Thursday, January 27, 2005

Pundit Payola: And McManus makes three

These guys are for hire? Jeez, 15 years in and I've always been doing this the hard way.


Mike McManus
, whose "Ethics & Religion," column appears in 50 newspapers, is now the third columist implicated in the growing payola scandal involving conservative columnists taking money from the Bush administration.

For those of you scoring at home, here are the other payola pundits who promoted presidential policies while cashing the presidential paycheck:

Armstrong Williams, failed to disclose a $241,000 Education Department contract to promote the president's No Child Left Behind law

Maggie Gallagher, failed to disclose a a $21,500 contract from the Department of Health and Human Services to promote the president's "healthy marriage."

As sure as there are more praise-for-pay pundits yet to be revealed, you can count on all the bloggers, those of us who chatter-on-the-cheap, to have our say about this over the next several days.

When I was a kid, a journalist who took money from the government was a propagandist, someone who worked at Pravda for the KGB.

From USA TODAY: "Kelly McBride, a media ethics scholar at the Poynter Institute, said any journalist should at least disclose such payments to readers. 'Any time anyone gives you money, you have a loyalty to them, and that's a conflict," she said.'"