Two U.S. newspapers said on Monday they would stop publishing articles by a conservative commentator who was paid by a criminally indicted lobbyist to write pieces favorable to his clients.
Peter Ferrara has admitted taking payments from Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a key figure in a growing probe into payments to members of Congress who has already been indicted for fraud in the purchase of a casino cruise line in Florida.
The Manchester Union Leader and the Washington Times, which run influential conservative opinion sections, said they did not know that Ferrara took undisclosed payments for his op-ed pieces and did not think the activity was appropriate.
Washington Times editorial page editor Tony Blankley said, "Obviously you can't write an article where you have a financial interest in it and not identify that. That's simply wrong."
Ferrara, a prominent advocate of Social Security reform, told BusinessWeek Online last week that he takes payments from lobbyists "all the time" to write articles favorable to their clients and did not see anything wrong with the practice.
C'mon, boys and girls, there must be more of you. It can't just be Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher and Doug Bandow and Peter Ferrara, right? Come forward now, and maybe you can get yourself lost in the scramble.