Friday, January 07, 2005

Armstrong Williams, propagandist - media man-whore... 

bought and paid for.

Your tax dollars at work. Because... Iokiyar!

White House paid commentator to promote law
By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY
Seeking to build support among black families for its education reform law, the Bush administration paid a prominent black pundit $240,000 to promote the law on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other black journalists to do the same.

The campaign, part of an effort to promote No Child Left Behind (NCLB), required commentator Armstrong Williams "to regularly comment on NCLB during the course of his broadcasts," and to interview Education Secretary Rod Paige for TV and radio spots that aired during the show in 2004.

Williams said Thursday he understands that critics could find the arrangement unethical, but "I wanted to do it because it's something I believe in."

The top Democrat on the House Education Committee, Rep. George Miller of California, called the contract "a very questionable use of taxpayers' money" that is "probably illegal." He said he will ask his Republican counterpart to join him in requesting an investigation.


The contract, detailed in documents obtained by USA TODAY through a Freedom of Information Act request, also shows that the Education Department, through the Ketchum public relations firm, arranged with Williams to use contacts with America's Black Forum, a group of black broadcast journalists, "to encourage the producers to periodically address" NCLB.


The contract may be illegal "because Congress has prohibited propaganda," or any sort of lobbying for programs funded by the government, said Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "And it's propaganda."


Williams' contract was part of a $1 million deal with Ketchum that produced "video news releases" designed to look like news reports. The Bush administration used similar releases last year to promote its Medicare prescription drug plan, prompting a scolding from the Government Accountability Office, which called them an illegal use of taxpayers' dollars.

Ah the old VNR's once again. I'm sure the cheery LRWM truckles at CNNMSGOPFOXNoise etc...etc..etc... will be "outraged", I tell you!, positively "outraged!". Oh sure they will be. And a Democratic Party sponsored "investigation" to boot! --- Oooo, those things are sooo scary.


UPDATE A useful letter from Media Matters.

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

~ Since 2003 ~

The Washington Chestnut
~ current ~

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