Scripps Howard has fired one of their columnists Michael Fumiento. Mr. Fumiento didn't disclose a grant given to him by the corporation seven years ago.
Scripps Howard News Service announced Jan. 13 that it's severing its business relationship with columnist Michael Fumento, who's also a senior fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute. The move comes after inquiries from BusinessWeek Online about payments Fumento received from agribusiness giant Monsanto (MON) -- a frequent subject of praise in Fumento's opinion columns and a book.
In a statement released on Jan. 13, Scripps Howard News Service Editor and General Manager Peter Copeland said Fumento "did not tell SHNS editors, and therefore we did not tell our readers, that in 1999 Hudson recieved a $60,000 grant from Monsanto." Copeland added: "Our policy is that he should have disclosed that information. We apologize to our readers." In the Jan. 5 column, Fumento wrote that St. Louis-based Monsanto has about 30 products in the pipeline that will aid farmers, "but also help us all by keeping prices down and allowing more crops to be grown on less land." He listed some of the products Monsanto has on tap: drought-resistant corn, crops that could reduce the need for environment-damaging fertilizers, and soybeans that might reduce heart disease.
"YOU SHOULD CONTRIBUTE."
In his career at Hudson, Fumento has carved out a specialty debunking critics of the agribusiness and biotechnology industries. In 1999, he says, he solicited $60,000 from Monsanto to write a book on the business. The book, entitled BioEvolution was published in 2003. A spokesman for Monsanto confirmed the payments to the Hudson Institute.
Journalism has taken alot of black eyes lately. Many of them self-inflicted. Mr. Fumiento would have been wiser to have upfront about his past relationship. Still seven years ago is quite some time ago. Members of the MSM need to be transparent in regards to any possible conflict of interest but if I had been Scripps I'd probably have not fired Mr. Fumiento.
Disclosure- I have no opinion of Mr. Fumiento as a columnist. I've never read him on any kind of regular basis.
Hat tip- Outside the Beltway
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