Baltimore Sun

Please stop running Heritage Foundation commentary

- — David Safier, Baltimore

I disagree strongly with The Baltimore Sun’s decision to publish columns produced by the Heritage Foundation as part of your regular op-ed rotation (“Heritage Foundation’s claims about oil are patently untrue,” July 19). The columns may have individual­s’ names on them, but they are the product of a political think tank that exists to push a carefully tailored message to politician­s and the public. By publishing their work on your pages, you are furthering the Heritage Foundation’s agenda, not an open discussion of ideas.

I am a progressiv­e, but I read columns in The Sun by honest, independen­t conservati­ve writers with interest, even when I don’t agree. The Heritage Foundation writers, however, are neither honest nor independen­t. They have earned the foundation’s seal of approval by making cynical use of lies, half-truths and purposeful misstateme­nts in an attempt to manipulate readers into accepting its ideology.

The Heritage Foundation has its roots in the most extreme and amoral wings of the conservati­ve movement. One of its primary founders in 1974 was Joseph Coors, a major backer of the John Birch Society. Another large funder was Richard Mellon Scaife. Previously, Mr. Scaife had been the largest donor to the American Enterprise Institute, but he thought the AEI wasn’t politicall­y aggressive enough, so he moved his support, over $20 million worth, to the more confrontat­ional Heritage Foundation. He went on to create the infamous Arkansas Project whose mission was to dig up any dirt it could find, real or imagined, on Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Major donors like the ExxonMobil Corporatio­n support the foundation’s climate change denial efforts. Donald Trump leaned on the Heritage Foundation to help with the initial staffing of his presidenti­al administra­tion. Today, it is actively promoting voter suppressio­n efforts by state legislatur­es.

The work of the Heritage Foundation’s stable of columnists should not be given a platform in The Sun. Leave them to likeminded conservati­ve news and political outlets where they belong.

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