Enron's Paid Pundits

As Congress debates campaign finance reform, Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz wonders if we also need "journalistic finance reform -- that is, what are corporations buying when they lard their payrolls with prominent media folks?" Media pundits took fat contracts on the side from Enron -- ranging from $25,000 to $50,000 for Paul Krugman of the New York Times, Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal, Lawrence Kudlow of CNBC and National Review, and Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol. "It's hard for journalists who work for big companies, write books and appear on television to avoid all conflicts these days," Kurtz says. "But many of these commentators wax indignant when politicians of all stripes appear to be doing the bidding of those who fill their campaign coffers. For media people to line up at the same corporate trough is just asking for trouble."