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Welfare Ranchers, Riding High (Again)

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Stewart and BundyNearly a year ago, following Forbes response to my writing about Cliven Bundy and the federal grazing program, I was approached by AlterNet with a proposition.

There had been some speculation that my Forbes departure had been spurred by Steve Forbes having grazing leases or that people with influence at Forbes did and that my exposing the federal grazing program was not to their liking. Would I be interested in writing a piece on rich welfare ranchers?

The idea of exploring that topic was attractive, even though I knew it would be challenging, so I agreed.

Today, almost a year later, I’m proud to publish “Forbes Billionaires Top US Welfare Ranchers List” on AlterNet and also the Daily Pitchfork.

The article is the fourth part of the Daily Pitchfork’s “SourceWatch” series on ranchers in the media (you can read the first three parts here, here and here).

SourceWatch was created to address the media’s twin habits of single-source reporting while failing to disclose favored sources’ economic and political conflicts of interest.

“Forbes Billionaires Top US Welfare Ranchers List” is the culmination of an intensive amount of research, and contains a photo gallery of 12 of the US biggest welfare ranchers, including the Koch brothers, the folks who supply McDonalds french fries, and Ted Turner (but no Steve Forbes). Eight of the twelve are on one or more of Forbes “rich” lists.

The rancher series describes different aspects of the federal grazing program important to anyone who cares about Western politics, public lands and wildlife, and truth in media. Two of the segments examine research studies and one has a proposed reading list.

I hope you’ll read all four segments. To learn more, follow us on Twitter @dailypitchfork or become a Daily Pitchfork subscriber (you can sign up from our home page). Please join us!

 

 

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