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The American Prospect, Inc. (TAP) is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization that effectively owns and publishes the left-liberal magazine The American Prospect and engages in other activities as well. "As conveners of the progressive community," says the TAP website, "we organize Washington events: strategy meetings for progressive leaders, televisions [sic] forums at the Capitol, and lively debates at universities. ... We incubate, train, and mentor young progressive journalists through our prestigious writing fellows program."
"Our articles set agendas, propose policies, and further debates," the organization’s website notes. "We publish investigative pieces that expose and debunk the right. We challenge the premise that progressives need to shift to the center to become politically competitive."
In addition to publishing The American Prospect, TAP produces at least seven special reports each year on what it terms "a variety of pressing political questions." These reports, overseen by TAP President Robert Kuttner (who co-edits the magazine), are largely or entirely funded by tax-exempt foundations with leftist agendas.
In September 2000, for example, The American Prospect published a special issue devoted entirely to campaign-finance reform. The issue, called "Checkbook Democracy," was bought and paid for by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which provided $132,000 for its production, although its sponsorship and influence in shaping the editorial content of the special issue went unmentioned. When the relationship later came to light in 2005, controversy followed. Slate’s Mickey Kaus asked, "If the New York Times took more than $100,000 from General Motors to produce a special issue on Regulation in the Auto Industry, wouldn't there be a stink?”
The American Prospect, Inc. has also received funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the JEHT Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, George Soros's Open Society Institute, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Bill Moyers-controlled Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, the Surdna Foundation, and others.