We learn from the Washington Examiner's Tim Carney that former Washington Times managing editor for digital Jeffrey Birnbaum is joining a Washington lobbying firm, BGR Group (known as Barbour, Griffith & Rogers), to head its PR division. Birnbaum -- who left his job in the recent WashTimes implosion -- will continue to write a column for the Times, as well as appear on Fox News as a contributor.
Given that, as Carney noted, BGR Group has numerous high-profile clients such as foreign governments, defense contractors, and pharmaceutical companies, this looks to us like a conflict of interest waiting to happen. Indeed, we've long documented TV talking heads and other conservatives not disclosing their financial interests in the causes they're speaking about.
The onus here is on both ends -- Birnbaum to disclose any conflicts of interest, and The Washington Times and Fox News to make sure he does.
(P.S. Given that Birnbaum left The Washington Post in August 2008 to work for the Times, it's absurd for Carney's headline to read, "Who else at the Washington Post is auditioning for a K Street job?" Just another example of the Examiner's right-wing bias, it appears.)
- Jeff Birnbaum