Dear friends, colleagues and Washington Babylon supporters,
“All You Need Is Love,” The Beatles once sang. Journalists can live without love — and a journalist who is loved is doing something wrong anyway — but we can’t live without money. So “All You Need Is Cash” by The Rutles — the knockoff band created by Monty Python’s Eric Idle — is a lot more to the point at the moment for Washington Babylon.
In this spirit, please take a minute to read this note and consider supporting our work.
I launched the site three years ago and this is our first direct online fundraiser. I genuinely don’t like asking for money but I don’t have a choice. I’ve kept the site 99 percent free and tried to get by with sporadic donations. It hasn’t worked. We need a stronger base of support.
More and more journalists and policymakers are reading our reporting, following us on social media and subscribing to our daily newsletter. I recently wrote a story that brought down defense secretary Patrick Shanahan due to ugly allegations made during his 2011 divorce. The New York Times reported that Trump White House officials were unaware of the circumstances until reading about them in Washington Babylon. This is just one instance where we’ve scooped mainstream news organizations with resources that dwarf ours.
I routinely get up at 4 a.m. and don’t shut down operations until 16 hours later. Meanwhile, my “To Do” list always seems to be longer at the end of the day than it was at the start and a lot of it involves dealing with business and bureaucracy, not journalism. A few key contributors to the site are in the same boat.
Washington Babylon’s readership and impact are growing, but we’re treading water financially. We need your help so we can improve our coverage and reach a broader audience — and, yes, get some desperately needed rest.
[You can visit our web store and buy fundraising certificates in handy denominations of $25, $50 or $100. And here’s a link to our Patreon page, where you can make a custom or monthly pledge.]
Styled in the tradition of Confidential magazine and other classic tabloids, we combine cutting-edge investigations, political analysis, well-informed insider political gossip and sensational wittiness. We also offer something increasingly rare in journalism: We aren’t biased partisan hacks and we’ll pursue any story that merits coverage, no matter who the target is.
That makes it harder to win friends and financial supporters but it’s essential to the spirit of independent muckraking. We don’t have big money donors secretly backing us, for obvious reasons, so we truly need support from our readers.
We’ve published stories from the Immigration-Industrial Complex, including a whistleblower account from a camp guard and an interview with the great journalist and activist Barrett Brown on how Amazon and Palantir help ICE locate and deport undocumented workers. We’ve also exposed how Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a champion of family values, had sex with about a dozen undergrads from classes he taught at Florida International University and punished one student who wouldn’t sleep with him by lowering her grade.
We’ve got a podcast, the new Aesthetics and Anesthetics section, and are even providing original foreign coverage, including recent stories from Lebanon, Venezuela, Vietnam and Indonesia. We’re planning a host of investigative stories this fall: including more on Rubio (focusing on the shady favors he’s done for his donors), a look at the growing political influence of hedge funds and the tech oligarchy, an account from an offshore whistleblower, and a lot more.
I’ve been in journalism for more than 30 years and have regularly been ahead of the mainstream curve on topics that include lobbyists secretly working for foreign dictators, privatization of the military-industrial complex and corruption at think tanks and sleazy non-profits. My reporting has put people in jail, brought down banks, exposed money-launderers and shamed lobbyists, politicians, CEOs and other powerful players.
I’m still going strong and believe my best years in journalism are still ahead of me. But Washington Babylon needs financial support so I can devote more time to the site and pursue major investigations that I specialize in.
I’m sure you don’t always agree with me — I’d be disappointed if you do — but I hope you believe Washington Babylon merits your support. Anything you can give will be deeply appreciated and be spent 100 percent on producing high-quality, independent journalism that is so desperately needed today.
So please support us by buying a fundraising certificate from our web store — and you can buy as many as you want — for $25, $50 or $100. Alternatively, go to our Patreon page and make a pledge there.
Thanks in advance and best,