Sunday, January 30, 2005
On payola: I haven't been beating the drum of outrage at these opinion columnists who, it was discovered, had been getting money to do public relations for the government. I think it's a waste of taxpayer funds that are better spent on, well, just about anything. As to the pundits, these payments/government contracts should've been disclosed.
Having said that, we turn to Washington Post columnist Fred Hiatt who came out with this piece on Saturday entitled "The Rules of Punditry."
For the most part, I agree with Hiatt's analysis, but one particular paragraph struck me odd.
So the Gallagher case is murkier. Since the Post story was published, she has described herself both as an "opinion journalist" and as a marriage expert entitled to do consulting work in the field. It seems to me these roles coexist uneasily if the consulting work is for the government.
My question: Why is only consulting work for the government odious for pundits? Why is it somehow less outrageous if someone does consulting work for say, Planned Parenthood, and then goes out and writes columns advocating abortion rights without disclosing that relationship?