Labor Department Official Does Punditry On the Side

"'Conservative commentator' is not an appropriate label, by itself, for someone in her position, even if she is not speaking on government time or is speaking for herself and not the department," PBS ombudsman Michael Getler wrote of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor Karen Czarnecki. Czarnecki is a regular commentator on the PBS show "To The Contrary," but her position in the Bush administration is not disclosed to viewers. She receives $100 for each PBS appearance. Czarnecki's dual role as government official and TV pundit was first reported by Al Kamen in the Washington Post. Kamen noted that Czarnecki has also appeared on Fox News, identified only as a "conservative strategist." Her TV appearances have been cleared by Labor Department ethics staff, but "the quick appearances are supposed to be freebies." Think Progress pulled out some of Czarnecki's quotes, including, "Intelligent design doesn't equate religion with science. It is based on scientific premise." Czarnecki has also worked at the Heritage Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council.