There are others -- one other syndicated columnist, at least, who, like Armstrong Williams took thousands of taxpayer dollars to write glowing reviews of administration policies and defend government programs in interviews and TV appearances. Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post reports that Maggie Gallagher, a syndicated columnist, had a $21,500 contract with the department of health and human services to help promote President Bush's initiative to convince poor people to get married. As a paid representative of the administration, she wrote columns for National Review Online, among other outlets, promoting the pro-marriage program. On other occasions, Gallagher was working more directly for HHS, writing brochures and other literature.
Gallagher says her deal wasn't anything like Williams' (she has a point, in a way, he got a lot more money than she did.) And according to Kurtz, Gallagher says that if she had remembered the financial arrangement she had with the administration, she would have disclosed it to her readers. But she wants us to believe that the thousands of additional dollars in her checking account were so insignificant to her, it just never occurred to her to mention it. "Did I violate journalistic ethics by not disclosing it?" Gallagher said to Kurtz. "I don't know. You tell me."
I think I can answer that, ma'am: Yes.