I’m watching Crossfire, and Tucker Carlson tells a whopping lie about Kerry, and I know that he knows it’s a lie, and I wonder he gets out of it — what role he sees for himself in Bush’s brave new world — that leads him to decide it is OK to just lie like that.

Then I remember the story the other day, where the guy says he was offered $200,000 a year FOR LIFE – even if he resigns – to become a propagandist for the Right. (That was big money 20 years ago.) Besides flat-out bribe money like this, there is a lot of other money floating around for “journalists” and others willing to sell themselves out. From a 1999 Salon article about “journalists” taking money from those they cover, in the form of “speaking fees,”

“The top echelon of Washington political reporters — Cokie Roberts, Sam Donaldson, George Will, Andrea Mitchell and many others whose heads appear daily on the screen — receive from $10-$30,000 (in Cokie’s case) per appearance from industry groups like the National Association of Realtors, the American Hospital Association, the Public Relations Society of America and the Mortgage Bankers Association.”

$30,000 FOR ONE APPEARANCE would very quickly pass that $200,000 per year. The story says that the three major networks stopped allowing their reporters to take these bribes from “those they may report on” but many of these “associations” are part of the Right’s network. If the Chamber of Commerce gives you $30,000, and the Chamber is a huge Bush supporter, what is that going to do to your ability to report on Bush’s absence from the National Guard? NONE of the groups paying these kinds of fees are “Progressive.” If you are on the Right there is a lot of money out there, AND THEY ALL KNOW IT.

Want to see who is out there accepting speaking fees? Check here or here for a few.

I think that all of our media outlets owe us an explanation of who is taking money from whom. I’m talking about TV pundits AND GUESTS, columnists, op-ed writers, and every single person presented to the public as any kind of authority on any issue.

Remember what happened when there were few controls on those giving stock market advice to the public? The same sort of meltdown is happening to our democracy.

Update – A question for the comments — What kind of right-wing hack would YOU be willing to become for $30,000-per-appearance plus $200,000 per year for life?