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January 07, 2005

Comments

martin

TM-have you accepted money from the Bush administration to support social security reform?

Mary Ann Halford-Meaney

Is this who I think you are? Blogs are all the sensation . . . blog...nation.

Go baby!

Patrick R. Sullivan

There's money to be made promoting Social Security reform?

Hey, did anyone get money to say Bush wasn't AWOL?

Jor

I'm waiting for the "it was neccessary to combat the MSM" line of reasoning to develop. Unfortunately, TheCornet let me down this time. The real question is, does Bush live in the same self-inflicted good-news only cocoon on social security reform as he does on Iraq. It wouldn't surprise me -- anymore.

TM

Martin - If someone would pay me to do this, you would hear my chortling across this great nation. Or, in a word, are you kidding?

Mary Ann - yes. Shocking, huh?

TM

Ahh, Martin, you are too fast for the house. Scanning the headlines, I see this:

Education Dept. paid commentator to promote law

By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY

Seeking to build support among black families for its education reform law, the Bush administration paid a prominent black pundit $240,000 to promote the law on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other black journalists to do the same.

Fine, mock my poverty...

V the K

Ah, the lefties are in their usual fine form today. They lack the intellectual candlepower to debate the substance of an issue, so they begin squawking and parroting the latest media attacks on Bush.

"it raises the question of whether they will have enough to live on by unfairly burdening their children.

Since when do baby boomers give a crap about unfairly burdening other people?

Patrick R. Sullivan

If I understand Armstrong Williams position correctly, he's a partner in a public relations firm. Meaning it's his business to take money from clients and promote their message. That he can promote ideas he happens to believe in, would seem a plus.

As for government agencies paying to promote their initiatives, well it's done all the time. I suspect if we were to tighten up the ethical guidelines, liberals wouldn't like the results.

TM

One press account did make it a bit more clear that it was Williams's firm that was hired to get the message out. This is still troubling (and why does a columnist work for a PR firm?), but then, I was troubled when Paul Begala kept his seat on Crossfire while doing pro bono work for the Kerry campaign.

That said, based on what I know now I am not inclined to defend Williams - he can do his own PR work on this one.

Cecil Turner

"That said, based on what I know now I am not inclined to defend Williams - he can do his own PR work on this one."

Me neither, but also can't see the big deal on this. Reading the stuff over at BuzzMachine, it sounds like a lot of people have a very inflated view of the importance of opinion pieces. Yeah, I'm sure his stuff was influenced by the payoff--but it's opinion--it could just as easily be influenced by gas. Compared to Krugman writing about Enron, this is peanuts--and neither is in the same league as making up hard news (forged documents, anyone?). Williams shot his credibility in the foot a bit, but that's about it. I'm a lot more interested in the propriety of using the taxpayers' money to pay for it (assuming that happened).

Patrick R. Sullivan

Williams isn't hiding his role as CEO of a PR firm, for instance:

http://www.kepplerassociates.com/speakers/williamsarmstrong.asp?1

"...he is the CEO of the Graham Williams Group and international public relations firm based in Washington, D.C., with clients in entertainment, politics, business, and charitable organizations."

V the K

Incidentally, the $240K Williams got was just a drop in the bucket compared to the billions of taxpayer dollars that go to NPR and PBS to bash Bush and advocate for left-wing causes.

Aaron

Perhaps he routes all his business through the PR firm so he can deduct tons of his expenses from taxes.

Don't writers also do this?

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