Saturday, January 8


This Armstrong Williams thing is nothing more than payola (or plugola, as I heard one commentator say), and the Department of Education is as guilty under the law as Williams:

The disclosure about the arrangement coincides with a decision by the Government Accountability Office that the administration had violated a law against unauthorized federal propaganda by distributing television news segments that promoted drug enforcement policies without identifying their origin. More than 300 news programs reaching more than 22 million households broadcast the segments. The accountability office made a similar ruling in May about news segments promoting Medicare policies, and the Drug Enforcement Agency stopped distributing the segments then.

But this is no different, really, from the administration's paying for and distributing canned video news releases glorifying the Medicare prescription plan for seniors, which were disseminated across the country as part of regular local news programming and undisclosed to viewers as taxpayer-funded government propaganda:

The General Accounting Office, an investigative arm of Congress, recently discovered that the Bush Administration, namely the Department of Health and Human Services, has been using "video news releases" that include actors posing as journalists reporting on the benefits of the new Medicare prescription plan. The GAO discovered them while investigating the use of federal money to pay for fliers and advertisements, which they ultimately found to be legal, despite "notable omissions and other weaknesses."

Federal law prohibits the use of federal money for "publicity or propaganda purposes" not authorized by Congress. In the past, the GAO has found that federal agencies violated this restriction by disseminating editorials and newspaper articles written by the government without identifying the source.

When, if ever, is somebody from the Bush administration going to go to jail for prima facie breaking the law of the land? Are we so overwhelmed by evidence of government malfeasance and criminal behavior in BushLand that we can't fix on one scandal before another breaks? Is BushCo so powerful that it can't be taken down? What are we, the new U.S.S.R.?

United States Stands Rocking.
United States Sans Rationality.
United States Stands for Repression.

You can do better, I know you can.


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