Some of these folks remain in denial. When you become a journalist, you give up the right to back political candidates or parties with your checkbook. And in this age of federal disclosures, it always comes out.
The news outlets that don’t ban donations seem to regard them as a matter of personal preference, like joining the PTA. But they seriously underestimate the public distrust of journalists, which is only fueled by such practices. Those who work for opinion magazines or are employed as commentators have a stronger case that their views are no secret. But there is still an important distinction between rhetorically supporting a candidate and helping bankroll one.
Um, Howie, how is “public distrust of journalists” enhanced by all the newspaper and television employees who do keep their views a secret, or (more accurately) put on a phony pretense of not having any views? That’s not honesty, that’s obfuscation. I have a lot more trust in people who have enough integrity to be up-front with their views than I do in people who try to convince me that they’re perfectly objective higher beings.
Don’t be a fraud, and don’t apologize for what you think. Just be honest enough to disclose.