Montgomery paper in ‘unauthorized’ op-ed flap

The Montgomery Advertiser was one of two Alabama papers that published an op-ed piece attributed to Charles Steele Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. But the prominent civil-rights leader says he did not write or authorize the piece, according to The Washington Post‘s In the Loop: On K Street. “The episode opens a small window onto an open secret of lobbying,” columnist Jeffrey Birnbaum writes today. “Public relations firms regularly solicit authors of opinion-page articles, draft the pieces for them and place the articles in publications where they will have the most impact — all for a fee.”

The purported Steele commentary criticized pending federal legislation that would reduce credit card fees and suggested that retailers stand to profit from it, Birnbaum says.

Birnbaum says editors declined to comment at the Advertiser and at the second paper, the Tuscaloosa News.

Earlier: In Montgomery, watchdog reporting on a budget

[Image: today’s Advertiser, Newseum]

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One Response to “Montgomery paper in ‘unauthorized’ op-ed flap”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    This is more in relation to the “earlier” piece … I think the Advertiser is down to five or six metro reporters.

    When I was there in the 90s, there were at least 12. Probably 15.

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