Mother Jones



Introduction



Mother Jones is one of the largest liberal magazines in the United States.[1] Based in San Francisco, Mother Jones specializes in investigative journalism. According to Discover the Networks, Mother Jones’“investigative reporting… mostly targets corporations, capitalists, private property, and Republican officeholders.”[2] Mother Jones publishes its magazine bimonthly.[3]

Mother Jones also operates a website, MotherJones.com, that publishes its entire magazine and other news content.[4] Mother Jones briefly had a radio show[5] on the Air America network.[6]

The Foundation for National Progress, a 501(c)(3), is the “umbrella organization that exists to publish and support Mother Jones.”[7]


History / Mission


Mother Jones started organizing in 1974, and began publishing in 1976.[8] According to the group’s website in 2011, “Mother Jones is a nonprofit news organization that specializes in investigative, political, and social justice reporting. We currently have two main ‘platforms’: an award-winning bimonthly national magazine (circulation 240,000), and a website featuring new, original reporting 24-7.”[9]

According to the Foundation for National Progress’ tax forms (Mother Jones’ parent company), the group’s mission is: "To produce revelatory journalism that in its power and reach seeks to inform and inspire a more just and democratic world. We measure the effectiveness of our public-interest reporting in three ways: 1. The size and nature of audience; 2. The influence of our stories on the larger commercial media industry; and 3. The impact of our reporting when used by people working for progressive change."[10]

Mother Jones is named after union organizer Mary Harris (aka “Mother Jones”).[11] Mary Harris was a socialist.[12] According to Discover the Networks, Mother Jones “prides itself on continuing her pursuit of socialist ‘social justice.’”[13] Discover the Networks also notes, “Mother Jones focuses heavily on the evils of capitalism and the alleged desirability of government control over business. On a global level, the magazine reserves its harshest condemnations for the U.S. and Israel, and is staunchly supportive of Marxist regimes like Fidel Castro’s Cuba.”[14]


JournoList Scandal


In June 2010, the Daily Caller website began publishing emails and chats from a collection of hundreds of progressive journalists and academics.[15] The communications came from JournoList – a list serve created by Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein.[16] The exchanges showed an apparent effort by the members to shape narrative of the 2008 presidential election.[17] The emails also showed how some members plotted to diminish Sarah Palin,[18] planned to label conservatives as racist,[19] suggested the government censor Fox News,[20] and laughed at the thought of Rush Limbaugh’s death.[21] According to Fred Barnes in the Wall Street Journal, “those involved in JournoList considered themselves part of a team. And their goal was to make sure the team won. In 2008, this was Mr. Obama’s team. More recently, the goal seems to have been to defeat the conservative team.”[22] Some Mother Jones writers played a role in JournoList.

In one instance, during the 2008 presidential debate season, JournoList members became upset when moderators Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos asked Barack Obama about his affiliations with his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.[23] The moderators asked why it took Obama so long to denounce Wright’s comments, when his racist sentiments had been exposed for more then a year.[24] The JournoList writers plotted to go after any right-wing pundits who spoke about the Wright story.

Spencer Ackerman, then of the Washington Independent, said: "I do not endorse a Popular Front, nor do I think you need to. It’s not necessary to jump to Wright-qua-Wright’s defense. What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of going after the left. In other words, find a rightwinger’s [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear."[25]

JournoList members suggested their cohorts distract the public from Obama’s close ties to the radical Rev. Wright by calling right wingers racist, and they planned to pen a letter to Gibson and Stephanopoulos warning them about asking Obama tough questions.[26] Jonathan Stein of Mother Jones thought the first draft wasn’t strong enough. He said, “I’d say too short. In my opinion, it doesn’t go far enough in highlighting the inanity of some of [Gibson’s] and [Stephanopoulos’] questions. And it doesn’t point out their factual inaccuracies… Our friends at Media Matters probably have tons of experience with this sort of thing, if we want their input.”[27]

Mother Jones columnists also chimed in to JournoList when Republican nominee Senator John McCain selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Mother Jones writer Nick Baumann wrote, “Say it with me: ‘Classic GOP Tokenism’.”[28] Mother Jones writer Jonathan Stein encouraged his fellow members to claim the Palin selection was somehow sexist. Stein wrote, “[i]f enough people – people on this list? – write that the pick is sexist, you’ll have the networks debating it for days. And that negates the SINGLE thing Palin brings to the ticket.”[29]

Some Mother Jones writers even defended their roles in JournoList.[30]


Michael Moore Connection


For a short time in 1986, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore served as editor of Mother Jones.[31] After a dispute, the two parted ways.[32] Moore sued Mother Jones.[33] The two sides settled, and Moore used the money to fund his first film, “Roger and Me.”[34]


Progressive Leadership


Since 2006, Clara Jeffrey and Monika Bauerlin have co-edited Mother Jones.[35] The co-editors often also write for the progressive website, the Huffington Post.[36]


Funding


According to Discover the Networks, Mother Jones (through the Foundation for National Progress) has received funding from “the Bill Moyers-run Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, the Arca Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Streisand Foundation, the Irving Harris Foundation, Kansas City Community Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Park Foundation.”[37]


Leadership (as of July 2013)
Madeleine Buckingham, CEO / President (2011 compensation, $172,645)Clara Jeffrey, Editor-in-Chief (2011 compensation, $180,243)Monika Bauerlein, Editor-in-Chief, (2011 compensation, $181,036)David Corn, DC Bureau Chief, (2011 compensation, $171,394)Steven Katz, Publisher (2011 compensation, $173,594)


Contact Information
Mother Jones222 Sutter Street, Suite 600San Francisco, CA 94108
Telephone: (415) 321-1700
Website: http://motherjones.com/


The National Center For Public Policy Research publishes GroupSnoop. The National Center is a non-profit communications and research foundation that supports free-market and pro-Constitution approaches to today’s policy problems. The National Center is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters, receiving less than one percent of its revenue from corporate sources. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated!

For more information about the National Center For Public Policy Research, please visit our website, or read our blog. To sign up for our email list, go here.

To make suggestions, corrections or to give feedback, please email us.

  1. ^ In its 2009 990 tax form, the group states it is “the largest progressive, independent magazine in the United States.” Available at guidestar.org as of September 10, 2011.
  2. ^ “Mother Jones Magazine,” Discover the Networks, available at http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6959 as of July 29, 2013.
  3. ^ “What is Mother Jones?,” Mother Jones, available at http://motherjones.com/about as of July 29, 2013.
  4. ^ “What is Mother Jones – Why Should I Subscribe When I Can Read You Online?,” Mother Jones, available at http://motherjones.com/about#07 as of July 29, 2013.
  5. ^ “Mother Jones Takes to the Airwaves,” Mother Jones, June 16, 2005, available at http://motherjones.com/about/press/mother-jones-takes-airwavesas of July 29, 2013.
  6. ^ In 2010, Air America stopped broadcasting. See, “Air America to Cease Broadcasting Immediately,” New York Times – Media Decoder, January 21, 2010, available at http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/21/air-america-to-cease-broadcasting-immediately/ as of July 29, 2013.
  7. ^ “What is Mother Jones?,” Mother Jones, available at http://motherjones.com/about as of July 29, 2013.
  8. ^ “Mother Jones Magazine,” Discover the Networks, available at http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6959 as of July 29, 2013.
  9. ^ “What is Mother Jones?,” Mother Jones, available at http://motherjones.com/about as of July 29, 2013.
  10. ^ ”Foundation for National Progress,” available at http://www2.guidestar.org/PartnerReport.aspx?partner=justgivews&ein=94-2282759 as of July 29, 2013.
  11. ^ “What is Mother Jones?,” Mother Jones, available at http://motherjones.com/aboutas of July 29, 2013.
  12. ^ “Mother Jones Magazine,” Discover the Networks, available at http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6959 as of July 29, 2013.
  13. ^ “Mother Jones Magazine,” Discover the Networks, available at http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6959 as of July 29, 2013.
  14. ^ “Mother Jones Magazine,” Discover the Networks, available at http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6959 as of July 29, 2013.
  15. ^ For a full list of Daily Caller stories on JournoList, see http://dailycaller.com/buzz/journolist/ as of July 29, 2013.
  16. ^ Ezra Klein, “On JournoList, and Dave Weigel,” Washington Post, June 25, 2010, available at http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/06/on_journolist_and_dave_weigel.htmlas of July 29, 2013.
  17. ^ Jonathan Strong, “The Fix Was In: JournoList Emails Show How Liberal Media Shaped the 2008 Election,” New York Post, July 25, 2010, available at http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/the_fix_was_in_gImIPWyKJdEWhZasJmFIUOas of July 29, 2013.
  18. ^ Jonathan Strong, “When McCain Picked Palin, Liberal Journalists Coordinated the Best Line of Attack,” The Daily Caller, July 22, 2010, available at http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/22/when-mccain-picked-palin-liberal-journalists-coordinated-the-best-line-of-attack/2/as of July 29, 2013.
  19. ^ Jonathan Strong, “Documents Show Media Plotting to Kill Stories About Rev. Jeremiah Wright,” The Daily Caller, July 20, 2010, available at http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/20/documents-show-media-plotting-to-kill-stories-about-rev-jeremiah-wright/as of July 29, 2013.
  20. ^ Jonathan Strong, “Liberal Journalists Suggest Government Censor Fox News,” The Daily Caller, July 21, 2010, available at http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/21/liberal-journalists-suggest-government-shut-down-fox-news/as of July 29, 2013.
  21. ^ Byron York, “Limbaugh Responds to JournoList Death Wish Report,” Washington Examiner, July 20, 2010, available at
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2556612/posts as of July 29, 2013.
  22. ^ Fred Barnes, “The Vast Left-Wing Media Conspiracy,” Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2010, available at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704684604575381083191313448.html as of July 29, 2013.
  23. ^ Jonathan Strong, “Documents Show Media Plotting to Kill Stories About Rev. Jeremiah Wright,” The Daily Caller, July 20, 2010, available at http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/20/documents-show-media-plotting-to-kill-stories-about-rev-jeremiah-wright/as of July 29, 2013.
  24. ^ Jonathan Strong, “Documents Show Media Plotting to Kill Stories About Rev. Jeremiah Wright,” The Daily Caller, July 20, 2010, available at http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/20/documents-show-media-plotting-to-kill-stories-about-rev-jeremiah-wright/ as of July 29, 2013.
  25. ^ Jonathan Strong, “Documents Show Media Plotting to Kill Stories About Rev. Jeremiah Wright,” The Daily Caller, July 20, 2010, available at http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/20/documents-show-media-plotting-to-kill-stories-about-rev-jeremiah-wright/ as of July 29, 2013.
  26. ^ Jonathan Strong, “Documents Show Media Plotting to Kill Stories About Rev. Jeremiah Wright,” The Daily Caller, July 20, 2010, available at http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/20/documents-show-media-plotting-to-kill-stories-about-rev-jeremiah-wright/ as of July 29, 2013.
  27. ^ Jonathan Strong, “Documents Show Media Plotting to Kill Stories About Rev. Jeremiah Wright,” The Daily Caller, July 20, 2010, available at http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/20/documents-show-media-plotting-to-kill-stories-about-rev-jeremiah-wright/ as of July 29, 2013.
  28. ^ Jonathan Strong, “When McCain Picked Palin, Liberal Journalists Coordinated the Best Line of Attack,” The Daily Caller, July 22, 2010, available at http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/22/when-mccain-picked-palin-liberal-journalists-coordinated-the-best-line-of-attack/2/ as of July 29, 2013.
  29. ^ Jonathan Strong, “When McCain Picked Palin, Liberal Journalists Coordinated the Best Line of Attack,” The Daily Caller, July 22, 2010, available at http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/22/when-mccain-picked-palin-liberal-journalists-coordinated-the-best-line-of-attack/2/ as of July 29, 2013.
  30. ^ See, Nick Baumann, “JournoList and Me,” Mother Jones, July 22, 2010, available at http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/07/journolist-palin-and-mainstream-media as of July 29, 2013. See also, David Corn, “Confessions of a Journolister,” Mother Jones, July 22, 2010, available at http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/07/journolist-daily-caller-sarah-palin as of July 29, 2013.
  31. ^ “What is Mother Jones,” Mother Jones, available at http://motherjones.com/aboutas of July 29, 2013.
  32. ^ “What is Mother Jones,” Mother Jones, available at http://motherjones.com/about as of July 29, 2013.
  33. ^ “What is Mother Jones,” Mother Jones, available at http://motherjones.com/aboutas of September 11, 2011.
  34. ^ “What is Mother Jones,” Mother Jones, available at http://motherjones.com/about as of July 29, 2013.
  35. ^ “What is Mother Jones,” Mother Jones, available at http://motherjones.com/aboutas of July 29, 2013.
  36. ^ See, Clara Jeffrey and Monika Bauerlein, “Fiji Water: Spin the Bottle?,” Huffington Post, August 12, 2009, available at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/clara-jeffery-and-monika-bauerlein/fiji-water-spin-the-bottl_b_257166.html as of July 29, 2013. (For a list of some other articles Jeffrey and Bauerlein have written for Huffington Post see, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/clara-jeffery-and-monika-bauerlein as of July 29, 2013.)
  37. ^ “Mother Jones Magazine,” Discover the Networks, available at http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6959 as of July 29, 2013.