Sunday, October 10, 2004

Remember Karen Ryan? AP reports that she received even more of your tax money than you realized:

The Bush administration has promoted its education law with a video that comes across as a news story but fails to make clear the reporter involved was paid with taxpayer money.

The government used a similar approach this year in promoting the new Medicare law and drew a rebuke from the investigative arm of Congress, which found the videos amounted to propaganda in violation of federal law.

...The video includes a news story that features Education Secretary Rod Paige and promotes tutoring now offered under law.

The story ends with the voice of a woman saying, "In Washington, I'm Karen Ryan reporting." ...

The Education Department's video uses "the same exact mode of operation," said Nancy Keenan, education policy director at People for the American Way. The video encourages students to take advantage of tutoring and says that families give the idea an "A-plus."

"It's basically propaganda, not general information about a program," she said. "And it's portraying to the American public, via a video news release, that it's news." ...

Go here for the story from last March about the government sponsored "news" story, starring Ryan, that was meant to make everyone feel good about Bush's Medicare changes.

Oh, and because the Education Department apparently has even more money to throw around (despite the fact that it's not funding No Child Left Behind adequately), there's this:

The Education Department also has paid for rankings of newspaper coverage of the No Child Left Behind law, a centerpiece of the president's domestic agenda. Points are awarded for stories that say President Bush and the Republican Party are strong on education, among other factors....

Stories got five points each for positive messages, such as mentions that the law gives choices to parents and holds schools accountable.

Five points also went to stories that send a message that "The Bush Administration/the GOP is committed to education."

Stories lost five points for negative messages, including claims that the law is not adequately funded or is too tough on states....


What you've got is everything -- and I mean everything -- being run by the political arm.

--disgruntled ex-Bush administration official John DiIulio, on the administration's M.O.

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