Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Bush Administration: "No Integrity Left Behind"

This Administration is led by a President that cannot think of any mistakes he may have made. As reported by Helen Thomas of that now famous White House Press Conference:
President Bush told his news conference that he couldn't think of any mistakes he has made since he was inaugurated.
And this is an Administration that when it DOES make mistakes, it denies them and circles the wagons as in a B-grade Western Movie.

There is simply no excuse for the Armstrong Williams fiasco. The government is simply prohibited from producing propaganda to influence public opinion.

And this Administration should know about this. The production of propaganda and passing off paid productions as news is illegal. In May 20, 2004, it was reported that the Bush Administration violated federal laws in this regard. As reported:
The General Accounting Office concluded that the Department of Health and Human Services illegally spent federal money on what amounted to covert propaganda by producing videos about the Medicare changes that were made to look like news reports. Portions of the videos, which have been aired by 40 television stations around the country, do not make it clear that the announcers were paid by HHS and were not real reporters.

You see Armstrong Williams was not a real commentator. He was a paid spokesman of this Bush Administration, which, not finding the news suitable to its liking, hires news personnel to report the "good news". It only cost the American taxpayer $240,000 for Mr. Williams. What other payments have been made?

And what does Mr. Roderick R. Paige, the Education Secretary say about these payments? Does he apologize? Does he promise to never to do it again?

Of course not.

According to today's Washington Post:
Education Secretary Roderick R. Paige yesterday defended payments to a conservative black commentator to promote the No Child Left Behind law as a standard "outreach effort" to minority groups who stand to benefit most from the Bush administration's showcase education program.

The Post story continues:
In his statement, Paige said the money paid Williams's company, the Graham Williams Group, "went exclusively" to the production of advertisements promoting the No Child Left Behind law. "The funds covered those costs alone and nothing more. All this has been reviewed and is legal," Paige said.

Sorry Mr. Paige. But when you spend $240,000 to buy the efforts of a media person, you are paying for propaganda. And that is illegal. You and the President made a mistake, at the least. Please say you are sorry.

I cannot tell you how much I feel this nation is hurting without John Kerry as President. We have an Administration that censors the news by denying access to the pictures of returning coffins from Iraq. We have a President who hides in the White House or in Crawford, Texas, and refuses to regularly answer questions from the press. And now we have a Presidency that pays to get the news coverage it desires.
Shame on them.

John Kerry we need you now and we will need you more in 2008. Pull our nation from the water!



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