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Old 03-15-2005, 09:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Paid Propaganda

Recently it's come out that the Bush administration has been paying commentators money in order to advance their political causes. However, it looks like the corruption might go deeper than just a few columnists...

Quote:
The Bush administration, rejecting an opinion from the Government Accountability Office, said last week that it is legal for federal agencies to feed TV stations prepackaged news stories that do not disclose the government's role in producing them.

That message, in memos sent Friday to federal agency heads and general counsels, contradicts a Feb. 17 memo from Comptroller General David M. Walker. Walker wrote that such stories -- designed to resemble independently reported broadcast news stories so that TV stations can run them without editing -- violate provisions in annual appropriations laws that ban covert propaganda.

* * *

The legal counsel's office "does not agree with GAO that the covert propaganda prohibition applies simply because an agency's role in producing and disseminating information is undisclosed or 'covert,' regardless of whether the content of the message is 'propaganda,' " Bradbury wrote. "Our view is that the prohibition does not apply where there is no advocacy of a particular viewpoint, and therefore it does not apply to the legitimate provision of information concerning the programs administered by an agency."
Basically, government agencies hire PR firms to produce policy ads for them, and the PR firms then pay news networks to broadcast the ads. There's no indication that the ads are anything but normal news stories. The GAO obviously doesn't have a high opinion on the practice.

The original quote comes from the Washington Post; I believe the New York Times also picked up this story. I haven't seen much on it from CNN or others, perhaps not so surprisingly....

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Old 03-15-2005, 09:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Apparently it didn't work during the election.

Study Shows U.S. Election Coverage Harder on Bush (link found on Fark)
Quote:
By Claudia Parsons | March 14, 2005

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. media coverage of last year's election was three times more likely to be negative toward President Bush than Democratic challenger John Kerry, according to a study released Monday.

The annual report by a press watchdog that is affiliated with Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism said that 36 percent of stories about Bush were negative compared to 12 percent about Kerry, a Massachusetts senator.

Only 20 percent were positive toward Bush compared to 30 percent of stories about Kerry that were positive, according to the report by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.
Study Shows U.S. Election Coverage Harder on Bush
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Old 03-15-2005, 09:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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"Our view is that the prohibition does not apply where there is no advocacy of a particular viewpoint"

So he's saying the government-produced ads are void of imbalance? I don't know if I have seen any of these ads-presented-as-news, but I find that to be highly doubtful mainly because it's impossible.

But let's say ads could be magically produced that were perfectly balanced with pros and cons, weighted for accuracy and value, on a subject - why is this even necessary? Sounds like the government is trying to avoid press conferences by presenting their position (and mysteriously claiming it is not their position, but rather a balanced view on the subject) without informing the public that it is the gov't who is presenting it and without enabling a method of interaction by the public.

I oppose the gov't using tax payer money to pointedly remove public interaction on policy discussion (which is the same thing as removing all discussion).
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Old 03-15-2005, 10:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I was reading the article about this on the front page of Sunday's NYT. It was depressing. This administration spent $247 million on video news releases during the first term. That's taxpayer money being spent to make people think the government is doing a good job, and it's been going on at least since Clinton. STOP WASTING MY MONEY ON TRYING TO MAKE ME FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOUR STUPID POLICIES! Just do a good job.
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Old 03-15-2005, 11:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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IMO, the Bush Admin ws absolutlely wrong for paying individual colunmists to help advance their agenda. It just shows more lack of respect for our money. However, the more disturbing part of this story is that it appears that colunmists have a "I can be bought " attitude.
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Old 03-15-2005, 05:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Gotta love how the Bush administration just changes the rules or definitions of words or laws when they dont suit their needs. I'm sure someone will come back with a "but Clinton did.. blah blah" but i really dont give a shit who did it, wrong is wrong. I'm just completely disgusted with how this administration has twisted and warped our government so much and so blatantly and no one can stop them. When someone steps up and confronts them they are just "rejected". "we know you all have concerns and think what we're doingis evil and wrong, but we don't care. We'll just change the rules to make us look right and put you in jail."
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Old 03-15-2005, 06:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What is the punishment for covert propaganda? Multiply that by 3 and give it to everyone involved. That's my solution. Everyone involved in trying to DECIEVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE COVERTLY FOR SELFISH ENDS should be branded a traitor and punished as such. I can't believe the arrogance of these people.

"Our view is that the prohibition does not apply where there is no advocacy of a particular viewpoint, and therefore it does not apply to the legitimate provision of information concerning the programs administered by an agency."

So why were people bribed and told to keep quiet about it?! And why was every report that has been exposed been pushing something the administration is trying to get support on? Propoganda is never put fourth by "legitimate" sources. The American people sould be served by the government, not tricked and controled.
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Old 03-15-2005, 06:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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while i don't think the government should be in a PR role about itself, i find myself wondering how many media outlets broadcasted a pre-manufactured setpiece that they were unsure of its origin.

which side of this coin is most disturbing?
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Old 03-15-2005, 07:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Looks like we might learn more about the Gannon story tomorrow.

Resolution on Gannon inquiry to be taken up Wednesday by House Judiciary Committee

Hopefully c-span will cover it so we get the unspun truth and can make our own judgement.
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I read the NYT article and it made my very said, very very sad. The fact that news outlets took these reports, knowing that they were from the goverment and not even telling the viewers. I was even more shocked to hear this has been going on for YEARS. I don't really think this is a very partisan issue. This is more of showing how pitiful the media is becoming.
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The media is just awful. Remember Jon Stewart's explosion on Crossfire, where he blasted them for providing "balance" on an issue at the expense of truth or fact-based argumentation?

When C-SPAN was going to have on a woman who wrote a book about Holocaust deniers, they wanted to provide "balance:" by bringing on a Holocaust denier!
Quote:
C-SPAN's cockeyed version of fairness -- it told Lipstadt that it had bent over backward to ensure its coverage of the presidential election was fair and balanced -- is so mindless that I thought for a moment its producers and I could not be talking about the same thing. This is the "Crossfire" mentality reduced to absurdity, if that's possible. For a book on the evils of slavery, would it counter with someone who thinks it was a benign institution? Why does it feel there is another side to the Holocaust or to Irving's assertion that he was libeled? He was not. He was described to a T.
What has our media come to, when C-SPAN does something this stupid? Oy.
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Old 03-16-2005, 06:16 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
What has our media come to, when C-SPAN does something this stupid? Oy.
I don't know if this was directed at me, but I know c-span does spin too. What I was trying to get at is their Live coverage which is impossible to spin when there is no commentary.
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Old 03-17-2005, 05:17 AM   #13 (permalink)
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The Neo-cons decided we don't get to know anymore information about Gannon apparently.

This is seriously getting out of hand.

"The Secret Service has determined that Mr Guckert did not pose a danger to the President or his faimily," Sensenbrenner said.

I'm glad we have the people who are in trouble investigating themselves. This is classic tyranny. Fake news and fake investigations.
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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just further confirmation to me to not believe a word out of the white house. pretty damn sad if you ask me.
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Old 03-17-2005, 01:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Update.....


Bush Offers Anti-Administration PR Videos

by Scott Ott

(2005-03-15) -- In an effort to squelch controversy over government-produced PR videos which local news stations have used without attributing the source, President George Bush today announced that federal agencies would begin sending additional faux news videos that portray administration policies in a bad light.

"We want to be fair and balanced," said Mr. Bush in a 60-second pre-packaged video as an American flag waved in the background. "So, along with every pro-administration, pro-American video we send to a local affiliate, we'll include an anti-administration, anti-American video of the same length."

Mr. Bush said the new initiative would require no additional taxpayer dollars, "since we're just going to tape the opposition stuff from existing, well-known, publicly-available sources. I'm not going to mention names, but I could give you several sets of initials."
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine Stewart, Former Minister of the Environment of Canada
"No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits.... Climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world."
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Old 03-17-2005, 04:56 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Ahh.. so anything "opposition" or "anti-administration" is "anti-american". Gotta love that. Now if you disagree with the administration you're anti-american and most likely a terrorist.
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Old 03-17-2005, 05:07 PM   #17 (permalink)
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NCB -- You should really A)Provide a link and B) state clearly that it's satire. Though it's fairly obvious, you never know with people.
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Old 03-17-2005, 05:23 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kadath
NCB -- You should really A)Provide a link and B) state clearly that it's satire. Though it's fairly obvious, you never know with people.
But that would take the fun out of reading peoples posts that think it's a geniune article. We need a little humor in here from time to time
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine Stewart, Former Minister of the Environment of Canada
"No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits.... Climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world."
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Old 03-17-2005, 05:45 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I found the Humor......refreshing, and felt the locals here more than bright enough to guage the reality.....even the most Liberal....heh
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Old 03-17-2005, 09:15 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Hey, it sounded exactly like something this administration would say. I woldn't be at all suprised if they came out with that same line tomorrow. I guess i iddnt find the humor because it's too close to the reality.
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Old 03-22-2005, 04:45 PM   #21 (permalink)
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oopps...


Rather Interview Staged
Posted Mar 22, 2005


Could Dan Rather be in trouble again? A new book on Castro tells of a staged Dan Rather interview that was master-minded by a Clinton lawyer.

In Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant, author Humberto Fontova reveals for the first time how Dan Rather's "60 Minutes" interview with Juan Miguel (Elian Gonzalez's father) was stage-managed by former Clinton lawyer and friend, Gregory Craig.

According to a Cuban-American translator from the U.S. Treasury Department: "The questions for Juan Miguel were actually fed to Dan Rather by Gregory Craig. After a taping session, Craig would call Dan over, give him some more instructions and exchange papers with him. Then Dan would come back on the set and ask those."

The book reports that during the interview Craig acted like the movie director and even got a bona fide dramatic actor to translate and mouth the responses of Miguel.

Once again, Rather's "reporting" is nothing but elaborate deception.


http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=6937
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine Stewart, Former Minister of the Environment of Canada
"No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits.... Climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world."
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Old 03-22-2005, 04:51 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flstf
Apparently it didn't work during the election.
That's true for any incumbent. They have the record in that particular office to attack.
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Old 03-22-2005, 04:55 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
When C-SPAN was going to have on a woman who wrote a book about Holocaust deniers, they wanted to provide "balance:" by bringing on a Holocaust denier!
C-SPAN was willing to broadcast the Holocaust denier without the author, but not the other way around.
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