Late Sunday evening, Washington Post reporter Chris Cillizza tweeted: "Let me say for the billionth time: Reporters don't root for a side. Period."
It was a hilariously ill-timed tweet, because Monday morning the Center for Public Integrity released its 2016 campaign analysis showing journalists giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Of the 430 people CPI identified as "journalists, reporters, news editors or television news anchors — as well as other donors known to be working in journalism," 96 percent gave money to Clinton, according to federal campaign finance filings. Those 430 journalists gave $382,000 to Clinton and just $14,000 to GOP nominee Donald Trump. CPI identified just 50 journalists who gave to Trump (meaning 380 gave to Clinton.)
CPI noted that the law only obligates candidates to disclose the names of donors giving more than $200 in a single election cycle, meaning many more members of the media could have donated to either campaign, but in smaller amounts.
Cillizza followed up his earlier tweet by commenting on the CPI report: "Well this is super depressing. NO idea why any journalist would donate $ to politicians."
CPI noted that even as many newsrooms have policies against donating to politicians (the New York Times is more vague, strongly suggesting that such donations would compromise the paper's integrity), their reporters donated.
This isn't an age of Trump thing among journalists, either. In 2012, every major media outlet donated heavily to President Obama compared to Mitt Romney (yes, even Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, which owns Fox News). The story was the same in 2008.
I'm with Cillizza (his second tweet on the subject): It's just not worth the integrity hit for members of the media to donate to politicians.
Ashe Schow is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.