Think Tank Reverses New Plan For ThinkProgress After Backlash From Union

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September 10, 2019 2:50 p.m.
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Progressive think tank Center for American Progressive on Tuesday reversed its decision to reboot the organization’s news outlet, ThinkProgress, after the folded outlet’s union criticized the move.

CAP and its sister organization, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, announced on Monday that ThinkProgress would resume operations, with contributions from the think tank’s staff, merely four days after ThinkProgress folded and CAP laid off all eleven members of its unionized staff.

The ThinkProgress Union released a statement slamming the move, asking CAP to reverse its plans to use the news site for a new purpose, and saying that it was “exploring our legal options with our representatives at the Writers Guild of America East.” (Full disclosure: WGAE also represents the TPM Union.)

“To take away our independent voice and use the wide audience built by ThinkProgress Union staff for other purposes is an affront to the ThinkProgress mission,” the union said in its statement.

CAPF then reversed course and promised to archive the site, but the organization also defended the organization’s initial decision as a better alternative to completely shuttering the site after it failed to find a new publisher.

“At that point we were faced with a choice between shelving the site altogether or finding some productive value in using it with existing staff to hold the current corrupt occupant of the White House accountable,” CAPF said in an official statement. “We felt that opting for the latter was the greater good, given the existential crisis our nation faces, and communicated that to staff and in public statements on Friday.”

“However, it is clear that many former ThinkProgress staff feel that the site should simply be archived with no further posting, and we will honor that request, and end the membership program immediately,” the organization concluded.

“We are happy that CAP has honored our request,” the ThinkProgress Union responded. “Thank you all for the support during this difficult chapter.”

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