Berman and Company: Unqualified, unclearly-identified, opinion-for-hire writers infiltrating a newspaper near you

April 29, 2009
Contacts: 
Naomi Seligman // 202.408.5565

Berman and Company's public relations professionals, posing as policy experts, have landed pieces in the opinion pages of newspapers throughout the country. Unfortunately, most of these news outlets fail to sufficiently vet and identify these hired guns.

For example, David Martosko, a Berman employee, who is frequently cited as a scientific expert, received his graduate degree in opera from the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University.

In Mr. Martosko's efforts to discredit the National Cancer Institute's findings on red meat consumption and increased mortality, he spearheaded a letter-writing campaign publishing his opinions in papers including the Sacramento Bee and the Athens Banner-Herald. Mr. Martosko was not identified as a Berman and Company employee, but rather as "Director of Research for the Center for Consumer Freedom."

Tim Miller, another Berman hire, has also been identified in his letters and op-eds by his association to the company's front groups. For example, Mr. Miller opined in response to an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that his "organization," the Center for Consumer Freedom, was in opposition to the Payday Loan Reform Act to counter "antiloan activist rhetoric" and went on to rehash the newest slogans from the Center's latest payday loan ad campaign. In addition, Berman's Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Literacy is behind a pro-payday loan site http://econ4u.org/moneymatters_payday.cfm masquerading as a 'financial education' site.

Mr, Miller's real job is the director of communications for Berman and Company and his listed positions include a number of its affiliated front groups: the Center for Consumer Freedom, the Center for Union Facts, the Employment Policy Institute, the Employees Freedom Action Committee, the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Literacy, the American Beverage Institute, and Activist Cash. Mr. Miller has served as the communications coordinator for Sen. John McCain's Iowa caucus campaign. Before that, he was the communications director for Jeff Lamberti's failed 2006 congressional campaign in Iowa's 3rd district, the political director for Bill Dix's failed 2006 congressional campaign in Iowa's 1st district, the field director for Jerry Kilgore's failed 2005 campaign for Governor of Virginia, and as a travel aide for Bill Lee's failed 2004 campaign for Governor of Delaware.

Listed below are recent letters to the editor "“ all authored by Richard Berman and his employees:

What you eat is everybody's business in the Nanny State
David Martosko, OpEd Contributor "“ Identified as Director of Research for the Center for Consumer Freedom
April 28, 2009 "“ Washington Examiner

Legislature should flag proposed alcohol tax hike
Sarah Longwell "“ Identified as Managing Director of the American Beverage Institute
April 22, 2009 - Ashbury Park Press

Payday loans help many of the poor
Tim Miller "“ Identified as Center for Consumer Freedom
April 21, 2009 "“ The Wall Street Journal

Letter: Don't believe warnings of 'sirloin-induced apocalypse'
David Martosko "“ Identified as Director of Research Center for Consumer Freedom
April 9, 2009 "“ The Salem News

David Martosko: No 'sirloin apocalypse' coming
David Martosko "“ Identified as Director of Research Center for Consumer Freedom
April 8, 2009 "“ Athens Banner-Herald

Letters: Red meat, conservation, gun control, the Fairness Doctrine, etc.
David Martosko "“ Identified as Director of Research Center for Consumer Freedom
March 30, 2009 "“ The Sacramento Bee

Card Check would magnify union damage to the economic recovery
Richard Berman "“ Identified as Executive Director of Center for Union Facts
March 17, 2009 "“ Washington Examiner

Employee Free Choice Act may backfire on unions
Richard Berman "“ Identified as Executive Director of Center for Union Facts
February 10, 2009 "“ Washington Examiner


quick facts

Richard Berman has been a regular front man for business and industry in campaigns against consumer safety and environmental groups. Through his public affairs firm, Berman and Company, Berman has fought unions, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, PETA and other watchdog groups in their efforts to raise awareness about obesity, the minimum wage, the dangers of smoking, mad cow disease, drunk driving, and other causes. Berman runs at least 15 industry-funded front groups and projects, such as the Center for Union Facts and holds 16 "positions" in those organizations.

Each year, Berman, using his front groups to spread misinformation, spends millions of dollars distracting the public with misleading ads.

As a result of his largesse, in 2006, Richard Berman used $2,000,000 in cash to buy this $3.3 million house.

Berman's House