washington Times, 4/6/10; Media Matters, 4/6/10]

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