An Open Letter to Washington Post Co.’s CEO Phillip Graham From Mattie Fein on Harman Intl Bid to Acquire Newsweek
Jane Harman and Jon Meacham Still Silent on Harman Editorial Influence and Business Ties to Iran
TORRANCE, Calif., Aug. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The following is an open letter from Mattie Fein to Phillip Graham, CEO of Washington Post Co., on the Harman International bid to acquire Newsweek:
Dear Mr. Graham:
According to The New York Times, at present, you are inclined towards accepting the bid for Newsweek submitted by audio and defense software company Harman International. But neither Jane Harman nor Newsweek’s Jon Meacham have answered my documented concerns that Harman International sells dual use electronics with business in Iran through a wholly owned Austrian subsidiary; that Jane Harman should divest herself of her millions in Harman International shares to avoid a conflict of interest or loyalties in Congress; and, that Jane Harman has a troublesome history of interfering with a free press to advance a political agenda, which would only be aggravated by her millions of dollars of share ownership in Harman International. Consider the following elaboration.
Jane Harman is notorious for attempting to cripple the role of the press in providing organized scrutiny of government and exposing government wrongdoing. She interceded with The New York Times to attempt to kill the disclosure of the government’s illegal warrantless Terrorist Surveillance Program; and, when that failed, she urged an Espionage Act prosecution of the newspaper for unearthing government action on this issue. Jane Harman was following if not bettering the instruction of those who conceived an attempt to thwart publication of The Pentagon Papers by Washington Post, which The Washington Post courageously opposed.
In a recent letter to Newsweek’s Jon Meacham, I flagged a Harman-Iran issue crying out for further investigation. A wholly owned subsidiary of Harman International in Austria is distributing arguably dual use electronic equipment in Iran at the same time the United States is tightening sanctions there to deter nuclear proliferation. Iran is listed by the United States as a state sponsor of terrorism. I urged Jane Harman to divest her shares, but she has neither said nor done anything. Members of Congress, like Caesar’s wife, should be above suspicion.
Newsweek has neglected to report on Harman’s scorn for a free press or conflict of interest in owning Harman International shares that gain in value from trade with Iran. The Washington Post on June 14, 2010 published an article on lawmaker’s conflicts of interest targeting Jane Harman but, no follow through on the Iran issue. The silence is deafening. Is there a sinister force at work?
You and your family are the stewards of Newsweek’s long and honorable tradition of independent news reporting or editorializing. I would suggest you consider asking Meacham and Harman to answer my concerns about compromising that fine tradition in conducting due diligence.
Sincerely, Mattie Fein Candidate for Congress, CD-36, California
Paid for and Authorized by Mattie Fein for Congress
CONTACT: Mattie Fein for Congress Campaign Office, +1-310-892-5936
SOURCE Mattie Fein for Congress