22
Mrz
2005

Spinning Media for Government

by Chris Raphael, Special to CorpWatch

February 10th, 2005

A television pundit gets secret payments to promote a new United States government education policy. Columnists are paid to provide support for a White House marriage stance. Actresses play news reporters to promote drug laws. A system of ranking reporters who criticize official policy. These, and possibly many other public relations stunts, are some examples of publicity contracts paid for by the U.S. government, which has spent more than a quarter billion dollars on public relations in the past four years.

For example Armstrong Williams, a conservative African-American broadcaster, was paid $240,000 to produce advertisements on the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and plug the law in his syndicated television broadcasts. (see Leaving Children Behind)

The deal was brokered by Ketchum public relations, a subsidiary of media giant Omnicom, and approved by the U.S. Department of Education (DoE). In addition to the Williams contract, Ketchum was also paid $700,000 to rate media coverage of NCLB and produce video news releases on the law.

//www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=11836


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