Saturday, January 08, 2005

Armstrong Williams and the White House are (appropriately) being castigated for an arrangement through which Williams was paid $240,000 by the Education Department to promote the No Child Left Behind Act in the news media. But I hope we all realize that Williams wasn't merely paid to produce reports favorable to Bush policies -- he was paid to produce reports favorable to Bush's reelection.

The New York Times says that "the arrangement ... started in late 2003" -- long after NCLB was signed into law (January 8, 2002). the subsequent columns that mentioned NCLB and Bush education policy were all published in 2004; the last one was a week before the election.

So your tax dollars bought political advertising, disguised as journalism.

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