Another columnist has been outed… This time it’s syndicated columnist Michael McManus, whose “Ethics & Religion” column runs in 50 newspapers. More on his story at Editor & Publisher.
Like Maggie Gallagher, McManus was not paid to write columns promoting the administrations programs (as opposed to Armstrong Williams who was), but rather he was engaged to produce materials for the Department of Health and Human Services. According to DHHS McManus provided training during two-day conferences in Chattanooga, Tenn, and also made presentations at HHS-sponsored conferences.
A more interesting piece in E&P concerns the long standing practice of columnist accepting huge speaking fees from trade groups, issue-oriented organizations, and universities. Lot’s of columnists comment to the effect that regardless of their speaking fees or TV contracts their ethics are fine, it’s the other columnists who you should be leery of…
One thing nearly all of the columnists seemed to agree on: Much of the current ethics mess arises from the fact that so many columnists today were never trained as journalist.
Because we all know that were columnists “real journalists” none of this would be occurring.
Given the jealousy that seeps out of every pore of a reporter when commenting about columnists, I’m pretty sure they’re enjoying the hell out of the current witch hunt.
The ghosts of Jayson Blair, et. all, are smiling too..