January 27, 2005
So That's It? Case Closed?
Bush Orders an End to Hiring Columnists
President Bush ordered his Cabinet secretaries Wednesday not to hire columnists to promote administration agendas after disclosure that a second writer had been paid to assist an agency.Can you imagine if President Clinton had tried to brush these accusations off like this? Ken Starr would have been licking his chops, asking for another $52-58 million of our taxes for an investigation (depriving columnists on the take of a possible 52-58 million in taxpayer dollars). But because of the "nice independent relationship" that's in place, I'm pretty sure the mainstream media will act as if this payola scandal is already water under the bridge.
"All our Cabinet secretaries must realize that we will not be paying commentators to advance our agenda," Bush said at a news conference. "Our agenda ought to be able to stand on its own two feet." The president said he expects his agency heads will "make sure that that practice doesn't go forward."
Bush's remarks came a day after syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher apologized to readers for not disclosing a $21,500 contract with the Health and Human Services Department to help create materials promoting the agency's $300 million initiative to encourage marriage...
Bush said there "needs to be a nice independent relationship between the White House and the press, the administration and the press."