First, if the latest pay-for-punditry story starts to get traction, the usual suspects will claim that liberal think tanks and opinion writers are also on the take. (I'm getting my raincoat ready for the slime attack on my own ethics I'm sure this column will provoke.) Reporters and editors will be tempted to give equal time to these accusations, however weak the evidence, in an effort to appear "balanced." They should resist the temptation. If this is overwhelmingly a story about Republican lobbyists and conservative think tanks, as I believe it is - there isn't any Democratic equivalent of Jack Abramoff - that's what the public deserves to be told.
And inquiring minds want to know: Who else is on the take? Or has the culture of corruption spread so far that the question is, Who isn't?
I have to wonder who will be exposed next. Please let it be Christopher Hitchens.