By: Dave Astor
The Reading (Pa.) Eagle plans to publish an editorial Thursday announcing that it’s dropping Michael McManus but retaining Maggie Gallagher.
Why keep one columnist and not the other? “McManus took money to promote an agenda. He became a shill,” James S. Homan, the Eagle’s editorial page editor, told E&P. “Gallagher, too, endorsed the [Bush administration] marriage agenda, but she took money to do research and writing. It’s a fine line, but it is a line.”
The Eagle was perhaps one of the few papers carrying both columnists when they were exposed last week as having received government money. McManus, who self-syndicates his “Ethics & Religion” feature to about 35 newspapers, got Department of Health and Human Services funding for the Marriage Savers organization — of which he’s president and co-chair. Gallagher, who runs in about 75 papers via Universal Press Syndicate, got HHS funding for marriage-themed writing projects.