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ABRAMOFF TRIED TO SWAY MEDIA COVERAGE

Politico - 03/06/12

POLITICO's Robin Bravender has this report on disgraced ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff's discussion at a National Press Club event Monday, where he told attendees that he sought out favorable op-ed pieces to bolster his clients during his tenure on K Street and even considered buying his own newspaper. In a bid to get clients' stories out, Abramoff said he would go to writers - "mainly think tank folks' - to write op-eds and to try to get more op-ed pieces placed to promote his side. 'Something like the Washington Times, Wall Street Journal, that kind of a thing,' he said. Earlier in his lobbying career, he said, 'I tried to put together an effort to either start a new Washington newspaper or to make a run at trying to buy The Hill or Roll Call,' he said. 'We didn't succeed.'

Pressed by Native American lobbyist Tom Rodgers, who's credited with helping bring down Abramoff, Abramoff said he couldn't remember whether he tried to influence any 'mainstream reporters,' but he didn't rule it out. 'I'm not saying there couldn't have been. My mindset in those days, if I could have gotten a mainstream reporter, 100 percent I would have gotten them, as unfortunate as that is,' he said. 'I was a killer in that business.'

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