'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Thursday, January 27, 2005

At Least He's Honest 

So E&P has a piece up about why Universal Press Syndicate is not going to fire Maggie Gallagher for being a paid shill of the Bush administration. Lee Salem, Universal's executive vice president, says

She was asked to perform certain tasks ... It was never a question of her promoting a particular bill or proposal in her column.

which is all fine and good -- you know, never mind that it might appear there's a little conflict of interest in receiving $21,500 to write copy for propaganda on a subject that she frequently writes about in her column. What I found remarkable is the next defense of Gallagher that Universal's vice president offers:

Salem added that the 2002 payment to Gallagher was a "one-time thing." And he said it happened three years ago, long before op-ed columnists were looked at through the "prism" of this month's revelations about Armstrong Williams.

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense: what Gallagher did was ethical because, hey, it happened way before the whole Armstrong Williams thing -- before anyone cared about this issue, so, you know, what the hell.

I'm surprised this wasn't the next sentence:

Salem concluded, "Furthermore, this whole story has already pretty much blown over. Why should we fire Maggie? -- it's a one news cycle scandal.

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