Thursday, June 21, 2007

Following the Money - Again

Two of my former S-T colleagues Randy Galloway and Vince Langford -- among many, many other journalists -- got punked by MSNBC for campaign contributions made over the past several years.

Is this an ethical lapse? Maybe. When I worked at the newspaper, I never gave money to candidates or political organizations. It didn't seem like the right thing to do. Since that time, I have given money to John Kerry and Kinky Friedman as well as the Democratic National Committee.

UPDATE, 6.21.07: Star-Telegram editor Jim Witt's take: "Star-Telegram employees, as private citizens, are free to contribute to and work for political parties, causes or candidates and to participate in debate on issues of the day. But it is very important to avoid situations that might raise a perception of bias in the context of our responsibility to report and comment upon such activities. And the contributions cannot be represented to have been made by the company. But because of the inherent conflict of interest, it is expected that no member of the News/Editorial staff will (a) seek election to public office; (b) accept appointment to a public board, commission or panel that makes or carries out policy or that advises elected or appointed officials; or (c) work for a politician or a political organization, either as a volunteer or for pay. So a sports copy editor like Vince Langford or a sports columnist like Randy Galloway would be allowed to make a political contribution under our policy because they don’t have any influence on what we cover, who we cover or how we cover politics. But news executives like myself or our political reporters and editors would not be allowed to do the same."

UPDATE, 6.22.07: Today's the S-T announced the results of its review of newsroom employees. They found that two news editors bought some Kinky Friedman merchandise. Wow. Earth-shattering.

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