‘NY Sun’ Says Payola Was Not Behind Op-Ed Column It Published

By: Dave Astor

The New York Sun said an Op-Ed column it ran last year was not paid for by the federal Department of Education.

According to a report issued by the DOE’s Inspector General, the DOE secretly paid various education-advocacy groups to produce Op-Ed columns and other material (E&P Online, Sept. 6). The office of Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) said it separately determined that additional opinion articles ran in papers such as the Sun.

In an editorial published Sept. 8, the Sun stated: “A spokesman for Mr. Miller told us the article that was covert propaganda was one we published August 3, 2004, by the president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, Kate Walsh. Ms. Walsh told us…that her organization had received a federal government grant to fund writing articles for some newspapers, but that the Sun article hadn’t been among those whose writing was funded by the government grant.”

Miller requested the Inspector General investigation in January after it was revealed that broadcast commentator/syndicated columnist Armstrong Williams accepted $240,000 from the DOE to help promote the No Child Left Behind law. Tribune Media Services terminated Williams’ contract the day it found out what he had done.

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