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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2005, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Feds paid pundit to push Bush policy

Democrats demand Bush recover payment
Friday, January 7, 2005 Posted: 4:43 PM EST (2143 GMT)



Commentator Armstrong Williams accepted federal payments to push the No Child Left Behind Act.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration paid a prominent commentator to promote the No Child Left Behind schools law to fellow blacks and to give the education secretary media time, records show.

A company run by Armstrong Williams, the syndicated commentator, was paid $240,000 by the Education Department. The goal was to deliver positive messages about Bush's education overhaul, using Williams' broad reach with minorities.

The deal, which drew a fast rebuke from Democrats on Capitol Hill, is the latest to put the department on the defensive for the way it has promoted Bush's signature domestic policy.

The contract required Williams' company, the Graham Williams Group, to produce radio and TV ads that feature one-minute "reads" by Education Secretary Rod Paige. The deal also allowed Paige and other department officials to appear as studio guests with Williams.

Williams, one of the leading black conservative voices in the country, was also to use his influence with other black journalists to get them to talk about No Child Left Behind.

The law, a centerpiece of President Bush's domestic agenda, aims to raise achievement among poor and minority children, with penalties for many schools that don't make progress.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Friday that the decisions on the practice were made by the Education Department. He did not directly answer when asked whether the White House approved of the practice, saying it was a department matter.

The Education Department defended its decision as a "permissible use of taxpayer funds under legal government contracting procedures." The point was to help parents, particularly in poor and minority communities, understand the benefits of the law, the department said.

Williams called criticism of his relationship with the department "legitimate."

"It's a fine line," he told The Associated Press on Friday. "Even though I'm not a journalist -- I'm a commentator -- I feel I should be held to the media ethics standard. My judgment was not the best. I wouldn't do it again, and I learned from it."

Three Democratic senators -- Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and Harry Reid of Nevada -- wrote Bush Friday to demand he recover the money paid to Armstrong. The lawmakers contended that "the act of bribing journalists to bias their news in favor of government policies undermines the integrity of our democracy."

Rep. George Miller of California, the top Democrat on the House education committee, asked for an inspector general investigation into whether the deal with legal and ethical. He and other Democrats also wrote Bush to call for an end to "covert propaganda."

The department's contract with Williams, through the public relations firm Ketchum, dates to 2003 and 2004. It follows another recent flap about the agency's publicity efforts.

The Bush administration has promoted No Child Left Behind with a video that comes across as a news story but fails to make clear the reporter involved was paid with taxpayer money. It has also has paid for rankings of newspaper coverage of the law, with points awarded for stories that say Bush and the Republican Party are strong on education. The Government Accountability Office, Congress' auditing arm, is investigating those spending decisions.

The GAO has twice ruled that the Bush administration's use of prepackaged videos -- to promote federal drug policy and a new Medicare law -- is "covert propaganda" because the videos do not make clear to the public that the government produced the promotional news.

"There is no defense for using taxpayer dollars to pay journalists for 'fake news' and favorable coverage of a federal program," said Ralph Neas, president of People for the American Way, a liberal group that has tracked the department's spending.

USA Today first reported information about the contract with Williams.


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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2005, 11:40 PM
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i know, today I sent my professor/advisor who deals with NCLB requirements this...outrageous

as an aside educational measurments experts (and i'm around them all) think NCLB a disasterous policy

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 2005, 03:25 AM
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This is sleazy, sick and an abuse of the media and my tax money. I never thought I would see the day when I would agree with Bill O'Reilly and Joe Scarbourough. Both said the Bush administration has a lot of explaining to do. In addtion, Armstrong Williams has some explaining to do about more than this, if you know what I mean.

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 2005, 05:15 AM
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nevermind that Bush & Co. trying to explain this (propaganda is what government does best) what needs to be explained is how in the world the claims in NCLB can (statistically) be met

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 2005, 05:22 AM
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i wish they had giving his number or web info.

fuck the bush admin this fucking monster is stealing money that should go oh i dont know.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 2005, 12:57 AM
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Haha, Armstrong Williams has about as much clout in the Black community as Bush...What a wasted $240,000.00

However, I'm not surprised. Not suprised that Armstrong is a man of small character and not surprised that the "government" would try bribe the media.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 2005, 07:02 PM
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Perspective on William's

Armstrong Williams
Posted by Butler Shaffer at January 8, 2005 12:23 PM

News reports that Armstrong Williams was paid $240,000 by the Bush administration to promote its "No Child Left Behind" program to black families, has sent the media into a moral clucking frenzy. The idea that purveyors of information to the public might become paid advocates of governmental policies is hardly news. Other news stories advise us that some officials of the National Institute of Health received "consulting" fees - sometimes in the hundreds of thousands of dollars - from drug companies; while prominent medical journals have expressed concern that published results of drug research are often the products of studies sponsored by the very companies whose products are being researched. Nor can one discount the practice of other governmental agencies providing research grants to persons and institutions whose "studies" will confirm the need for more state intervention in one field or another.

And what of the government school system? Are their teachers and administrators not paid - albeit by local school boards and not directly by the White House - to help condition young minds to accept the political domination of their lives; to see varied social conditions as "problems" to be managed by the state? In the words of Ivan Illich, "school is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is." How is Armstrong Williams behaving any differently than a typical high school civics class teacher who is peddling the state's agenda to what Edgar Z. Friedenberg called the state's "conscript clientele?"

Nor can the major sectors of the media be overlooked. In the coverage of the Iraq war, television networks and most of the leading newspapers whooped up the Bush administration's war fever with nary a squeak of dissent. What television "news" reports were not buttressed by retired high-ranking military officers - many of whom were, at the time of their appearances, working in the defense contracting industry - who waxed enthusiastic over the war? On what network did you see Gore Vidal, Robert Higgs, Lew Rockwell, Lewis Lapham, Justin Raimondo, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, or other staunch critics of the government's Iraqi war enterprise?

Does the fact that Mr. Williams received his pay directly from the White House - without the benefit of having his payment laundered via corporate or governmental employers - make his offense any more troubling? The institutional order has long had a symbiotic relationship with state power. The major media - who, for decades, have been lackeys of the political establishment - don't want any further exposure of the nature of this relationship, including their role as propagandists for statism. As with any scandal in government, the "damage control" forces take over; Armstrong Williams will be treated as an "aberration," an ethical pariah to be marginalized.

I have no defense whatever to make of Mr. Williams conduct in this matter, but I would like to see a broader inquiry made into how the state manages to condition the thinking of its ovine herd. A little less self-righteous moralizing from Armstrong's colleagues is in order. They are starting to sound too much like the Claude Rains character, police Capt. Louis Renault, in the movie "Casablanca," who, in closing down Rick's establishment, declares: "I am shocked to learn that gambling is going on in here."

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"Power always thinks...that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws." -John Adams

"Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to fit the vision, instead we are always changing the vision." - Orthodoxy, 1908

"Progress is a comparative of which we have not settled the superlative." - Chapter 2, Heretics, 1905
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 2005, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketta
However, I'm not surprised. Not suprised that Armstrong is a man of small character
i supposed Thomas Sowell is of small character as well or any black individual that doesn't toe the liberal victimology philosophy

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"Power always thinks...that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws." -John Adams

"Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to fit the vision, instead we are always changing the vision." - Orthodoxy, 1908

"Progress is a comparative of which we have not settled the superlative." - Chapter 2, Heretics, 1905
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 2005, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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armstrong should be laughed out of the public eye and forced to take a job at Wal-Mart.(my apologies to Walmart workers) Actually, he'll probably make loads of money on the speech circuit--- you know, the one where white Republicans pay black men to suck up to them by telling them how right they are to think all black people (and lower-income people, hispanics, women and gays and anyone who isn't a privileged straight, white, Protestant, well-to-do male) deserve to be stepped on.


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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 2005, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakeway11
i supposed Thomas Sowell is of small character as well or any black individual that doesn't toe the liberal victimology philosophy
No, we are just talking about those black conservatives who are hypocrites, moral or otherwise.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 2005, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakeway11
i supposed Thomas Sowell is of small character as well or any black individual that doesn't toe the liberal victimology philosophy
what does he have to do with Armstrong being of small character? Please find a post where I talked about him? Thanks I know you can't.

Maybe you should just post your opinion instead of trying to put words in people's mouths?
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2005, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizchris
No, we are just talking about those black conservatives who are hypocrites, moral or otherwise.
you mean a black person being a conservative by nature is a hypocrite right?

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"Power always thinks...that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws." -John Adams

"Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to fit the vision, instead we are always changing the vision." - Orthodoxy, 1908

"Progress is a comparative of which we have not settled the superlative." - Chapter 2, Heretics, 1905
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2005, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
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what does he have to do with Armstrong being of small character? Please find a post where I talked about him? Thanks I know you can't.

Maybe you should just post your opinion instead of trying to put words in people's mouths?
good, so you agree that Mr. Sowell is of great character (as is Walter Williams, the great Austrian-style economist)...the issues of NCLB are many and varied by one aspect is the idea of raising expectations for all, which is one of the noble things about NCLB; however, the policy precriptions associated with such have not been dealt with well...one thing I learned by studying achievement gaps is that the liberal (Progressive) ideas of 'tracking' students have increased the gaps among racial & SES lines, while 'conservative' old fashioned approaches like used at Catholic schools that teach ALL stduents very similar curriculum and believe that ALL student are capable of learning such, have lessen the gaps in achievement...testing, standards and the like are important tools to utilize if achievement gaps are to be reduced--if done withing a framework of good overall policy. Armstrong may have believed (like many, many others) that the NCLB legislation is good policy to achieve these results...and while taking money from the Feds is unethical (and probably illegal), there remains the larger picture (as a previous post notes) that Armstrong is by no means alone in this behaivor and there seems to a conspiracy of making a scapegoat of a mainsteam conservative (who leaked this and why?)

Mao Asada & Yu-Na Kim figure skating

"Power always thinks...that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws." -John Adams

"Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to fit the vision, instead we are always changing the vision." - Orthodoxy, 1908

"Progress is a comparative of which we have not settled the superlative." - Chapter 2, Heretics, 1905
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2005, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Steve Gilliard's News Blog
Friday, January 07, 2005

Massa, I sure do likes No Child Left Behind
Massa say, I do. Where are those shoes he needed shined
White House paid commentator to promote law


Williams' contract was part of a $1 million deal with Ketchum that produced "video news releases" designed to look like news reports. The Bush administration used similar releases last year to promote its Medicare prescription drug plan, prompting a scolding from the Government Accountability Office, which called them an illegal use of taxpayers' dollars.
Of course it's totally unethical and illegal, but hey, he's already sold his soul to massa, why not sell it some more. Massa George wanted him to do somethin' so he did it. And got paid well for it.
On top of Clarence Thomas begging his white patrons for money, this ought to expose the character of the negro conservative. They have no soul and no morals. They can be bought by their white overlords because they aspire to their status, but think themselves unworthy to be treated as the same. Now, I'll freely admit both Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have used their position to gain personally. But this kind of craven greed is a feature of the negro conservative. He shuffles and bucks along for his master, losing his soul and dignity in the process.
He has no ethics to begin with, the show horse for a bunch of people who think he's lesser than them. So why wouldn't he use his position to enrich himself and hide his illegal arrangement with his white masters. He's already sold his dignity and self-respect. Why not sell his reputation as well. Williams is already an embarassment to black people. This just furthers the shame he brings.
Update Williams's white friends are already looking to abandon his silly negro ass. Kos has the following:

Jonah Goldberg: "I think Armstrong Williams should give the money back. I think he should probably be ashamed of himself for taking it. I think the White House really screwed up ... all I can say is that if Bill Clinton had gotten caught giving Joe Conason a quarter of a million dollars to be flogging their policies, guys like me would have smoke coming out of our ears, and The Right would go crazy." [CNN, IP, 1/7/05]
Brother, them white folks is gonna jump up on your ass like you were a trampoline. You'll be lucky to avoid jail. The conservative lynching is already starting.
It's like that line from Trading Places: "Of course I would never let a ****** run our company" Well, of course, if Williams is a crook, they would never defend his lying ****** ass.
Josh Marshall asked who else is taking payments from the White House.
I think a certain scare mongering author needs to answer some questions. It's getting stormy in here, with all these questions.

posted by Steve @ 1:54:11 PM


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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 2005, 08:56 PM
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boy you can't get people to agree with you often huh? You have to put words in peoples mouths to get them to agree with you.

No I'm saying no such thing....what I did say was my comment on Armstrong's character doesn't reflect on anyone else good or bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lakeway11
good, so you agree that Mr. Sowell is of great character (as is Walter Williams, the great Austrian-style economist)...the issues of NCLB are many and varied by one aspect is the idea of raising expectations for all, which is one of the noble things about NCLB; however, the policy precriptions associated with such have not been dealt with well...one thing I learned by studying achievement gaps is that the liberal (Progressive) ideas of 'tracking' students have increased the gaps among racial & SES lines, while 'conservative' old fashioned approaches like used at Catholic schools that teach ALL stduents very similar curriculum and believe that ALL student are capable of learning such, have lessen the gaps in achievement...testing, standards and the like are important tools to utilize if achievement gaps are to be reduced--if done withing a framework of good overall policy. Armstrong may have believed (like many, many others) that the NCLB legislation is good policy to achieve these results...and while taking money from the Feds is unethical (and probably illegal), there remains the larger picture (as a previous post notes) that Armstrong is by no means alone in this behaivor and there seems to a conspiracy of making a scapegoat of a mainsteam conservative (who leaked this and why?)
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