Monday, July 02, 2007
On the take
In his 1992 book Sound and Fury, American writer Eric Alterman took aim at the double standard of the punditocracy. While decrying conflict of interest in business and politics, many of the top journalists in the country were accepting very high fees for speaking to annual meetings of corporations, conventions and gatherings of lobbyists. The same thing goes on in Canada, where some senior journalists pull down thousands of dollars for an evening's appearance and sell their services to the government as guest speakers at public administration conferences. And that doesn't even begin to cover the monkey business that some freelance columnists are into. The New York times recently issued this statement saying its people are clean. Very few large Canadian publications could do the same without some serious rebellion at the top of the journalism hierarchy.