Journalists Should Not Be Paid To Push Political Agendas, Groups Say
What: Press conference calling for action on the "pay-to-sway" scandal following the revelation that syndicated columnist and Federal Marriage Amendment advocate Maggie Gallagher was paid tens of thousands of dollars by the Department of Health and Human Services, raising serious legal and ethical questions.
When: Thursday, January 27, 2005 - 1:00 p.m.
Where: National Press Club - Zenger Room
529 14th St., N.W., Washington, DC
Who: David Brock, President and CEO, Media Matters for America
Steven Fisher, Communications Director, Human Rights Campaign
Mark Glaze, Director, Government Ethics Program and Public Affairs,
Campaign Legal Center
Background: Yesterday's Washington Post revealed that syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher received more than $40,000 in federal funding to promote President Bush's marriage initiatives while at the same time testifying as a witness for the majority at the Senate hearings on the Federal Marriage Amendment (later renamed the Marriage Protection Amendment) on Sept. 4, 2003, and March 3, 2004. During the same period, Gallagher also wrote extensively on marriage issues in syndicated columns that appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The National Review and The Washington Post, as well as other publications.
This scandal comes on the heels of a similar scandal involving columnist Armstrong Williams who was paid $240,000 by the Department of Education to advocate for President Bush's education initiatives.
Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. Conservative misinformation is defined as news or commentary presented in the media that is not accurate, reliable, or credible and that forwards the conservative agenda.