Wonks for Sale : Pundit Columnist Fired

Propeller-Head Wonk Watch: Michael Fumento (a senior fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute) has been dropped as a syndicated columnist after being exposed for taking payments from agribusiness giant Monsanto. The payments were revealed by BusinessWeek Online.

The Hudson Institute received a $60,000 grant from Monsanto which was passed on to Fumento. Last week Fumento wrote that 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 said he was only writing about Monsanto “because their annual report was plopped onto my lap while I was hunting for a column idea.” Monsanto have apparently developed genetically modified pigs capable of flight.

The Times is exposing the links between big business and political lobbyists using All Party Parliamentary Groups to front for their interest. How long before a British columnist and wonk who writes for and fronts for interests who support him financially is exposed? (It’s not Irwin Stelzer who coincidentally happens to be a senior fellow at the respected Hudson Institute as well as Murdoch’s emmissary to Blair.)