- Bankrupt energy major Enron, which allegedly
financed the election campaign of Republican and Democratic politicians,
also channelled thousands of dollars to journalists, a media report said.
Scribes who got Enron cash "are struggling to explain themselves,"
'The Washington Post' daily said in an article titled 'Enron's Pundit Payroll'.
Regular 'New York Times' columnist Paul Krugman, who got $50,000 dollars
from the Enron Advisory Board, resented any suggestion that he had done
Krugman said he would blame the flap over such payments on "conservative
newspapers and columnists. Reading those attacks, you would think I was
a major league white collar criminal. Part of a broader effort by conservatives
to sling Enron muck toward their left."
Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, a Conservativ weekly, was
paid $100,000 dollars for serving on an Enron advisory board over two years.
In November, the Standard disclosed his service in a largely positive article
about Enron by contributing editor Irwin Stelzer, who served on the same
advisory board, which was assembled by former CEO Kenneth Lay."
He said he did "a fair amount" of speaking to corporate groups
and did not normally disclose it but decided it would be "prudent"
in this case.
Asked what Enron got, he told a reporter: "I don't know. Why do a
lot of trade associations and companies feel it appropriate to pay me and
a million other people to give speeches?"
Lawrence Kudlow, contributing editor of another Conservative magazine,
National Review, and co-host of CNBC's "America Now," disclosed
last week that he received $50,000 dollars from Enron -two $15,000-dollar
speaking fees and a $20,000-dollar subscription to his New York economic
Kudlow, who has been denouncing Enron, said he has "nothing to hide"
and has been "tougher" on the bankrupt company because he "feels
betrayed. I felt compelled to speak up because I had been involved there."
Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal columnist and former Presidential speech
writer, got $25,000-50,000 dollars for helping Lay with a speech and annual
report. "Whether I had worked with Ken Lay or not, the company's behaviour
would have made me angry and I would have thought about it for a while
and then done a column. The only thing I think my Enron experience gave
me was a sense of the corporate culture, which I tried to paint."
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