A third supposedly unbiased columnist has been found to be on the White House payroll. Michael McManus has a syndicated column that covers "Ethics &
Religion" and appears in over 50 newspapers .
McManus was paid $10, 000.00 of US Taxpaper money to promote a White Hous Marriage initiative.
And three makes a trend.
One day after President Bush ordered his Cabinet secretaries to stop hiring commentators to help promote administration initiatives, and one day after
the second high-profile conservative pundit was found to be on the federal payroll, a third embarrassing hire has emerged. Salon has confirmed that
Michael McManus, a marriage advocate whose syndicated column, "Ethics & Religion," appears in 50 newspapers, was hired as a subcontractor by the
Department of Health and Human Services to foster a Bush-approved marriage initiative. McManus championed the plan in his columns without disclosing
to readers he was being paid to help it succeed.
This comes on the heels of Wednesday's report in the Washington Post that HHS had paid syndicated columnist and marriage advocate Maggie Gallagher
$21,000 to write brochures and essays and to brief government employees on the president's marriage initiative. Gallagher later wrote in her column
that she would have revealed the $21,000 payment to readers had she recalled receiving it.
The Gallagher revelation came just three weeks after USA Today reported that the Education Department, through a contract with the Ketchum public
relations firm, paid $240,000 to Armstrong Williams, a conservative African-American print, radio and television pundit, to help promote Bush's No
Child Left Behind program to minority audiences.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
The term "Fourth Estate" refers to the press, both in its explicit capacity of advocacy and in its implicit ability to frame political issues. The
term goes back at least to Thomas Carlyle. The standing definition, however, alway took as a given that it was impartial and seperate from what it
reported upon; and when it was not, the declaration was to be made up front so that the work could rightfully be viewed as "opinion".
Political models that look to "herd" their citizenry, however, employ propaganda, where the message is always unified and always in favor of the
governments initiative. We debated on this site the aspect of propaganda, with many who support the Bush "leadership" taking offense with this
government being mentioned in the same breath as the Nazi regime. Can that be in any dispute now on the issue of propaganda?
To date, the Bush administration has paid public relation firms $250 million
to help push proposals, according to a report Thursday in USA
Today. That's double what the Clinton administration spent on P.R. from 1997 to 2000.
A couple observations:
- Bad policy needs active & deceptive selling, else, it's wide open for scrutiny.
- Given these "Pundits" conservative positions, wouldn't they push the initiatives for free anyway? I guess see the first observation.
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[edit on 28-1-2005 by Bout Time]