Articles written by conservative American pundits, but paid for with money from the government of Malaysia, appeared in a number of U.S. media outlets between 2008 and 2011, BuzzFeed reported on Friday.
The news came out of a filing that conservative commentator and RedState co-founder Joshua Treviño recently made with the U.S. Department of Justice. The disclosure, which was made in late January under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), detailed how Treviño was paid $389,724.70 by the “[g]overnment of Malaysia, its ruling party, or interests closely aligned with either” between May 2008 and April 2011. According to the filing, Treviño did not deal directly with Malaysian representatives or officials. Instead, he had relationships with and was paid by three groups: the British firm FBC Media, the lobbying firm APCO Worldwide, and the now-shuttered online consulting firm David All Group.
Treviño was paid to blog at two websites — malaysiamatters.com and malaysiawatcher.com — which have now gone dark, and also to generate and secure the placement of opinion pieces in U.S. media outlets. The FARA filing also details how Treviño paid thousands of dollars to ten other writers — including the conservative writer Ben Domenech, American Center for Democracy director Rachel Ehrenfeld, and Commentary editor Seth Mandel — to write opinion pieces.Good news for Ben Domenech as he could just cut and paste shit and get tens of thousands of bucks.
It pays to not even have a vestigial soul.