Conflicts of Interest

It seems that David Broder takes money from business groups whose interests he covers and doesn't tell anyone about it in his columns. That's the kind of thing that gets you labeled "dean" of the Washington press corps, since the name of the game is to get ahead while being self-righteous about your ethics.

In defense of bad newspaper columnists, I bet most of them would write very similar bad columns without any payola -- the point is less that there's a payoff for any particular opinion expressed than the simple fact that becoming an adequately well-entrenched member of the establishment can be quite lucrative if you reach an adequate plateau, but to do it you've got to be oh so polite to them that pays the bills.