When it was revealed that conservative columnist Armstrong Williams had received payments for advocating certain positions of the Bush administration, the MSM and the left had a field day. Williams was forced to defend himself on the morning talk shows and was parodied by syndicated cartoons. Most conservatives also rightly criticized Williams. But now the Newark city council has awarded a $100,000 no-bid contract for the Newark Weekly News to publish only the good news about Newark and the city government. James Taranto has provided mild criticim, based mostly on the newspaper's amateurish content. Enlighten-New Jersey provides broader context:
What James Taranto may not realize is that Newark is heavily subsidized by the state’s taxpayers – from garbage trucks for Newark, homeland security funds, schools spending 35% more per pupil than the wealthiest community, to a $300 million sports arena. This is just another $100,000 out of the pockets of New Jersey taxpayers.
But the hypocrisy may be worse than the waste of tax dollars. The MSM has failed to crucify either the city council or the Newark Weekly News to any extent at all, let alone to the extent that the MSM crucified Armstrong Williams. The New York Times dutifully relegated this story to its regional edition - although the Times did note the Armstrong Williams comparison. But the Times failed to note the most important comparison of all. The Newark Weekly News, for all of its amateurishness, has managed to get paid handsomely for doing something that the New York Times does for the Democrats for free.