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disillusioned1 Donating Member (280 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:00 AM
Original message
Education Dept. Paid Commentator to Promote Law
Posted 1/7/2005 12:17 AM Updated 1/7/2005 11:16 AM

Education Dept. 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.


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. He persuaded radio and TV personality Steve Harvey to invite Paige onto his show twice. Harvey's manager, Rushion McDonald, confirmed the appearances.


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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:03 AM
Response to Original message
1. "Education Department". They never say Bush's name when Bush screws
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disillusioned1 Donating Member (280 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:08 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Wreckless disregard for law of the land
And no one can seem to stop him, that's what scares me.
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NVMojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:17 AM
Response to Original message
3. from Reid's office today ...after this story came out ...
Media Release just out from Reid's office:

For Immediate Release

DATE: Thursday, January 06, 2005

CONTACT: Phil Singer

Lawmakers Demand President Bush STOP Paying
Journalists to Promote Administration Policies

Reid, Lautenberg, Kennedy Also Ask President If His
Administration Has Paid Other Journalists to Promote
other Policies, including Social Security Privatization

WASHINGTON, DC In light of alarming news that the Bush administration paid a popular conservative radio commentator and columnist almost a quarter of a million dollars to skew his reporting to promote the No Child Left Behind Act, United States Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Harry Reid (D-NV) sent a letter to President Bush today demanding that he recover the money paid to Armstrong Williams, citing federal laws that prohibit such activity. In addition, the lawmakers also asked President Bush to disclose any payments to other journalists to push Administration policies, including President Bushs decision to privatize Social Security.

In news reports today, it was revealed conservative pundit and commentator Armstrong Williams was paid $240,000 to promote President Bushs No Child Left Behind Act on his syndicated radio program and in addition, to urge other pundits to routinely hype the law during their own appearances on other programs.

In their letter to President Bush, the Lawmakers cite federal laws that prohibit taxpayer funds from being spent by the Executive Branch for Covert Propaganda.

In addition to the illegality of these actions taken by your Administration, we believe that the act of bribing journalists to bias their news in favor of government policies undermines the integrity of our democracy. Actions like this were common in the Soviet Union, but until now, thought to be long extinguished in our country, wrote the lawmakers in their letter to President Bush sent today.

These revelations regarding Mr. Williams are the latest and most disturbing in a series of actions by your Administration to manipulate public opinion through covert propaganda. On May 19, 2004, the GAO found that your Administration illegally spent taxpayer funds on covert propaganda by paying Ketchum Incorporated to produce fake news stories promoting the image of the new Medicare law.

The links below are examples of syndicated columns published by the Tribune Media Company from Armstrong Williams in support of the No Child Left Behind Act. ... ... ... ...

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morcatknits Donating Member (128 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:46 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I just heard
on MSNBC that the Tribune has fired him, and good riddance. We need to get to writing about this -- it is unexcuseable.
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Erika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 02:46 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. A black pimp
for Bush. He started under Thurmond.

Where are the moderators to declare duplicates and redirect?
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Moderator DU Moderator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:29 AM
Response to Original message
6. Duplicate
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