Enron Had Journalists On Payroll -
NY Times Columnist Got $50,000!
A Chalomumbai Correspondent

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 something improper.

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 research firm.

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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