Newsome Conspiracy Case,  North Birmingham Bribery Case,  Southern Company,  Spotlight on Balch & Bingham

Whores of Babylon! Southern Company’s Grip on Alabama Media, Smear Sites, and Paid Stooges Affirmed

The Guardian has published a damning investigative report by Floodlight that shows unequivocally that Southern Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary Alabama Power has allegedly bought, manipulated, and infiltrated media coverage throughout the State of Alabama.

The Guardian writes:

For decades, Alabama Power has sowed influence across the state, according to interviews with more than two dozen former and current reporters, civil rights activists, utility employees and environmentalists.

What’s happening in Alabama is an example of how special interests have taken advantage of the diminishing reach and influence of shrinking mainstream newsrooms in the US. In their place have sprung up fake “pink slime” news sites operated by political interests; a utility that secretly created news outlets to attack its critics; and a Florida publisher who accepts payments for positive coverage.

This investigation into power companies infiltrating local media follows Floodlight’s revelation earlier this month about how utilities wield influence among civil rights groups.

In the last decade, nearly a dozen local reporters and editors were hired to staff the two Alabama news outlets. A Floodlight review of the content since the utility founded the Alabama News Center in 2015 shows it publishes overwhelmingly positive stories about the power company.

Coverage of the utility by the Birmingham Times, which was funded with money from Alabama Power’s charitable arm the Alabama Power Foundation, consists of reprinted stories from the News Center and the utility’s own press releases.

The Southern Company criminal enterprise used these same tactics and venues in the campaign of fear and intimidation against Burt Newsome and his family, us (the CDLU), and our CEO, K.B. Forbes and his family in the summer of 2020.

That summer, the Alabama Political Reporter (APR) viciously and repeatedly attacked Forbes, this website, and the CDLU.

Josh Moon, a once-respected journalist, amputated his brain and did a series of orchestrated hit jobs through 2021 attacking the CDLU, K.B. Forbes, and Burt Newsome.

Moon even allegedly stalked the CDLU, showing up to our headquarters.

Moon with hair and Moon showing up to CDLU’s headquarters

Southern Company paid APR $120,000 through Matrix, the obscure political consulting firm, according to documents we obtained anonymously, to attack and smear Forbes and Newsome.

The Guardian affirms the history of payouts to APR whose publisher appears to act like a forgetful Bangkok whore:

Two Alabama Political Reporter journalists recounted separate instances of a critical story they wrote about Alabama Power being killed without explanation by their outlet in 2013 and 2021. Each suspected the articles were held to appease Alabama Power. At least as far back as April 2013, the Alabama Political Reporter was being paid $8,000 a month by Matrix, the consulting firm employed by Alabama Power, leaked records show. The site’s publisher didn’t remember the stories and denied they were killed because of the utility.

And is this aggressive approach new? Not, says The Guardian:

Even before Alabama Power created its own news entities, four reporters in the state said the utility was aggressive in squashing negative news coverage, including frequently challenging reporting by demanding to meet with top newsroom leaders or threatening lawsuits.

In 2001, Birmingham’s Fox6 station killed a story about an elderly woman who died after life-sustaining equipment was turned off in her home when Alabama Power halted her electric service over failure to pay. Three former newsroom staffers who asked not to be named said a station executive – who later went to work for Alabama Power – spiked the story.

Lovely. Isn’t the Southern Company criminal enterprise just lovely?


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