More on Gallagher
I kind of hinted at this in my last post, but Josh Marshall makes it clear:
Which suggests a point. Were they really worried that Gallagher would come out for free love without the cash incentive? Neither she nor Williams is really known for their independent streak. In Gallagher's case -- and to some degree in Williams' too -- this seems less like a matter of payola than a Bush administration make-work program for third-tier GOP pundits.
I've always wondered exactly how much money people like Scaife had to fund all of these think tanks, radio stations, and various other infrastructures. This makes sense: if the government is subsidizing some pundits, it allows them to be more financially secure while they peddle their columns. Writers for the National Review might not get much per word, but if there's $20,000 coming in over the transom for nothing, it keeps the whole GOP pundits substructure solvent.
It also shows the insidiousness of a small town like Washington, where columnists, pundits, politicians and lobbyists are all part of the same class, and constantly pat each other on the back and do each other favors. Reform of that system is desperately needed, and one more of these Williams/Gallagher scandals could bring the whole culture crashing down.