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28.11.14 1105
The W - Current Events & Politics - White House paid commentator to promote law
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spf
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.51
If a personality wants to be a paid mouthpiece for the gov't, that's one thing. But it looks to me like the article is implying that this is government money being used to promote the president's agenda, which I think everyone here would be able to agree is not good. Hopefully someone's head will roll for this, but I'm not holding my breath. This administration doesn't seem very big on accountability. story here (story.news.yahoo.com)

    Originally posted by excerpts from story originally in 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 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...

    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."


(edited by spf on 7.1.05 1305)


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Pepperoni








Since: 25.2.04
From: Keystone State

Since last post: 2393 days
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.43
I read this too, and something about it doesn't sit right with me. I agree, if you want to promote the administration's policies, go for it, but if you get paid to do it, that's wrong. Of course, my anti-NCLB bias might also be kicking in.

Supposedly Armstrong Williams supports the policy, which leads me to ask why they felt the need to pay him money. And with Rod Paige leaving, I'm sure he'll be the fall guy here.
A Fan
Liverwurst








Since: 3.1.02

Since last post: 3593 days
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.27
Its a shame since the minority espically some of the black commuinities will be the ones hardest hit by No Child Left Behind or as I like to call it teach to the test, because your entire life will be based on tests instead of learning how to adapt. Also according to the article they were using the same types of tapes used in the Medicare propagenda during the election that got them chastized by the General Accounting Office. Of course, like this one, no one will fined, fired or impeached over right, because ethics means nothing to the Republicans when its their president, but when its a democrate candidate or president, look out.

I think any money used to promote No Child Left Behind would be better used to rebuild schools, clean up the street this schools are located or I don't know, buy textbooks. Remember, when Clinton wanted to our Education President, damn those were good times.





"All faith reguires is giving into the possibility of hope."
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1305 days
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
    Originally posted by A Fan
    Its a shame since the minority espically some of the black commuinities will be the ones hardest hit by No Child Left Behind or as I like to call it teach to the test, because your entire life will be based on tests instead of learning how to adapt.


Why don't we just scrap NCLB....and then the Department of Education while we're at it.



Well, just as an attorney, as a human being, I would have thought that if there were recommendations that were so blatantly and flagrantly over the line in terms of torture, that you might have recognized them. I mean, it certainly appears to me that water boarding, with all its descriptions about drowning someone to that kind of a point, would come awfully close to getting over the border, and that you'd be able to at least say today, There were some that were recommended or suggested on that, but I certainly wouldn't have had a part of that, as a human being.
- Senator Ted Kennedy, confirmation hearing of Alberto Gonzales, 1/7/2005
Pool-Boy
Lap cheong








Since: 1.8.02
From: Huntington Beach, CA

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.00
I might not be getting all of the facts here - but how is this any different than any other paid government spokesman? No matter who is in power where, there is always some government paid hack out there supporting one agenda or another...



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TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 108 days
Last activity: 108 days
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    I might not be getting all of the facts here - but how is this any different than any other paid government spokesman? No matter who is in power where, there is always some government paid hack out there supporting one agenda or another...


This guy works in a profession where his objectivity is assumed by many. Even if you're one of the many who have already lost faith in media objectivity, at the very least I hope you'd like to know the reporters you hear from each day aren't on the government payroll.

EDIT: Not to mention the issue of tax payer money essentially funding the president's propoganda. This isn't the government just promoting a program to tell the citizens what's available to them; this amounts to nothing less than an effort to convince the public to support on of Bush's actions. In an election year, no less.

(edited by TheBucsFan on 7.1.05 1732)
Crimedog
Boerewors








Since: 28.3.02
From: Ohio

Since last post: 2746 days
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.70
I am so freaking steamed about this I can barely see straight. First of all, NCLB is a HORRIBLE idea. It's a misguided set of standards that must be met and oh, by the way, it's an unfunded mandate, so all those strapped school districts will have to try to figure out how in the world they're going to pay for it.

Second, the fact that this guy took money to promote this as part of his ostensibly objective work and didn't disclose it pisses me off. It's propaganda, pure and simple, and you could very easily argue that it violates rules against payola.

And, as was previously stated, NCLB hurts minority students even more, because most predominately minority schools are city schools that are woefully underfunded. If this guy believes so wholeheartedly that NCLB is a good idea, why not promote it for free and ask the government to donate the money to a local elementary school of his choice?
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1305 days
Last activity: 1102 days
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    This guy works in a profession where his objectivity is assumed by many. Even if you're one of the many who have already lost faith in media objectivity, at the very least I hope you'd like to know the reporters you hear from each day aren't on the government payroll.
Except he is a columnist, which means he has a political agenda. Regardless, his column has been sacked.

And I defy anybody to tell me a media outlet that is objective.



Well, just as an attorney, as a human being, I would have thought that if there were recommendations that were so blatantly and flagrantly over the line in terms of torture, that you might have recognized them. I mean, it certainly appears to me that water boarding, with all its descriptions about drowning someone to that kind of a point, would come awfully close to getting over the border, and that you'd be able to at least say today, There were some that were recommended or suggested on that, but I certainly wouldn't have had a part of that, as a human being.
- Senator Ted Kennedy, confirmation hearing of Alberto Gonzales, 1/7/2005
MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

Since last post: 17 hours
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.14
FoxNews!



Man's most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe.
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Euripides


Jaguar
Knackwurst








Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

Since last post: 235 days
Last activity: 36 days
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.10
    Originally posted by Grimis
      Originally posted by TheBucsFan
      This guy works in a profession where his objectivity is assumed by many. Even if you're one of the many who have already lost faith in media objectivity, at the very least I hope you'd like to know the reporters you hear from each day aren't on the government payroll.
    Except he is a columnist, which means he has a political agenda. Regardless, his column has been sacked.

    And I defy anybody to tell me a media outlet that is objective.


And I'd love to hear why you think this is a good use of tax payer's money?

-Jag





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Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1305 days
Last activity: 1102 days
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
    Originally posted by Jaguar
    And I'd love to hear why you think this is a good use of tax payer's money?
Point out where I said it was?



Well, just as an attorney, as a human being, I would have thought that if there were recommendations that were so blatantly and flagrantly over the line in terms of torture, that you might have recognized them. I mean, it certainly appears to me that water boarding, with all its descriptions about drowning someone to that kind of a point, would come awfully close to getting over the border, and that you'd be able to at least say today, There were some that were recommended or suggested on that, but I certainly wouldn't have had a part of that, as a human being.
- Senator Ted Kennedy, confirmation hearing of Alberto Gonzales, 1/7/2005
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 108 days
Last activity: 108 days
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
    Originally posted by Grimis
      Originally posted by TheBucsFan
      This guy works in a profession where his objectivity is assumed by many. Even if you're one of the many who have already lost faith in media objectivity, at the very least I hope you'd like to know the reporters you hear from each day aren't on the government payroll.
    Except he is a columnist, which means he has a political agenda. Regardless, his column has been sacked.

    And I defy anybody to tell me a media outlet that is objective.


Being a coumnist doesn't give you free reign to be biased, ignorant or oblivious to facts. The idea behind a columnist is to offer a person who looks at the world objectively to reach conclusions on whatever subject.

As for the objectivity argument, it's been had about 7,893,459,129 times here, please leave it out of this as whether or not the media is "objective," or if that's even possible, is clearly irrelevant to this problem. I said this to try and cut that argument off before anyone dragged it in:

    Originally posted by Me
    This guy works in a profession where his objectivity is assumed by many. Even if you're one of the many who have already lost faith in media objectivity, at the very least I hope you'd like to know the reporters you hear from each day aren't on the government payroll.


(edited by TheBucsFan on 8.1.05 1841)
bash91
Merguez








Since: 2.1.02
From: Plain Dealing, LA

Since last post: 835 days
Last activity: 21 hours
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.10
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    Being a coumnist doesn't give you free reign to be biased, ignorant or oblivious to facts. The idea behind a columnist is to offer a person who looks at the world objectively to reach conclusions on whatever subject.


Say what? That statement makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. A columnist is paid to voice their opinion which is, by definition, not objective nor is it designed to lead an objective reader, whatever that mythical creature may be, to an objective conclusion. Bias is part and parcel of being a columnist, no matter what your political affiliation may be.

In the present circumstance, I have no problems with Armstrong Williams shilling NCLB, which is nowhere near as bad as its critics make it out to be, but I certainly do object to him being surreptitiously paid to shill and I'm quite happy that he got canned.

Tim



Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit. -- Erasmus
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Something doesn't seem right. Can you picture our intel giving it up that easily instead of keeping their mouths shut?
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