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Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Tech Central Station

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Tech Central Station (TCS) is a now-defunct on-line magazine that served as a platform for a number of high profile hawks and neoconservatives, many of whom played key roles building public support for an aggressive “war on terror” in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. It published a website that was part of Ideas in Action, a weekly TV program produced by the George W. Bush Institute and Grace Creek Media, and hosted by TSC founder James Glassman.[1] A veteran journalist and former undersecretary of state for public diplomacy in the George W. Bush administration, Glassman was a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He co-authored (with Kevin A. Hassett) the ill-timed 1999 book, Dow 36,000: The New Strategy for Profiting From the Coming Rise in the Stock Market, which erroneously predicted the stock market was “undervalued” and would continue to rise sharply in ensuing years.[2]

Glassman launched Tech Central Station (TCS) in 2000 as a “virtual think tank,” covering everything from the war in Iraq to Milton Friedman’s views on health care reform. Its original mission statement read: “The explosion of dazzling technological advances over the last two centuries has brought with it a host of thorny political and public policy questions. The collision of technology and public policy has enormous implications for our lives and our future. Tech Central Station is here to help provide the right answers to many of those questions with the news, analysis, research, and commentary you need to understand how technology is changing and shaping our world, and how you can make sense of it all.”[3] Early TCS contributors included Carol Adelman, Ken Adelman, Henry Cooper, Newt Gingrich, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Michael Ledeen, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, William Schneider Jr., and James Woolsey.

TCS had significant corporate support. Its website, which is no longer accessible, stated, “Tech Central Station is supported by sponsoring corporations that share our faith in technology and its ability to improve modern life. Smart application of technology—combined with pro free market, science-based public policy—has the ability to help us solve many of the world’s problems, and so we are grateful to AT&T, ExxonMobil, General Motors Corporation, Intel, McDonalds, Microsoft, Nasdaq, National Semiconductor, PhRMA, and Qualcomm for their support. All of these corporations are industry leaders that have made great strides in using technology for our betterment, and we are proud to have them as sponsors.”[4]

In December 2003, the Washington Monthly, described TCS as “journo-lobbying”—a new innovation in lobbying “driven primarily by the influence of industry. Lobbying firms that once specialized in gaining person-to-person access to key decision-makers have branched out. The new game is to dominate the entire intellectual environment in which officials make policy decisions, which means funding everything from think tanks to issue ads to phony grassroots pressure groups.”[5]

According to the Washington Monthly, soon after ExxonMobil enlisted as a sponsor, TCS began running articles attacking the Kyoto accord and the science of global warming. After the pharmaceutical lobby PhRMA hired TCS’s parent company, DCI Group (a public affairs firm), TCS columnists wrote editorials and articles arguing against legislation that would allow the reimportation of drugs from Canada.[6]

In 2006, TCS was purchased by its then-editor Nick Schulz, becoming TCSDaily.[7] In 2008, Schulz, a former political editor on Fox News, became a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, editing AEI’s in-house magazine The American.[8] As of 2010, TCSDaily was being published under the auspices of Ideas in Action.[9]

Ideas in Action is described as a “weekly series on ideas and their consequences.” Appearing on PBS affiliates as well as internet channels such as RIGHTNETWORK, the program typically features rightist political figures commenting on both domestic and foreign affairs. Guests have included Jeffrey Gedmin, a former AEI scholar who heads Radio Free Europe; Dan Senor, cofounder with William Kristol and Robert Kagan of the Foreign Policy Initiative; AEI’s Thomas Donnelly; Andrew Exum of the Center for a New American Security; former secretary of state George Shultz now based at the Hoover Institution; and former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson.[10]

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Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.

Sources


[1]
Ideas in Action, http://www.ideasinactiontv.com/; Danny Shea, “George W. Bush Institute to Co-Produce Public Television Show ‘Ideas in Action,’” Huffington Post, December 22, 2009,  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/22/george-w-bush-institute-t_n_400777.html.

[2] ; James K. Glassman and Kevin A. Hassett, Dow 36,000: The New Strategy for Profiting From the Coming Rise in the Stock Market, Three Rivers Press, 2000.

[3]TechCentralStation.com, http://www.techcentralstation.com/ [no longer available].

[4]TechCentralStation.com, http://www.techcentralstation.com/ [no longer available].

[5]Nicholas Confessore, “Meet the Press,” Washington Monthly, December 2003.

[6]Nicholas Confessore, “Meet the Press,” Washington Monthly, December 2003.

[7]Nick Schuhlz, “Something Old and Something New,” TCSDaily, September 19, 2006, http://www.ideasinactiontv.com/tcs_daily/2006/09/something-old-something-new-1.html.

[8]AEI, “AEI Scholars & Fellows: Nick Schulz,” http://www.aei.org/scholar/136.

[9]Ideas in Action, “TCSDaily,” http://www.ideasinactiontv.com/tcs_daily/.

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Tech Central Station Résumé

About Ideas in Action (as of 2010)

Ideas in Action with Jim Glassman is a new half-hour weekly series on ideas and their consequences. Each edition of the new series, hosted by veteran journalist, scholar and diplomat Jim Glassman, will present a discussion of trends, conditions, and ideas at the heart of the important issues of the day. Viewers engage with a diverse group of economists, historians, anthropologists, political scientists, demographers, and social philosophers, as well as authorities from many other disciplines. Andrew Walworth is Executive Producer. Ideas in Action is a coproduction of Grace Creek Media and The George W. Bush Institute and is distributed to PBS member stations nationwide by Executive Program Services.

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