People are up in arms over some columnists’ immorality |

People are up in arms over some columnists’ immorality

Andrew Gmerek

I’ve changed my mind. I now believe that the American Christian Right is correct in its beliefs.With this alteration in my perspective, I now am publicly announcing that I’m for school prayer and for protecting the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman.I am also willing to back our government in any of its endeavors. I’m ecstatic that the drug companies received billions of dollars while our senior citizens only received something like a 5 percent discount card on their prescriptions.

I can’t wait to invest my Social Security money in government-approved stocks so I can not only help out President Bush’s friends but also this nation’s economy. And finally, I now firmly believe that our president not only has a mandate from the people but also the blessing of God to spread our version of freedom and liberty across the world.Hah. See. I knew I could do it. My friends didn’t believe me, but I told them I could write just about anything and make it sound plausible. And now that I’ve proven that I can schlep for the people in power, I’m ready to hop aboard the gravy train. I’m ready for the big bucks.I want to be like some conservative columnists and get paid to promote the president’s agenda in my column.

As of right now, this space is for rent.Now that the presidential election is over it has come to light that some columnists have done just that, and many people are up in arms about their so-called immorality. I, for one, however, don’t see what all the fuss is about. After all, who am I to fault anyone, especially other columnists, for making a buck?The list of conservatives that were on the Bush administration payroll during the campaign appears to be growing. Armstrong Williams was paid $240,000 to use his television appearances to promote the president’s education policy, while columnists Maggie Gallagher and Michael McManus were both quietly paid to work on Bush’s federal marriage campaign at the same time they both wrote syndicated columns promoting the program.Now, many have said that these columnists and their handlers in the administration are nothing but low-life scum doomed to rot in a special dark place especially reserved for deceitful writers and political types. But I say, “Cool.”Personally, I don’t believe you can blame the writers. Columnists are, in general, a sad and weak lot populated by misfits, loners and nut jobs, and when someone dangles money in front of our eyes we can cave in faster than an aluminum lawn chair under the weight of an elephant.

If anyone should be blamed for the sorry signal this whole controversy has sent to the youth of America it should be the Republicans that created the temptation. It’s pretty obvious that these people have spent their entire lives bullying or buying what they want, and who is a columnist to stand up to that kind of force? I would like to hope that I’d take the high road, but if someone handed me, say, $5,000 to write an “I Love Bush” column, well, I’d probably make it happen.Of course, I know that in the end, this column will offend plenty of Bush lovers and Republicans, but don’t waste your time writing letters to the newspaper. What you should do is put a couple thousand dollars in small bills in a plain white envelope and slip it to me while I lounge around the local donut shop from 7:30-9 every Sunday morning, and I can almost guarantee to retract every word I’ve written.Andrew Gmerek writes a Friday column. He can be reached at

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