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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 11:56 AM
Original message
Group files FOIA requests with 22 govt. agencies (Armstrong Williams)
http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=41504

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 /U.S. Newswire/ -- In light of recent reports that conservative journalist and pundit Armstrong Williams received $240,000 from the Department of Education (DOE) through a contract with Ketchum Public Relations, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) today has filed a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to 22 government agencies, including all cabinet agencies.

Last week, Williams admitted to supporting the "No Child Left Behind" program in his radio broadcasts, television appearances and columns in exchange for the large payment from DOE. The agreement is in violation of the Publicity and Propaganda clause included in annual appropriations bills for decades.

CREW has now filed FOIAs with 22 agencies requesting copies of all contracts with public relation firms, including Ketchum and Fleishman-Hillard. Both firms have contracted with the government resulting in similar controversies, and in violation of the Publicity and Propaganda clause. The Williams case is the fourth that has become public. Previously, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) criticized the Department of Health and Human Services for having Ketchum create fake news footage in support of the new Medicare Bill.

GAO is also investigating another contract between Ketchum and DOE and a contract between the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Fleischman-Hillard.

"This type of covert propaganda has no place in a healthy democracy," Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW said today. "It is particularly outrageous that the government continues to engage in this sort of illegal activity despite the fact that the GAO has said that it is illegal."

Sloan continued," The question now is how extensively has the Administration used propaganda to shore up its controversial policies? Did it pay any commentators to speak out in support of the Patriot Act? Is it paying anyone now to convince the public that Social Security is in crisis? By filing these FOIAs, we hope to answer these questions. "

The following agencies were sent FOIAs today: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of the Interior, Department of Justice, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of State, Department of Transportation, Department of the Treasury, Department of Veterans Affairs, Drug Enforcement Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Food and Drug Administration, Securities and Exchange Commission and the Social Security Administration

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Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
1. Wow!!!
I hope this goes somewhere. Is this something that could get people sued, or just humiliated and possibly fired?

(Oh wait, fired? What am I saying?!)
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Laurab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
45. Maybe sued and humiliated
and then promoted? Maybe even given awards?

This administration just continues on with their blatant arrogance, and disregard for the law, and no one TOUCHES them. It's got to stop somewhere. Maybe this will do it.
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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #1
50. 1 (800) 839 - 5276 - TOLL FREE to Capitol Hill Switchboard. CALL
YOUR REPS. Call somebody else's reps, too. It's free. All you have to do is call this number and ask for ANYBODY'S office in the House and/or Senate. They transfer you there. Again, it's FREE.

There's actually some republi-CON - whoever is the chair of the House subcommittee on something sort of related to this, who has indeed joined California Democrats George Miller and Henry Waxman in rattling the cages about this. The republi-CON, whoever he is, has even called for an investigation.

GUYS: WE NEED TO STOKE THE FIRES ON THIS ONE. They'll move if WE HELP move them.

'Cause if they think we don't care, they won't, either.
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phylny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #50
65. I called and left a message for
Senators Schumer and Rodham Clinton, and my local representative.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
58. A pattern of deception is evidence of fraud.
Repeated covert propaganda is a pattern of deception. And, if this administration is engaged in a pattern of deception in order to usurp our people's rights/liberties/benefits that they would not otherwise give up,...such behavior would constitute a "high crime and misdemeanor",...yet another ground for impeachment.

Do I believe that the administration has been engaged in an intentional campaign of deceit against our people?

Yes, yes I do. And I view the pattern of deceit as egregious and outrageous. No citizen would get away with a scheme of deceiving people in order to gain what those people would not otherwise give up.
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. Documents expected to be delivered
sometime in late 2006 after a full review by the CIA, FBI, and Homeland Security.

OOPS! 99% of the information provided is blackened due to issues of National Security (on the grounds that it would be impeachable and treasonous acts).
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #2
29. seriously, though
How long is the average wait for FOIA docs?
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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #29
51. The USA Today guy said, on MSNBC, that his paper applied
documents and they arrived on his desk six weeks later. Don't know whether he himself had applied for them, or his paper did.
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wicket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
3. I love it!
:thumbsup:
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drummer55 Donating Member (306 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
4. More names will come out
On today's Republican Roundtable, Al Hunt suggested there are more Bush employees masquerading as journalists.


MR. HUNT: Well, I don't know what the law is. It strikes me that it's not a very good use of taxpayers' money. It's certainly as egregious a journalist violation as one could engage in. Mr. Williams' column was yanked, as it should be. I will say this. Armstrong did deliver his promise, because I occasionally worked out at a gym and Armstrong's there, and he told me several times, you know, "Why don't you write about No Child Left Behind." I don't know if I'm going to be on one of those government expense accounts or not but...

MR. RUSSERT: How many columns did you do?

MR. HUNT: I didn't do any. So I let him down. I'm sorry, Armstrong. Listen, I'll tell you this. I'll bet that there will be a great market for FOIR, Freedom of Information Requests, in the next couple weeks because I suspect Armstrong Williams is not alone. There have been other people who've been doing this.

And then Andrea Mitchell jumped in before Hunt could name names.


http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6805000 /
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. The guy over at NewsMax who sits in on WH press briefings
He is not a reporter, he has a news web site. He is the one in the press gaggle who asks all the dumb questions which puts forth the GOP talking points.

He is at the top of my suspect list of people on the WH payroll.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #5
32. Some freeper with a "news service" actually in in the daily briefing
room at the WH..

and remember when *² had his "radio day" at the WH.. only rightwingers invited...

It's ALL about propaganda & payola..

That's the ONLY way they cand get enough people to believe their crappola message. If people actually think about an issue and have all the facts, they will NEVER agree with his "schemes"//
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #5
48. lot's of suspicious characters who peddle talking points in that group
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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #5
52. Was that the obnoxious guy from "Talon News"?
Remember him with the stupid-ass affectations and in-yer-face attitude from near the back of the room during Scott McClellan's press conference (about a year ago) when bush's AWOL problems started heating up? Some big, crass dude with a beret, bellowing out a question about whether this AWOL stuff was important when John Kerry's anti-war activism was making it hard on our troops. He was VERY adamant about deflecting the attention back to applying the proctoscope on John Kerry rather than precious, perfect, saintly, beyond-question, AWOL CHICKENHAWK duh-bya.
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #52
59. Yes, one and the same. Jeff Gannon
In addition to Talon and NewsMax, he has the website GOPUSA.

He was the only non-newspaper writer subpoenaed in the Plame issue. He is the one who started the rumor that Wilson was sent to Nigeria on Plame's recommendation.

In the WH gaggle press room, Gannon even brings props to further the WH and GOP viewpoints. What an idiot.
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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #59
64. I see. One of them-thar "objective" news guys.
Edited on Wed Jan-12-05 04:21 PM by calimary
The moment I saw him while watching that press briefing, I smelled a rat. He had WAY too much of an attitude, and a point of view. You're just not supposed to come off swinging the chip on your shoulder around the room as though it was some lasso.

Thanks for the confirmation! Let's make sure we remember this guy. He's worth keeping track of... Him and that "Buckhead" guy from the free republic.
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. one of those panelists could be among the "others"
Byron York could very easily be a payola pundit.
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:59 PM
Original message
I was going to nominate Andrea Mitchell
especially since she was in such a hurry to shut Al up.

She always been a total Bushbot.

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Lugnut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 04:12 PM
Response to Original message
33. That makes two of us
As she was yapping I was wondering how much of her nest has been feathered by taxpayers.
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #7
28. dupe
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 03:00 PM by DoYouEverWonder

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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #7
72. LOL, "Payola pundit"
Perhaps Armstrong Williams should write his memoirs and title them, "I was a Payola Pundit for the Mesquite Mafia"

It has a certain ring to it...
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Chelsea Patriot Donating Member (603 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #4
24. "I occasionally worked out at a gymn and Armstrong's there..."


...Cruising the sauna.

Hunt should ask his lovely wife, Judy "Drop Panties" Woodruff where she's getting her pin money these days.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #24
36. Are you saying Al Hunt is gay?
or is implying somebody's gay just a fun, generic insult?
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susu369 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
6. Sweet!!!
Regarding Williams' payola:

curious how the "moola" was given to Williams. Did the Treasury department write a check, was the money delivered as cash in an attache case, or were the funds wired to say Rigged, er Riggs, Bank?

I'd really like to know. Did the receiving bank think this amount (if paid in one lump sum) was worthy of a suspicious activity report?

:shrug:


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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. A PR firm paid Williams
The Government hired Ketchem to promote the No Child Left Behind and they hired Williams. Scotty should have just put the blame on the PR firm, but he goofed and acknowledged Bush was aware of the payment to Williams.

Ha!
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susu369 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #11
44. Well, Hill and Knowlton PR sure helped Poppy
sell the Gulf War. Wish I had the video of indignant Poppy talking about babies being thrown from incubators by those horrid Iraqi men. Proven to be lies.

When all is said and done, it's all about money.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 05:21 AM
Response to Reply #44
47. What other PR firms receive(d) contracts and for how much $$$? n/t
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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #11
53. Oh? bush was aware of the payment to Williams? Oh REALLY?
What did the president know, and when did he know it?

Hmmm...

1 (800) 839 - 5276. TOLL FREE to the Capitol Hill Switchboard. They'll transfer you, FOR FREE, to anybody's office in the House and/or Senate. FREE. Just for the asking.
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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #11
56. Got a question: What did Scotty say and when did he say it?
Was this at a White House Press Briefing?

Details please.
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #56
70. Yes, a White House Press Briefing
Q The point is you have hired someone. And why did you, and who would do this investigation?

MR. McCLELLAN: In terms of the specific contract you're referring to, I don't know all the details of that contract. The Department of Education can provide you with information on the specific details within that arrangement. But I think I made it very clear as a matter of principle what our view is, and I think the Department of Education Counsel's Office looked into the matter and reviewed it. There are also questions about whether or not this commentator should have been disclosing this information publicly. And so those are all legitimate questions.

Q So he wasn't properly supervised in that respect, or he didn't have the proper guidance to know how he was to behave?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, see, that's one of the questions you might want to direct to Department of Education because I'm not sure about the specific details within this arrangement. But as a matter of a principle, I think our view is very clear.

Q Just to follow up, will you check as far as you can to see if you're paying any other journalists?

MR. McCLELLAN: I don't know of any. Obviously, decisions are made by individual agencies. I'm not aware of any other arrangements of that nature.

Q Was anyone at the White House aware of the fact that Armstrong Williams was on the payroll?

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm not sure that senior staff was consulted before this decision was made. I haven't heard anything to that effect.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/01/2005011...

Weasel words. Don't ask us, ask someone else who just coincidently reports to us.

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spotbird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #11
63. Williams owns the PR firm that paid him.
But it could have happened to anyone.
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. Williams has a PR firm
Jon Stewart played a great clip of Williams on CNN (which by the way has not terminated its relationship with Williams) where Williams says the govt. didn't pay him, they paid his company. The reporter asked, well, it's the same thing, you work for the company. Williams responded, I don't work for the company, I own the company, which made the reporter laugh a little. Jon Stewart came back, said "worst damage control ever."
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
8. Freakin' fabulous!!! Democrats and Independents should be ALL OVER THIS!
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 12:20 PM by Just Me
There is NOTHING so evil as government-sponsored covert propaganda (another word for intentionally deceiving/manipulating the masses - a form of psy-ops) in a country that supposedly embraces and seeks to spread "democracy"!!!

I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that a pattern of illegal propaganda will be revealed by these FOIAs. Of course, this neoCONimperialist governance will prolly force this all the way to SCOTUS 'cause they sure as hell do NOT want this truth exposed!!!

Nevertheless, I am very satisfied that an aggressive stand is being taken and do hope that it gains full momentum!!!!
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ewagner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
9. This is a good first step
but I don't think it will get to the whole can of worms...

I suspect that there have been other ways of influencing journalists.....black bag operations actually....illegal or unreported campaign or foundation monies used to bankroll phoney institutions that contribute to journalists or make mass purchases of their books.

I hope more of this comes to light......
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:22 PM
Response to Original message
10. The corporate cabal has lots of money to spend on propaganda.
They fill the airwaves 24/7 with their anti-liberal lies. Uneducated citizens take it for the truth. The most important thing I learned in college was to carefully consider the source of my information.

Even if this taxpayer-funded propaganda is shut down, the country will continue to be inundated with anti-liberal propaganda.

The rich know the money spent on propaganda will be returned. The Iraq war is reaping huge profits for the corporate cabal. The stupid American people still believe Iraq attacked us. Propaganda works.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #10
49. I guess OVERT PROPAGANDA by the government is okay.
Corporations do have truth in advertising limits. But, I'm not so sure that the government has any limits on its overt propangandizing.

However, covert propaganda (using taxpayer money and concealing government's role in the production of materials intended to target the public) is prohibited.
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
13. Why haven't we heard about these GAO investigations
A branch of the government is saying this practice is illegal and we get almost nothing in the news?

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drummer55 Donating Member (306 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Wapost article on bush regime fake news
Drug Control Office Faulted For Issuing Fake News Tapes


By Ceci Connolly
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 7, 2005; Page A17

Shortly before last year's Super Bowl, local news stations across the country aired a story by Mike Morris describing plans for a new White House ad campaign on the dangers of drug abuse.

What viewers did not know was that Morris is not a journalist and his "report" was produced by the government, actions that constituted illegal "covert propaganda," according to an investigation by the Government Accountability Office.

In the second ruling of its kind, the investigative arm of Congress this week scolded the Bush administration for distributing phony prepackaged news reports that include a "suggested live intro" for anchors to read, interviews with Washington officials and a closing that mimics a typical broadcast news sign off.

Although television stations knew the materials were produced by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, there was nothing in the two-minute, prepackaged reports that would indicate to viewers that they came from the government or that Morris, a former journalist, was working under contract for the government.

"You think you are getting a news story, but what you are getting is a paid announcement," said Susan A. Poling, managing associate general counsel at the GAO. "What is objectionable about these is the fact the viewer has no idea their tax dollars are being used to write and produce this video segment."

In May, the GAO concluded that the Department of Health and Human Services violated two federal laws with similar fake news reports touting the administration's new Medicare drug benefit. When that opinion was released, officials at the drug control office decided to stop the practice, spokesman Thomas A. Riley said.

"Our lawyers disagree with the GAO interpretation," he said. Nevertheless, if the video releases were going to be "controversial or create an appearance of a problem," the agency decided it was not worth pursuing, he said.

The prepackaged news pieces represent a fraction of the anti-drug messages distributed by the office, Riley said. Production and distribution of the video news releases cost about $155,000.

Riley said broadcast stations were fully aware they were receiving materials akin to printed news releases that producers could "slice and dice it however they want."

In one video, titled "Urging Parents to Get the Facts Straight on Teen Marijuana Use," news stations were provided a script for the news anchor. It reads: "Despite the fact that marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug among today's youth, many parents admit they're still not taking the drug seriously. Now, the nation's experts in health, education and safety have joined the Drug Czar to speak directly to parents about the very real risks of teen marijuana use. Mike Morris has more."

After interview snippets with John Walters, who heads the drug control policy office, and other experts, the story closes with the voiceover: "This is Mike Morris reporting."

In another, the announcer appears to be "reporting" on a news conference by drug control officials, when "in reality, they are just paid to say a script," Poling said. "In essence, they're actors."

The drug control agency distributed at least seven prepackaged news reports to 770 TV stations. At least 300 news shows used some portion of the materials, though it was impossible to determine how many aired the full prepackaged story or just portions such as "sound bites," Riley said.

If the videos had been identified as coming from the federal agency, that would have been legal, Poling said. But the television package looks like authentic independent journalism.

"The critical element of covert propaganda is the concealment of the agency's role in sponsoring the materials," GAO wrote to Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), who requested the Jan. 4 report.

"It is illegal to use taxpayer dollars to influence public opinion surreptitiously," Waxman said yesterday. "Unfortunately, this is the second time in less than a year that GAO has caught the Bush administration violating a fundamental principle of open government."
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Relevant: it was the 2nd time the administration GOT CAUGHT!!!
I wonder if false or misleading reports issued directly by the Pentagon/DoD falls under the covert propaganda law, as well.

I am certain there are numerous PR firms contracted to "tweak" info coming out of nearly every Bush-controlled branch (particularly if that branch touches policies the neoCONimperialists want to force upon the American people). Everything that comes out of this ruling governance has been carefully, crafted propaganda.
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. See, you say second, but this and a few other articles say four times
Very little is being said in the news and by the pundits, so the story dies with very few knowing about it. Even in most of the articles about Williams there is no mention of the previous times the government has been caught paying for propaganda.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Yup. I was referring to just that one article. I hope this explodes,...
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 01:23 PM by Just Me
,...as it rightly should!!! Psy-ops must NEVER be allowed against our own people!!!

Such intentional activities constitute treason, to say the least, and violates the sworn oaths taken by those whose commitment is to protect us, not take advantage of us!!!
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:53 PM
Response to Original message
16. I also wonder if they've paid PLANTS on say CSPAN, radio shows,...
,...bloggers, newspapers, etc.

Now THAT could be a very interesting revelation!!! :bounce:
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. tons of astroturf
there was a case that was reported (but not nearly enough) of the military ordering soldiers to write letters to the editor supporting the Iraq war.

I'm sure there's plenty more of that, and I'm sure some of it found its way to DU.
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henslee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. what does expression astroturf mean?
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. fake grassroots
clever, eh? :-)
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henslee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Yup. Love it. Filed. Will use in future.
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:56 PM
Response to Original message
17. Since the MSM is not doing their job, this info should be all over the net
to inform everyone.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
25. And, check out Howie Kurtz's wife Sherri Annis... Repug PR firm in DC
who worked on Gropenfuher's Election in CA.... Howie turned into a RWinger when he married her a couple of years ago.... Payola for sure...and he's a Commentator on CNN while working for WaPo....

Amazing how they all get around and share the same beds....the fleas, too.
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #25
31. Disgusting....all of em.
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
26. It is just too much coincidence that every single RW talk show
every single day is hawking the exact same issues and talking points.

I drove to the airport in Providence, RI in a rent car after the convention in Boston last July and listened to some RW nut on a local Boston station, very early that Friday morning rant about something. I get home to Texas, get my car and turn on some other talk show here only to hear the exact same rants and the exact same talking points. 1800 miles difference and they rant about the very same things in the very same ways with the exact same talking points?

I have strongly suspected for even longer that they all subscribe to some kind of mass email list of daily issues and talking points. I'm frankly not surprised to hear about the payola but now I'm convinced that the list of everyone being paid probably runs into the hundreds. It has to as too many have the exact same talking points all over the country. I suspect this could run to the corporate board room of Clear (we have no control over local stations) Channel, Sinclair et al.
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Read Blinded by the Right
The Daily Talking Points memo goes out from the right wing capitalists every day and it is coordinated with WH Press. Newt Gingrich and Grover Nordquist hold daily think tank meetings with a big Wednesday meeting to clue in the conservative pundits.

Previously I thought this was all funded privately. Now I wonder.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. Corporatists -> WH -> PR Cos -> RW pundits paid to appear on "news".
Well, that would be an awfully simple breakdown of an illegal conspiracy to engage in covert propaganda.

It would be such a good and healthy thing for America to CUT THOSE TIES!!!
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RandomKoolzip Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
34. This is great news.
There MUST be more......I hope someone starts naming names. There's gotta be money to be made in confessing, right? The book rights for the whistleblower (a la David Brock) alone would be enormous.

A smart book publisher would be out there with feelers right now, scouting the talk radio netherworld for those with the moxy to spill the beans.
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asthmaticeog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
35. *cough* NOVAK *cough cough*
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deacon2 Donating Member (396 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. Yes, god damn Novak
First off, how does this s.o.b. take a walk on the Victoria Plame treason debacle while less involved journalists are in jail? Don't care much for the whole "jailing the journalists" until they reveal their source thing. Seems very Bushian and unconstitutional even if it is saving the neocons bacon at this sad juncture. Still, it seems like an exception could be made for this flaming gas bag, Novak. Maybe his unfortunate incarceration could dovetail with some out of work waterboarding expert from Spec. OPS. in Iraq? One can always dream...
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hangloose Donating Member (554 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
38. Go! Baby let's uncover more payola
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drscm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
39. I wonder who they paid to "MARKET" the Iraq War.
Andy Card made a statement that they did not market it during a lazy August, but waited till later in the year. Little did we know that they probably used payola to market it.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. Prolly paid BIG BUCKS to a PR firm to set up the Pentagon Proganda
MACHINE!!!

I mean, geez,...I was immediately suspect when there were reports that they were setting up like a very polished media "stage" along with theatrics and maps and all that.

It was a TOTAL PROPAGANDA OP from the get go!!!
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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #39
55. You don't use terms like "market" - as a VERB - if you're not IN
the PR machinery. It means that this WAS discussed, maybe in some of those "big Wednesday meetings" with the people responsible for coordinating and issuing all those talking points, and strategizing how to do it, where to place it - like a commodity. Like soap. Like cars. Like cat food. Like deodorant (!). And it means Andy Card was either IN those meetings (I think, highly probably - considering in his position) or he had briefings about those meetings immediately after they were held, so he could be kept in the loop.

YOU DON'T USE LANGUAGE LIKE THAT WITHOUT BEING IN THAT LOOP. That's sales talk. The word "market" used as a verb is absolute, certified, USDA Prime sales talk. So it involved very deliberate sales and strategy meetings and he was either actually in them or well-informed and constantly well-updated about them.
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Keirsey Donating Member (508 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
41. for you researchers...
Ketchum Public Relations is owned by Omnicom Group, "a leading global marketing and communications company", which also owns Cone Inc., a Boston-
based charity marketing firm.

Then there's

Merkley + Partners (http://www.merkleyandpartners.com ) is a leading full-service advertising agency. Founded in 1993, M+P has more than a half billion dollars in billings and more than 250 employees. Headquartered in New York City, clients include: BMW Motorcycles, Citigroup, Fila, Mercedes-Benz USA, Lipitor, SBC Communications and Smith Barney. M+P is a part of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC), a leading global marketing and communications company.


more from the above article:

US Health Dept and Ad Council Launch Flu Vaccine Campaign

12 Dec 2004

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson and the Ad Council today announced a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to provide Americans with critical information about flu vaccinations. The campaign asks Americans to "Give Others a Shot" if they are not in a priority group for the flu and provides simple tips to prevent the flu's spread.

...

Created pro bono by ad agency Merkley + Partners, the television, radio, and Web PSAs encourage audiences to visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu or call CDC's toll-free number, 1-800-CDC-INFO, to get more information on this year's flu season and to see if they're at high risk for the flu. The PSAs also provide practical steps to help prevent the spread of the flu, including:


http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=...


Wonder just whose names will turn up in this six degrees of Bushco will turn up?

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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #41
54. National Media, Inc., Fleshman-Hillar, Gourvitz Communications and
Harbour Media also have been contracted.

Still searching.
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David Zephyr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 06:24 PM
Response to Original message
42. Oh Yes!
Let freedom ring.
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brucefan Donating Member (421 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
43. ITOKIYAR
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 06:37 PM by brucefan
To quote Paul Krugman "Its Okay If Your A Republican"
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
46. Keep this kicked....we need some good news!
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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 01:07 PM
Response to Original message
57. Kick
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yellowcanine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
60. Scotty said it was an ISOLATED INCIDENT so stop saying that!
That nasty thing you are saying about our moral God fearing president who has does not have to answer to godless crotch sniffing reporters and ACLU liberal thumb sucking types. So STOP IT!
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yorgatron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #60
61. i don't want to put a jinx on anything,but
could this be it? that special "watergate" moment?
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #60
62. Oliver Willis' blog is doing a very good job investigating who is
involved in the Williams payment

http://www.oliverwillis.com/node/view/1637

Janet D. Scott is the "Contract Specialist" in the Dept. of Education who put together the deal (pdf) with Armstrong Williams.

Her office number is 202-708-7947. Ask her where our $240,000 is, who told her to make the payment, and who else is getting paid off.

http://www.oliverwillis.com/node/view/1634

Another target of an investigation might be former G.O.P. congresswoman Susan Molinari. Molinari, who after leaving Congress had a brief and unsuccessful stint as host of a Saturday morning news program at CBS, joined Ketchum a little more than three years ago to oversee their Washington operations. What Molinari's role was in the Williams contract and other Ketchum contracts remains to be determined.



and much more. He even has a Williams IM link for people to contact Williams directly.
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susu369 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #62
66. Goody, we are getting down to the nitty-gritty
Excellent! Thanks for the Oliver Willis link.

The mention of Susan Molinari being a target of investigation sent me into gales of laughter.

:kick:
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Scout1071 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
67. This might be somewhat related
I believe it was in August, but in Kansas City there was a vote before the people on whether or not to increase the car rental and hotel tax in order to finance a new downtown arena. There was widespread community support, but tons of negative ads run by a group against the arena. Further investigation revealed that the opposition group was being run by FleisHill and funded by Enterprise Rental Car. The kicker is that a few nights before the vote, a former Kansas City Kings basketball player went on the news to say that he had been contacted by FleisHill and offered a bribe to come out against the arena. They flatly denied it, but he had the numbers on caller ID and were more than happy to show to the news camera. He was pissed because he knew the arena was the best thing for the city and because they had questioned his integrity even by proposing a bribe.

Smaller scale, but me thinks there may be a pattern here......
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #67
69. Bribery is a possibility. So is fraud,...perhaps RICO.
If a journalist or pundit actually came out and stated that he was bribed by the neoCONimperialists,...my head would hit the ceiling and I would explode in absolute joy *LOL*.

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Scout1071 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #69
75. FLEISH-HILL ALSO PAID A COUNCILWOMAN
IN THE SAME ELECTION. She was chastised widely and more than 2,000 citizens sign a petition for a recall after the payment was disclosed.
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Scout1071 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #75
76. More interesting info on Fleish-Hill
From their website: http://www.fhgr.com/expertise.htm

Excerpt:

Expertise


Fleishman-Hillard Government Relations is a firm with broad substantive expertise, derived from decades of combined service within Congress, the executive branch, and private-sector organizations. As a direct consequence of this hands-on experience, our team has deep-rooted expertise in many different policy areas.


Areas of Expertise
Areas of Expertise




:: Agriculture, nutrition, and food policy
:: Higher education

:: Appropriations
:: Homeland security

:: Banking and financial services
:: International trade and investment

:: Commerce
:: State and local government

:: Defense and military affairs
:: Taxation and revenue measures

:: Energy and natural resources
:: Science and technology

:: Healthcare


AND:

Services


Fleishman-Hillard Government Relations offers a full spectrum of government relations services.


:: We serve as Washington representatives for companies, associations, governments, and other organizations.

::
We gather intelligence about congressional and executive branch activities and monitor political, economic, and policy developments worldwide.

:: We offer strategic counsel and tactical advice.

:: We provide research, writing, and policy analysis services.

:: We design and implement lobbying campaigns in America and abroad.

:: We communicate directly with government decision-makers and indirectly with those who influence them.

:: We secure legislative and administrative results in Washington and other world capitals.


At Fleishman-Hillard Government Relations, we combine solid strategic thinking
and tenacious, innovative execution to create measurable, winning outcomes for our clients.


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Scout1071 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #76
77. Oh but wait.....there's more:
http://www.fleishman.com/capabilities/practice_groups/p...

Our professionals have been recruited from Capitol Hill, the White House, federal agencies, and state and local governments, as well as from the nation's most prestigious media outlets. Others have experience ranging from political campaigns, coalition building, and grassroots mobilization, to developing and managing media and public relations programs for corporations and trade associations.

Experienced public affairs professionals are on staff in nearly every office across our system. And we work together, drawing on our collective know-how to develop programs that are tailored to the unique characteristics of each individual market and audience.

We know and work with legislators and their staffs at the federal and state levels, with administration officials, and with representatives of the Democratic and Republican Committees. We understand how our clients' operations can be affected by legislative or regulatory actions and how employees, distributors, suppliers, customers, and other potential allies can be mobilized as powerful political tools.

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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #75
78. How was that "payment" reported?
Do you know?

Are you willing to find out?

It HAD to be reported,...or not.
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Scout1071 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 01:17 AM
Response to Reply #78
81. Truly, I'm not sure what the hell you are talking about.....
Do I know who reported it? Well, I suppose that I can do a little investigating and find out. For starters, here is some info on the congresswoman and her unethical behavior:

http://blogkc.com/archives/2004/12/citizens-association...
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Niche Donating Member (687 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 05:52 PM
Response to Original message
68. Is there a reason non of these CROOKS ARE PROSECUTED...
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #68
71. Ask the Torture King Alberto Gonzales
I am sure he will get right on it.
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DrZeeLit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
73. If this had happened w/ Clinton.... can you spell INVESTIGATION?
Since this is supposed to be the tip of the iceberg, I want to know where my tax dollars were going, don't you?

Time to besiege our representatives, Congress and Senate, to start the ball rolling. If the Republicans could do it to Clinton, the Dems need to barage *.
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
74. Good news. Thanks for posting.
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 10:42 PM
Response to Reply #74
79. The FOIA is good, but it isn't enough. We need to help keep the
heat on the issue.

You can help by writing the FCC and demand the commission open an investigation
http://www.fcc.gov/commissioners/copps/mail.html

You can sign a FreePress petition for the FCC to open an investigation
http://www.freepress.net/action/payolapunditry

You can call on Congress to Investigate the Bush Administration's "Fake News" Addiction
http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=16842...

You can demand That Ed. Sec. Paige Seek the Return of Tax Dollars Paid to Propagandist Armstrong Williams
http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=16842...

or you can do all four. And write LTTE's on the issue and telephone your congressmen, anything to keep the heat on.

This is the best shot we have at putting a dent in the right wing media machine.
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Maven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 10:59 PM
Response to Original message
80. CREW Website
Edited on Thu Jan-13-05 11:01 PM by Harvey Korman
Here.

Pretty much the same info in the article there for now (as a press release), although you might check back for updates.

Also found this bit of info:

Copies of the FOIAs filed by CREW are available by contacting Naomi Seligman by phone at 202.588.5565 or nseligman@citizensforethics.org

Would be great to check up on them and maybe post the results here.

Also, you can find a link to the original Dept. of Ed. FOIA request here toward the bottom of the page. Interesting reading.

(Edit: Topic nominated for homepage.)
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