WWW Opinion Times

Friday, January 28, 2005

And Now There's A Third

Michelle Malkin notes a Salon article which notes that now a third conservative columnist, Michael McManus, was hired by the Bush administration and did not make full disclosure in his columns. Salon is right: "three makes a trend."

It's frankly unacceptable for even the appearance of impropriety in any administration. And, sadly, President Bush, and HHS Secretary Dr. Wade Horn for that matter, must be held to account for their poor judgment. Now the reproach must come.

Here's Michelle Malkin's take:
"I wonder if McManus will say he 'forgot' about the $10,000 payment, too. That line seems to be working pretty well now among some of my fellow conservatives. [. . . L]et me just say that if I accepted $10,000 or $20,000 or $40,000 in taxpayer funds for my writing, I wouldn't forget it in one year or 5 years or 10 years. And I'd make damn sure I disclosed it in relevant columns, books, or media appearances, even if it invited condescension from the 'don't be such a holier-than-thou-goody-two-shoes-must-you-disclose-everything?' crowd."

It was not wrong for the Bush administration to hire these columnists. It was not wrong for these columnists to work with the government either. The problem was that neither the administration nor the columnists took the time to evaluate the ethical implications of doing so. This amounts to a costly affront to public confidence in this administration.

If we conservatives neglect to point out the impropriety of these financial arrangements and subsequent lack of ethical disclosure, we will encourage this problem to fester into something much worse.

LaShawn Barber
has more.