Like I Said...
We should just assume that any conservative columnist or pundit writing in favor of Bush Administration policies is being bought off. Anyone with a brain could deduce that if a small-timer like Armstrong Williams had a government contract, then others were bound to have their fingers in the cookie jar.
I give you Exhibit B:
In 2002, syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher repeatedly defended President Bush's push for a $300 million initiative encouraging marriage as a way of strengthening families.
"The Bush marriage initiative would emphasize the importance of marriage to poor couples" and "educate teens on the value of delaying childbearing until marriage," she wrote in National Review Online, for example, adding that this could "carry big payoffs down the road for taxpayers and children."
But Gallagher failed to mention that she had a $21,500 contract with the Department of Health and Human Services to help promote the president's proposal. Her work under the contract, which ran from January through October 2002, included drafting a magazine article for the HHS official overseeing the initiative, writing brochures for the program and conducting a briefing for department officials.
"Did I violate journalistic ethics by not disclosing it?" Gallagher said yesterday. "I don't know. You tell me."
Uh, yeah, Maggie. You did.
What I want to know is, how bad are these Bush Administration policies that partisan pundits and columnists have to be paid to support them? I mean, I suppose the only way I could push an agenda of privatizing Social Security, running up historic budget and trade deficits, and not creating a single new job in four years would be if I was getting some money for it.
I wonder how outraged National Review colleague Jonah Goldberg will be about this fresh news, considering he was so apoplectic about Mr. Williams.