"I landed a job as executive director of a policy
organization in Washington. This felt like a coup. But certain perversities
became apparent as I settled into the job. It sometimes required me to reason
backward, from desired conclusion to suitable premise." - Matthew B.
Crawford A think tank
is an organization that claims to serve as a center for research and/or
analysis of important public issues.
In reality, most
think tanks are
little more than public relations fronts, usually headquartered in state or
national seats of government and
scholarship that serves the advocacy goals of their industry sponsors.
Think tanks, funded
primarily by major corporations and foundations, devise and promote policies
that shape the lives of every American.
Think tanks always have a decided
Journalists, op-ed columnists and public
speakers that belong to think
tanks are paid to espouse the opinions of their sponsors who shower them with
There are twice as many right wing think tanks
as left wing ones, and the right wing ones generally have more money.
Every think tank has a
sponsor had an agenda.
Therefore it is
unreasonable to simply accept ANY
pronouncement from ANY think tank as every statement WILL be biased toward the
sponsor who is feeding the
fish in the think tank.
"Fueled by tax-deductible donations and
an explosion in philanthropic assets,
think tanks have
dramatically grown in size and influence during the past 100 years.
American think tanks
increased in number from eight in 1910 to 98 in 1960 and 1,106 in 2006.
Despite think tanks
billions of dollars of tax
subsidies and considerable power, they have received minimal public
scrutiny and are often poorly understood." - J.H. Snider, think tank
established a commanding presence at the American Enterprise
Institution, Center for Security Policy, Foreign Policy
Research Institute, Heritage Foundation, Hudson Institute,
Institute for Foreign Policy
Analysis, and Jewish
Institute for National Security Affairs.
"Bent on becoming
an opinion journalist, I landed a syndicated column.
I could never live
on what it paid alone.
I affiliated with the Cato Institute, which always
encouraged my work.
I ghostwrote Op-Ed articles, drafted political
speeches, prepared internal corporate briefings and
strategized business media
All the while, I also wrote commentary and opinion
Virtually everyone I worked with, or wrote for, had an ax to
Think tanks and opinion journals have
explicit ideological perspectives, which
they support through fund raising.
Politicians, PR firms, companies and
associations have explicit agendas.
The number of folks underwriting the
pursuit of knowledge can be counted on one
hand, if not one finger. " -
Doug Bandow, former Op-Ed columnist and Cato Institute
"Your television may receive 200 channels, but
virtually every one is owned by one of
the six amalgamations -
Viacom, Sony and
News Corp." - Marshall
Herskovitz 11/072008 "German
policy research institutes influence
decision making of
the federal and state governments, and their work is becoming more visible in
the German media.
Many receive government funding, and most maintain
close ties with universities.
German think tanks include major
foreign policy institutes, peace
research organizations, economic research institutes, party foundations, and
non-traditional think tanks." - Open Source Center of the Office of the
Director of National Intelligence, 5 March 2008
"Many of the
estimated 37,000 French journalists see themselves more as
intellectuals than as
Instead of merely reporting events,
they often try to analyze developments
and influence readers
with their own biases.
At the same time, many
political or economic journalists are
educated at the same elite schools as the politicians they cover.
consequence, many reporters do not necessarily regard their primary role as
being that of a watchdog or a counterweight to the political and economic
powers in place." - Open Source Center of the Office of the Director of
National Intelligence, 16 July 2008
According to the Open
Source Center of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence the
French and the Germans are biased.
Any individual that does the
rudimentary critical thinking on
this issue will realize that there is absolutely no difference between the
French, the Germans, the English and the Americans or for that matter any
other social culture or group when it
comes to this bias.
wanting help in advancing their agendas often turn to think tanks.
addition to providing the appearance of independent support
for corporate policies, think
tanks combine a scholarly image with expertise at how to play the media and
To give just one example, the Chicago-based
Heartland Institute is holding a conference in New York this week,
featuring a persistent if increasingly-isolated group of global warming
Heartland has a long history of being well-funded by
the tobacco industry and fossil fuel
Not that Heartland discloses which corporations and
foundations fund its operations; it, like many think tanks, prefers secrecy." -
Bob Burton March 6, 2009
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