pay-for-say, pay-to-say, pay-to-pander (was: Pay-to-Sway)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Tue Feb 1 06:08:10 UTC 2005

On Fri, 28 Jan 2005 22:20:14 EST, Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:

>No, not that kind of sway! Errol Louis (the former New York Sun
>columnist who the New York Times should have hired) has a great column
>(again) in today's New York Daily News, 28 January 2005, pg. 51, cols.
>1-3, "On  Ethics" by Errol Louis, "Wake up, Maggie: Another
>conservative columnist is  clueless in pay-to-sway scandal."

There doesn't seem to be a consensus yet on a catchy name for the scandal
involving Armstrong Williams et al., though variations on "pay-for-play"
(from the payola scandal) are popular.  "Pay-to-sway" is perhaps the
favorite (thanks to a Jan. 26 Human Rights Campaign press release about
Maggie Gallagher), but there are some alternatives in circulation.  I just
noticed "pay-for-say" on, and the conservative columnist
Michelle Malkin is partial to "pay-to-pander"...

* pay-for-say
KU Democrats, "Is there no shame?", Jan. 15, 2005
First it was the Armstrong pay-for-say scandal...
Salon, "Fair and balanced?", Feb. 1, 2005
Some Democrats are using Bush's pay-for-say media scandals to push for a
new Fairness Doctrine for broadcasting.

* pay-to-say
Goth House, "No amount of cynicism is too much", Jan. 11, 2005
The unfolding pay-to-say scandal...
Cultivating a Small Field, "pay to say", Jan. 18, 2005

* pay-to-pander
Michelle Malkin, Jan. 7, 2005
"Rodney Paige, Armstrong Williams, and the 'pay to pander' scandal"
Winchester Star, Jan. 13, 2005
"Pay to Pander Was 'Pathetic'"
National Ledger, Jan. 17, 2005
Speaking of being in denial, some conservatives argue that the Pay to
Pander program is no big deal compared to the CBS scandal.
Michelle Malkin, Jan. 25, 2005
You all know how I feel about the Bush administration's media
"pay-to-pander" scandal.

--Ben Zimmer

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