The revolving door

THE REVOLVING DOOR…. The Politico‘s Michael Calderone had an interesting item last week on “at least a half-dozen prominent journalists” who’ve left their jobs in media over the last three months, to start working for the federal government. For many on the right, seeing professionals make the shift from major news outlets to Democratic offices is evidence of widespread media bias.

But is it also bias when prominent political figures make the transition from Republican offices to major news outlets?

Conservatives have complained for years that there are too many liberals in the mainstream media. Starting Monday, though, they’ll have at least one of their own at CBS News.

Jeff Ballabon, an Orthodox Jew and political and communications consultant whom The Forward called “the architect of Bush’s 2004 re-election effort in the Orthodox community,” is the new senior vice president for communications at CBS News. He starts Monday and, according to a CBS press release, will be in charge of “all media relations and public affairs for CBS News, including strategy and planning, day-to-day publicity, internal and external communications” and coordination with the CBS News website. […]

Ballabon said CBS reached out to him and it was an “irresistible offer” to “help CBS News regain its standing as the Tiffany news network.”

Ira Forman noted today that, during a public debate several years ago, Ballabon claimed that Democrats are inherently bad people. More recently, during the 2008 election, Ballabon added, “Obama is incredibly dangerous.”

Greg Sargent talked to Ballabon this morning, and he insisted, “I never said Democrats are evil.” Asked if he still believes the president is “incredibly dangerous,” Ballabon declined comment.

If Jay Carney making the switch from Time to Joe Biden’s office is evidence of some kind of systemic predisposition in American media, what are we to assume about CBS News making Jeff Ballabon its new senior vice president for communications?

And for those keeping score at home, Ballabon’s move from Bush’s team to traditional major media outlets is hardly unusual. He joins Michael Gerson (Washington Post), Sara Taylor (MSNBC), Tony Snow (CNN), Frances Fragos Townsend (CNN), Nicole Wallace (CBS News), Dan Bartlett (CBS News), and, of course, Karl Rove (Fox News, Newsweek, and Wall Street Journal).

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