What a horrible scandal! Certainly no legitimate journalist has ever paid off a source for information before, and condeming the young man to further years of sexual exploitation would have been a small price to pay for the reporter to keep Michelle Malkin's trust in the sanctity of journalistic ethics. As she says at the end of the article:
Can you imagine how loudly the media ethics mavens would moan and snicker if anyone other than The New York Times provided such convoluted justifications for checkbook journalism?
Yes, Michelle, that would be terrible. Why, if anyone else did such an unethical thing, you would be wise to never listen to anything they said again. The only thing worse than a columnist paying money to a source would be...oh, I don't know, maybe a columnist taking money to defend a source, or maybe a columnist taking outside money to promote a particular viewpoint. Luckily, that sort of thing almost never happens, and on the rare occasion when it does, the culprits are immediately banished from the profession of journalism and are never allowed to appear in the pages of respectable publications again.
As for Michelle herself, I'm sure if she ever found out that she shared space with the vile practitioners of this sort of pay-for-play journalism, she would resign immediately, or at least write a column where she placed the blame squarely on the guilty columnists, and not on the people who bought them off. Because Michelle has a little thing called...ethics.