Tuesday, March 15, 2005

CAP on Covert Propaganda

The Center for American Progress has now picked up the issue of Bush's propaganda machine.

Here are the CAP talking points:
  • The Bush administration has spent one quarter of a billion dollars in taxpayer funds to produce phony government PR.
    Since President Bush took office in 2001, the White House has spent at least $254 million on fake "news" segments and other public relations schemes. In a now-infamous segment by the Department of Health and Human Services, a PR official named Karen Ryan posed as a reporter interviewing then-Secretary Tommy Thompson. The Government
    Accountability Office found the agency "designed and executed" her segments "to be indistinguishable from news stores produced by private sector television news organizations," according to the Times.

  • The administration willfully violates government restrictions on "covert propaganda."
    The non-partisan Government Accounting Office, the non-partisan investigative branch of Congress, has forbidden federal agencies from creating prepackaged news reports "that conceal or do not clearly identify for the television viewing audience that the agency was the source of those materials." The administration's response? The NY Times reports that on Friday, "the Justice Department and the Office of Management and Budget circulated a memorandum instructing all executive branch agencies to ignore the GAO findings."

  • Congress or the courts should immediately intervene to stop the Bush administration’s corrupt use of taxpayer funds. The legislative or judicial branches of government should exercise its constitutional duties to immediately force the executive branch to stop deceiving the public. This abuse of executive power is an affront
    to all Americans and violates basic tenets of our democracy. If President Bush won't put his money where his mouth is on "spreading democracy" by adhering to it at home, the other branches of government should step in to give him a reminder.

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