I have been an occasional subscriber to Forbes Magazine – and had a modest association with Steve Forbes, when I managed his presidential campaign in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. I thought I knew the family and the corporate philosophy – but apparently, things have changed (see footnote at bottom).
I was surprised – no shocked — to learn that Forbes dismissed one of their regular contributing columnists. It was not just “a” columnist – nor was it a contributor who was not making an enormous and unique contribution to public information.
The person canceled was a fellow named Adam Andrzejewski. He is the founder and president of OpenTheBooks.com. It is the only operation in America that has put the actual governmental budgets online and accessible to the public. For the first time, reporters, public-interest groups and the average citizen can see how their tax money is really being spent. OpenTheBooks provides the most comprehensive data base on public spending in the world. It goes from the federal budget to local school boards.
It has not been an easy or inexpensive task. In fact, at the onset, I was a skeptic. But Andrzejewski proved me and all the other skeptics wrong. Since a lot of government officials would prefer to keep the public in the dark, Andrzejewski has had to file Freedom of Information law suites to acquire the information – and he has won every one of them. He is currently suing the State of California as the last state-based holdout.
In acquiring all that information, OpenTheBooks has come across a lot of dubious and outright outrageous expenditures – and brought those findings to both the public and the politicians. One outlet for that information was Forbes Magazine.
In the distant past, former Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson issued annual “Golden Fleece” awards for outrageous federal expenditures. Andrzejewski put that concept on steroids.
Forbes was rightfully eager to add Andrzejewski’s commentaries to their lineup. It was a natural fit. In the course of eight years, Andrzejewski has penned more than 200 commentaries – all well-received until …
OpenTheBooks discovered that the National Institutes of Health’s Dr. Anthony Fauci is the highest paid bureaucrat in the nation – earning almost $400,000 per year, plus benefits. He receives a higher compensation than the President of the United States. Andrzejewski was the first to break that news a couple years back – and it has been circulating around the blogosphere since, much to the annoyance of Fauci.
OpenTheBooks also revealed that Fauci’s wife, Christine Fauci, is an employee of the NIH, with a salary of approximately $245,000 per year – more than the Vice President of the United States. If you include their benefits, the Fauci’s have combined compensation packages of approximately $1 million per year. And … if you add in their other income – royalties, investments, and perks – the Fauci household is bringing in approximately $1.7 million each year. They have a reported net worth of more than $11 million. Not bad for lifelong bureaucrats.
When it comes to public service, a person’s personal income is rightfully of concern to the American people. That is why we make our elected officials, including the President and Vice President, complete detailed financial disclosure forms – although not detailed enough.
When that information was disclosed by OpenTheBooks – and Andrzejewski wrote about it in his Forbes commentaries – the poop hit the blades.
Seems that Fauci does not like the public knowing about his income – even though it is a legal requirement in his job. We know Fauci is very touchy about the taxpaying public knowing what he is costing them. When Kansas Senator Roger Marshall brought up the matter in Senate hearings, Fauci – in an unprecedented breech of protocol – called Marshall a “moron.”
Fauci prefers the “I will file, but please don’t tell anyone” approach. Sooo … the NIH complains to Forbes.
In response to the Fauci information, Forbes and Andrzejewski get an email from six top executives of the NIH. It makes some peripheral criticism of the Fauci commentaries but does not challenge any of the basic factual information in Andrzejewski’s writings.
Based on the email, Forbes’ Chief Content Editor and Andrzejewski’s boss, Randall Lane, first bars Andrzejewski from writing further about Fauci — and then ultimately cancels Andrzejewski’s column permanently – essentially cutting off an incredible and unique information source from the readers of Forbes Magazine. Ironically, it is exactly the sort of information that Forbes’ readers should be – and need to be – receiving. It is everything consistent with what I believed was the publication’s and Steve Forbes’ economic and political philosophy.
Instead, Forbes fires a contributing writer for reporting valuable public information. That is bizarre when you consider that it is the journalism tradition to report even secret information that is illegally leaked. Who gets fired for that?
Personally, I think Andrzejewski has a better option – a better platform. He should be hired by FOX News as a regular contributor with a podcast on their online “Fox Nation.” He is ideal for the job. Andrzejewski is extremely well informed, articulate and has a made-for-television appearance.
This would give his incredibly valuable information a much wider public exposure. And if more people can hear from Andrzejewski – and access his incredibly valuable data base – we will be a better-informed nation. Something that apparently scares the Hell out of Fauci.
FOOTNOTE: Whether this was a factor in this case, most readers will not know that Forbes Magazine was sold in 2014 to the Hong Kong Whale Media Investment group. This should be of concern in view of Beijing’s crackdown on HK democracy and especially the local media.
So, there ‘tis.
Forbes contributor says he was fired over investigative stories on Fauci
Adam Andrzejewski discovered Fauci’s retirement package would net about $350,000 a year
Former Forbes contributor Adam Andrzejewski reveals how he was fired because of his investigative work on Anthony Fauci on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.’
Former Forbes contributor Adam Andrzejewski told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Monday that he was terminated from the magazine over his coverage of NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Andrzejewski described how he was targeted for being critical of Dr. Anthony Fauci and exposing his yearly earnings.
“The National Institutes of Health’s six top executives wrote an e-mail to myself and Randall Lane, the top content officer at Forbes. It was couched as a corrections e-mail, but there were no substantial corrections and they quibbled about small things in my column. But that was the excuse Forbes used to cancel it,” Andrzejewski said.
He explained that within 24 hours of the email, he received a call that told him he was barred from publishing any additional material regarding Fauci.
Andrzejewski originally filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on Jan. 28, 2021 regarding Fauci’s annual pay. After receiving only redacted documents, his group OpenTheBooks.com filed suit on Oct. 25. This led to the National Institute of Health agreeing to release its extensive documents but only incrementally over the next 14 months due to backed-up requests.
OpenTheBooks.com also originally reported in Jan. 2021 that Fauci’s salary had been listed at $417,608, the highest salary listed for any government figure including President Biden. In addition, Fauci has a retirement package that is expected to take in approximately $350,000 per year.
Andrzejewski also explained that his investigative work showed that Fauci’s wife, Christine Grady, had a similarly high salary.
“If you take their salaries, tack on the taxpayer-paid cost of federal benefits at 30%, the two Faucis, their household income, paid for by taxpayers every year is $900,000,” Andrzejewski said.