EXCLUSIVE — "Mike Allen is the biggest hack in the country, by Alex Pareene: "Mike Allen, Politico's superstar email newsletter author, has never been anyone's idea of a hard-charging, truth-to-power journalist, but as he's built PLAYBOOK into an elite Washington institution, he's become effectively indistinguishable from a paid advocate for business interests. … He promotes causes favored by wealthy corporate executives, promotes the nonprofits and PACs and interest groups those executives fund, and promotes the politicians who agree with the corporate agenda. And he does all of this each day in the guise of a simple emailed tipsheet of links to major political news stories. … "For Allen, a source is indistinguishable from a friend and both are indistinguishable from sponsors. The result is a daily exercise in favor-trading carried out by people using him as a conduit and people using him as an unpaid spokesman."