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Thursday, Feb. 24, 2005 10:09 am

common sense 2-24-05


Well, it’s finally come to this: The Bush administration has now been caught in so many covert campaigns to propagandize the public, using tax dollars for the brainwashing, that Congress has to pass a law to stop them.

The revelations just keep coming. There are the fake “video news releases” from various government agencies to hype everything from Bush’s Medicare prescription boondoggle to his failed drug program. These are fabricated “news reports,” using actors posing as reporters, on stories that praise Bush and his policies. These propaganda pieces are aired as legitimate news on hundreds of stations — with no mention that the government produced and paid for them.

Then there’s Payolagate. To advance some Bush administration social schemes, various agencies have stooped to government-funded journalism, literally paying right-wing columnists and commentators to do glowing pieces about Bush’s policies. Armstrong Williams was paid to wax joyous about the No Child Left Behind law, Maggie Gallagher received a government grant to hustle the “Healthy Marriage” initiative, and Michael McManus was on the government payroll while writing golden reviews of the marriage program in his column, which, ironically, is titled “Ethics & Religion.”

Not one of these right-wing pontificators disclosed that they were paid participants in the Bush propaganda mill.

Don’t even get me started about the Bush administration’s shameless war propaganda or its fear-mongering about the financial condition of Social Security.

As one U.S. Senate aide put it, “It’s not enough to say, ‘Please don’t do it anymore.’” We must pass the Federal Propaganda Prohibition Act. To help, call the committee on government reform: 202-225-5074.

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