MSNBC.com’s Bill Dedman, a former Globe reporter and the creator of this gift to journalism, has weighed in with a piece identifying 144 journalists who’ve made political contributions since 2004. Here’s the most amazing paragraph:
“Probably there should be a rule against it,” said New Yorker writer Mark Singer, who wrote the magazine’s profile of Howard Dean during the 2004 campaign, then gave $250 to America Coming Together and its get-out-the-vote campaign to defeat President Bush. “But there’s a rule against murder. If someone had murdered Hitler — a journalist interviewing him had murdered him — the world would be a better place. I only feel good, as a citizen, about getting rid of George Bush, who has been the most destructive president in my lifetime. I certainly don’t regret it.”
In case you’re wondering, there’s not much exciting to report locally. The biggest name is Liz Walker, a former anchor for WBZ-TV (Channel 4), who donated to Hillary Clinton and a couple of other Democratic women.
Though most observers will probably focus on the fact that the vast majority of the contributions tilted liberal/ Democratic (or, in Singer’s imagination, anti-Nazi), what amazes me is that journalists would make political contributions to anyone. There are two reasons not to do this: (1) you shouldn’t; (2) therefore you can always tell people that you can’t.
For my, uh, money, Rule #2 is one of the few perks we enjoy.