I remember hearing Rush Limbaugh say years ago that the radio was flooded with right wingers because they won in the marketplace of ideas and in the market for listeners. Of course he left out a couple of things like Reagan repealing the Fairness Doctrine that required stations to provide some time for opposing opinions or what Bill Clinton himself now admits was a huge mistake, easing the rules on media consolidation, so a handful of companies could own nearly all the media and use the airwaves to promote the ideas of the party that will do them more favors and be silent about any of their corruption and private affairs.
And Rush didn't mention that at least some of these pundits were being paid by the Bushies to sell particularly parts of their policy and pretend like it's their own idea, which is illegal, covert propaganda. I'd like to know who all is getting this money, but we can't because the Bushies consistently violate the Freedom of Information Act and only comply with it when they think it won't harm them politically.
This is what they are doing for people who are on message. Reporters who drift too far from the pro-Bush ranch can be hounded out of their jobs like Dan Rather and his producers. Those who don't toe the line in Iraq get it a bit worse, but I'll send something on that later.
At press time, the White House had not responded to the request by a couple dozen high-profile House Democrats for information on all PR and advertising contracts with government agencies.
The request cited "secret publicity campaigns to promote administration priorities" including an investigation that "revealed that the Department of Education paid a conservative commentator [Armstrong Williams, though the letter did not name him] to support the No Child Left Behind Act in television and radio appearances," plus another contract with a commentator unearthed following the Williams revelation.
It also cited Government Accountability Office conclusions that video news releases issued by Health and Human Services and the Office of National Drug Control Policy violated anti-propaganda rules, though the Justice Department concluded differently.
White House Mum on PR Contracts
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/4/2005 5:35:00 PM
w w w . b r o a d c a s t i n g c a b l e . c o m