Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Wednesday, 26 January 2005

Bush administration paid right-wing journalists to write opposing gay marriage

Two right-wing columnists were paid by the Bush administration to write articles opposing gay marriage and to support the Bush administration's efforts to have a constitutional ban on such unions enacted. Maggie Gallagher, when advised by Washington Post journalist Howard Kurtz that he was working on a story about the pay-off (USD40,000) she had received, belatedly advised her readers in a column: "I should have disclosed a government contract when I later wrote about the Bush marriage initiative. I would have, if I had remembered it. My apologies to my readers.". So it was all down to a poor memory. Yeah, right!

Similarly Armstrong Williams was paid about USD250,000 to write in support of the Bush administration's 'No Child Left Behind' law. It seems these payments may have violated federal law because of their non-disclosure to the public or to Congress. Tribune Media has dropped Williams's column subsequent to these revelations.

President Bush is quoted as saying: "It's wrong.". Bush added he has instructed his cabinet not to allow it to occur again. "We value our reputation with the press" Bush said, "And the press must remain independent." That's all right then - he has just been re-elected, so can afford this candour now. But would even this have been offered had the evidence to back-up these revelations not been available? Silly question ...

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