Media Matters: Universal Should Drop Gallagher

By: Dave Astor A media watchdog group has sent a letter to Universal Press Syndicate criticizing it for not taking action against Maggie Gallagher, who received $21,500 in 2002 from the Department of Health and Human Services for marriage-themed writing projects.

David Brock, president and CEO of Media Matters for America, wrote: "[D]espite Ms. Gallagher's admission that she was secretly paid by the Bush administration to promote government policies during a period of time when the president was publicly debating those policies ... Universal Press Syndicate has no plans to drop her column. I respectfully ask that you reconsider, on the grounds that Ms. Gallagher has irrevocably damaged her integrity by taking money to influence the public debate and failing to disclose such payments."

Brock added: "Readers have a right to expect that the columns they are reading have not been secretly bought and paid for by the government. If Universal Press does not take any action in this matter, readers will know that the syndicate does not take that expectation seriously."


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