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Paying for the Spin: How Bush Spent $1.6 billion on public relations and media spending.

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posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 12:06 AM
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GAO: High Media Spending Under Bush

A Government Accountability Office study released Monday, titled "Media Contracts: Activities and Financial Obligations For Seven Federal Departments," shows that the Bush administration has spent more than $1.6 billion on public relations and media spending during the last 2½ years...



:shk:

Is anyone else REALLY uncomfortable with that?




posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 01:21 AM
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Oh absolutely I have a problem with that!

Absolutely!.. That is soo freaking outrageous! How can we let our leaders get away with spending sums of money of that magnitude?

It's hardly a pittance compared to the war on terror, and I believe it should be much, much higher, preferably comparable to the war on terror itself.


Will this insanity end?



posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 02:02 AM
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And, in reading the article, where was most of that money spent?

First off, Loam, the way you state that, it appears the Bush Administration waged a 1.6 billion dollar PR campaign for the Bush Administration. If you read the article, you learn otherwise.

$1.1 billion was spent by the Armed Forces. They only detail Air Force spending, but it appears as though this was spent on recruitment ads. Who'd have thunk, during a war, that the military might spend money to recruit more soldiers. How...odd?

The article itself shows an incredible bias. It states that the Air Force spent

$179 million "in support of Air Force recruiting programs" — and another in the amount of $288 to "embroider logo on bowling bags."


$288 million on bowling bags?!?!?! WHAT?! Oh, wait, I reread it and it turns out it was $288. I reread that bullet point twice when I first read it because the figure floored me. How do you spend a quarter billion on bowling bags?

What else? Well, .000009% of that, which the article figured was an important figure, was spent interviewing female physicians. Not sure why they had to be female, but whatever. Do you think .000009% would warrant scrutiny of the National Institute of Health? Do you suspect Bush personally audits them?

Finally, .00016748% was spent promoting the state quarter program. That leaves almost 32% unaccounted for by the article. I wonder what that was for? They only highlighted points they thought to be worthless, such as the state quarter program and reinforcing our military.

This article had a target audience they intended to freak out, and they found it. Congrats, Loam, you took the bait. How does it feel to be a fish on a propaganda line?



posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 09:45 AM
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Originally posted by junglejake
And, in reading the article, where was most of that money spent?

First off, Loam, the way you state that, it appears the Bush Administration waged a 1.6 billion dollar PR campaign for the Bush Administration. If you read the article, you learn otherwise.

$1.1 billion was spent by the Armed Forces. They only detail Air Force spending, but it appears as though this was spent on recruitment ads. Who'd have thunk, during a war, that the military might spend money to recruit more soldiers. How...odd?


Really? Did you bother to read the actual GAO report? I did. You can find the pdf here:

Media Contracts: Activities and Financial Obligations for Seven Federal Departm

You will notice, that only Commerce, Defense, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs were reviewed, so the number related to other federal agencies is likely to push the numbers even higher.


Originally posted by junglejake
The article itself shows an incredible bias. It states that the Air Force spent

$179 million "in support of Air Force recruiting programs" — and another in the amount of $288 to "embroider logo on bowling bags."


$288 million on bowling bags?!?!?! WHAT?! Oh, wait, I reread it and it turns out it was $288. I reread that bullet point twice when I first read it because the figure floored me. How do you spend a quarter billion on bowling bags?


So because you "misread" the number, you claim "incredible bias"? :shk:

Looking at the actual contracts, there was a lot more ridiculous spending than $288 to "embroider a logo on bowling bags."

I suggest you review pages 31-51 to take a look at just the Airforce spending on bowling or golf....the other branches are the same.

Here are a few choice examples:




- Provide golf towel with embroidered design and golf tees with imprint as promotional items for Link Up 2 Golf, Junior Golf Program. $ 15,645

- Provide cotton twill caps with embroidered logo, T-shirts with imprint, and write-in tags with imprint, as promotional items for Link Up 2 Golf, Junior Golf Program. $15, 135

- Provide prize giveaways, such as cruises to Mediterranean and to Canada/New England for a program promotion. $10,212

- For a club membership promotional campaign, provide printing and production for posters, counter displays, banners, table tents, counter pads, and newspaper ads. $10,197

- For the NASCAR Bowling Program, provide Coca-Cola logoed items, including: portable radios, victory T-shirts, hats, coolers, and Fast Lanes game pieces and NASCAR playing cards. $10,152

- Provide golf towel with embroidered design for Link Up 2 Golf Junior Golf Program. $4,065

- Produce promotional items for bowling programs to grow new bowlers. Hook Up 2 Bowling promotion. $2,605

- Provide cotton T-shirts and microfiber body bags with clubs’ logo imprinted for Football Frenzy promotion. $2,331

- Design and produce four new promotional products for the Hook UP 2 Bowling campaign and develop printed pieces to coordinate and grow from logo. $2,004



The list goes on and on....


I suggest you recalculate the relevancy of some of your numbers...


Originally posted by junglejake
This article had a target audience they intended to freak out, and they found it. Congrats, Loam, you took the bait.


If by target audience you mean that part of citizenry that actually objects to fraud, waste or abuse, then I would agree with you. Despite you, as an example, there are still many who are not blinded by an almost religious devotion to an incompetent (or worse) administration.



Originally posted by junglejake
How does it feel to be a fish on a propaganda line?


I notice the "pot" spends an awful lot of time calling the "kettle" black... The only problem is that fewer and fewer people believe you...


Shall we review some recent examples?






Selling the Bush Administration's "No Child Left Behind" policy

In January 2005, USA Today reported that documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that Williams had been paid $240,000 to promote the controversial No Child Left Behind Act ("NCLB") of the Bush administration. According to USA Today, Williams was hired to "to promote the law on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other black journalists to do the same." [2]

As part of the agreement, Williams was required "to regularly comment on NCLB during the course of his broadcasts," and to interview Education Secretary Rod Paige for TV and radio spots that aired during the show in 2004." [3]

The contract with Williams was part of a $1 million contract between the U.S. Department of Education and the public relations company, Ketchum.



And,




GAO calls Medicare video news releases illegal propaganda

The investigative arm of Congress has found that parts of a Bush administration video explaining changes to Medicare violate the government ban on publicity and propaganda.



And,




White House anti-drug videos violate propaganda ban, GAO says

Videotape footage of people using drugs and interviews with federal officials discouraging their use that was produced by the White House drug control policy office, violate a legal ban on official propaganda because they were presented to the public without any indication they were produced by the government, according to a decision released Thursday by the Government Accountability Office.



And,




U.S. Military Covertly Pays to Run Stories in Iraqi Press

As part of an information offensive in Iraq, the U.S. military is secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to publish stories written by American troops in an effort to burnish the image of the U.S. mission in Iraq.

The articles, written by U.S. military "information operations" troops, are translated into Arabic and placed in Baghdad newspapers with the help of a defense contractor, according to U.S. military officials and documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times...

Though the articles are basically factual, they present only one side of events and omit information that might reflect poorly on the U.S. or Iraqi governments, officials said. Records and interviews indicate that the U.S. has paid Iraqi newspapers to run dozens of such articles, with headlines such as "Iraqis Insist on Living Despite Terrorism," since the effort began this year.

The operation is designed to mask any connection with the U.S. military. The Pentagon has a contract with a small Washington-based firm called Lincoln Group, which helps translate and place the stories. The Lincoln Group's Iraqi staff, or its subcontractors, sometimes pose as freelance reporters or advertising executives when they deliver the stories to Baghdad media outlets.



Fish indeed...
I suggest you come up for some air... A lack of oxygen tends to affect judgment...



[edit on 14-2-2006 by loam]



posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 10:04 AM
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Nice...

How long till everyone comes in here crying about us "Bush-bashers?"

"You have voted loam for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have used all of your votes for this month."

I dont need to say more...your posts show what should disgust everyone.

The day our prez needs to spend that kind of money on a PR campaign is the day he has done irrepairable damage to his office. Time to go...



posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 10:29 AM
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loam your research always surprises me in it's thoroughness

Next come the comments, "Well all the administrations do the same thing"

To me it's a matter of degrees and blatant self promotion.

I would prefer my tax dollars to be spent on helping someone or something regardless of who's in the WH.

way above !!



posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 11:00 AM
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It's time for a new age of politicians who let their actions speak for themselves and don't need to spin things to make themselves look good.

While $1.6 Billion is a drop in the bucket in the grand scope of things - the national debt increases by $2 Billion every day - it's still a waste that should be spent on more important things or not used period.



posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 12:02 PM
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I recently read an article in Rolling Stones about the guy and company that was paid by the Bush Admin (and previous admins), who's sole purpose was to "create a propoganda for war in Iraq". It was his companies job to dig up people willing to say xyz about Iraq- including the whole WMD debacle... Very "behind the door" type stuff. These men in power really do come off as untouchable. The AMOUT of $$$ and power these guys wield, when you read it- its staggering!!

I dont have the article in front of me but if anyone else has read it- please chime in. I will post the guy and companies name when i get home tonight.

Anyhow, after I read the article I was stunned! Shocked! Why? Because it is such a HUGE story that most of america is unaware of. Case in point- even this article took a back seat to the Kanye West article. If what was researched and written is true- HOW COULD THE REST of the media just ignore it!

Peace


[edit on 14-2-2006 by Serum39]

[edit on 14-2-2006 by Serum39]



posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 12:07 PM
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The executive branch can not spend anymore than is appropriated by CONGRESS. Blame those usless bags of wind for spending OUR money.



posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 12:53 PM
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Therm,

While that is how it appears on paper, the "Bush" people speak of is usually synonymous with his entire administration, as well as the right wing of the congress that has seized control. Our checks and balances are gone and the Republican party is to blame. Bush, being the leader of this circus, is going to take the blame here.



posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 01:07 PM
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As no GAO report of this nature has been done in the past, it is impossible to compare and contrast the Bush administration's media contract spending with that of other administrations.


So, there is no way to effectively look at this from a historical perspective. How convienent. This is also the spending over the course of 2 and a half years. I am not stating that there is not alot of pork out there, but how did Bush spend the money. This spending was approved by congress, right? Write your congressman.



posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 02:37 PM
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Originally posted by esdad71



As no GAO report of this nature has been done in the past, it is impossible to compare and contrast the Bush administration's media contract spending with that of other administrations.



Mind telling us where you got that quote?


Originally posted by esdad71
So, there is no way to effectively look at this from a historical perspective. How convienent.


As predicted by whaaa....
So you would be fine with it as long as you could show Clinton was just as bad?



Originally posted by esdad71
This is also the spending over the course of 2 and a half years.


That makes it better?


Originally posted by esdad71
I am not stating that there is not alot of pork out there, but how did Bush spend the money. This spending was approved by congress, right? Write your congressman.


WRONG. Congress appropriates, the executive spends...

Moreover, the executive can choose NOT to spend, to some degree, notwithstanding appropriations granted by Congress.

Let see when BUSH chooses not to spend:




President Bush has failed to address the rapidly growing demand for veterans' services.

The Administration, in fact, refused to spend $275 million provided for VA health care in the 2002 supplemental appropriations bill and, during consideration of the 2004 supplemental appropriations bill, wrote to Congress that "the Administration strongly opposes these provisions that would allocate an additional $1.3 billion for VA medical care."



And,

Bush Administration, Congressional Republicans Mismanage Hurricane Recovery



You can blame Congress too... I do.
...but letting the Bush administration off the hook in terms of how they spend is simply absurd beyond all belief.

Does your government expertise also allege that Congress earmarks the "specific" purpose for all government spending???




[edit on 14-2-2006 by loam]



posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 03:11 PM
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What do you expect Loam the War on Terrorrrrrrrr is a very expensive endeavor and the Bush image have to be marketed for good reviews.

Have to make sure that bush policies are Package and Distributed in a very friendly and fancy way for the American trusting populace to fall for it.


Remember Bush was born with a silver spoon so he have not clue how the other half of the population struggle with everyday pennies on the dollar.


What a shame, but is OK he is man and nobody cares that his new propose budget is killing the health care for the elderly.

While he has plenty of money to burn in trivialities



posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 08:23 PM
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I guess he needs some good, top-of-the-line catapults with which to launch that propaganda, huh?


My husband and I don't buy it. That propaganda bounces right off us.



posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 08:37 PM
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Originally posted by Serum39
I recently read an article in Rolling Stones about the guy and company that was paid by the Bush Admin (and previous admins), who's sole purpose was to "create a propoganda for war in Iraq".


I'd be very interested in reading that, ill have a search for it. In the meantime, here's a guy who's job it was to sell the first gulf war at its conclusion.




PRWatch.org

"I am not a National Security strategist or a military tactician," says John W. Rendon, Jr., whose DC-based PR firm was recently hired by the Pentagon to win over the hearts and minds of Arabs and Muslims worldwide.

"I am a politician," Rendon said in a 1998 speech to the National Security Conference (NSC), "and a person who uses communication to meet public policy or corporate policy objectives. In fact, I am an information warrior, and a perception manager....

The Rendon Group's work in Kuwait continued after the war itself had ended. "If any of you either participated in the liberation of Kuwait City ... or if you watched it on television, you would have seen hundreds of Kuwaitis waving small American flags," John Rendon said in his speech to the NSC. "Did you ever stop to wonder how the people of Kuwait City, after being held hostage for seven long and painful months, were able to get hand-held American flags? And for that matter, the flags of other coalition countries? Well, you now know the answer. That was one of my jobs."


So while $1.6 billion is alot, it dosen't really surprise me. I remember reading a big bit in this great book titled, "Weapons of Mass Deception" (which I highlgy recommend, much of the above link is from that book as people who head PRWatch together wrote the book) aboout the woman that the Whitehouse hired to be a PR Manager basically, she started the "Mosques in America" campaign, and quite a few others.... she was an abysmal failure mind you..



posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 12:21 AM
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Eric Clapton came to mind reading a response. First off, no, I did not read the report. Nor did I ever state that I did, I made my comments based off of the article you linked to. However, if you're going to accuse me, take a look at yourself.


Originally posted by loam
Despite you, as an example, there are still many who are not blinded by an almost religious devotion to an incompetent (or worse) administration.



The rampant spending of the Bush administration bugs me quite a bit, as does some other things they've done, especially their stance on illegal immigration. I have also stated this. Though I don't recall you being involved in any threads where I have stated this distaste with some Bush policies, it leads me to believe you did not do any research before making your judgment of me.

My primary argument was that the article you posted was incredibly biased. Do you really think that it was just coincidence that, reading that $288 paragraph, I misunderstood what they were saying? Let's look at the paragraph.


With $1.1 billion, the Defense Department had the largest budget for ad contracts. The Air Force provided the most detailed list of its spending, which included one contract for $179 million "in support of Air Force recruiting programs" — and another in the amount of $288 to "embroider logo on bowling bags."


The paragraph is talking about 1.1 billion dollars. The article then goes to break this figure down by giving two figures. One that is $179 million, and the other that is $288! I see intention in that. I see intention to deceive. Everywhere else, it's talking hundreds of thousands of dollars, millions of dollars, or billions of dollars. Then they talk about a few hundred right after referencing a million not with 000,000, but with a word after the number. If you still don't see intentional bias and an intent to deceive, look into marketing. You seem to enjoy doing research; research marketing techniques and let me know if you don't discover that that is a common tactic reversed.

esdad71 tried to, as whaaa predicted, compare this figure to the Clinton administration's figure, but couldn't because no such figure has been calculated.



As predicted by whaaa....
So you would be fine with it as long as you could show Clinton was just as bad?


The reason whaaa was able to predict that would come up is because it's relevant. How does this spending compare with previous administrations? Is this normal, high, or low? We don't know because no other figures are available. It was already known that this would be a high figure when the investigation into the spending began. Let's explore why.

You're calling out promotional items a bit. You went after junior golf programs, bowling programs, etc. and the promotional things they have had created. I'm sure the Air Force, Navy, Army and Marines are just as guilty. The question is, why? Why would they spend thousands of dollars to put a logo on some gear?

Let's shift gears for a second here and see if we can't uncover this dark plot elsewhere, away from our wasteful government.

Why do corporations pay millions of dollars for product placement in movies? Why did Nike spend millions of dollars on graphic designers to develop a swoop, and why do they put it on everything? Why do colleges spend money on bumper stickers, window decals and sweatshirts?

There is a reason they're called "promotional" items. They promote the good or service being provided. Yeah, so there's some governmental social programs that I don't like us spending money on as a nation. However, if we're already spending the money on the programs, I'd like people to at least know about them so the money isn't completely wasted. Did you know there was a junior golfer government program? I sure didn't, but I bet I would have if the government had spent about $1 million on advertising it in major cities. If I had kids, I might even consider sending them into the program. I may not, but by knowing about it, I would have the option.

The big spender appeared to be our military. Who would think that our military would promote itself. I don't know about you, but I was seeing "Marines" decals on people's cars before 9-11. In war time, you have to promote joining the military more in an all volunteer army because the risk is far greater. When you have an American media highlighting only the bad news coming from that war, and none of the good news, you have to promote the benefits of a military career or term of service even more. How many millions in air time do you think all the news agencies spent covering some woman who lost her son in battle versus the amount of money in air time spent on covering other families who had a slightly different reaction than Cindy when they lost a son, daughter or spouse? How much advertising money do you think Coke would spend if Pepsi didn't exist compared to how much they do now?

There is a lot of money this administration is throwing out there that I don't think they should be. They're spending way too much cash, making government bigger, as opposed to what conservatives typically want. In this case, however, it appears to be a witch hunt. How dare the military spend money to put out a different image than the media has been putting forward!


And then tying this spending to Bush as the main instigator...Come on, there's plenty else you can go after him for that's legitimate. However, the headlines look good for those with a political aim. Take, for instance, the subject of this thread. Paying for the spin: How Bush Spent $1.6 billion on public relations and media spending. Let's face it, most people only read headlines, and many here only read subjects before drawing conclusions. If you don't believe that, I could direct you to a rather large thread (about 1,900 replies) where, generally, when people first jumped into it, they commented on the title without ever having read the initial post.

This was done for spin, and the media is very willing to promote that spin. Other individuals are, as well. Something to think about. Maybe even researched.



posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 08:31 AM
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Originally posted by junglejake
However, if you're going to accuse me...


You know, I'm actually sorry for that. Sometimes the teeth are sharper than they need be....


Originally posted by junglejake
The rampant spending of the Bush administration bugs me quite a bit, as does some other things they've done, especially their stance on illegal immigration.


Ditto.


Originally posted by junglejake
I have also stated this. Though I don't recall you being involved in any threads where I have stated this distaste with some Bush policies, it leads me to believe you did not do any research before making your judgment of me.


Well, now, hold on here.... It's not really my job to do some research on you is it? Moreover, we have appeared in many a thread together where you have painted me as some extreme leftist, which couldn't be further from the truth....



Originally posted by junglejake
My primary argument was that the article you posted was incredibly biased.


Well, at the time, the article I posted was literally the first I found on the subject. Moreover, I don't agree that it was "incredibly" biased... Frankly, I think media "bias" is too often confused with media "sensationalism"... As a whole, they only want to tell the story that will "excite" people... it's about the money....not the politics... After all, they're just a business....not a public service as so many often pontificate about.

Finally, on the topic of this thread, regardless how you read the story, the "bias" happens to be largely correct IMHO.


Originally posted by junglejake
The reason whaaa was able to predict that would come up is because it's relevant. How does this spending compare with previous administrations? Is this normal, high, or low? We don't know because no other figures are available.


I would agree with you if we only had raw numbers to compare....but in this instance we have more than that.....We have the actual reason for spending...

Let's assume prior administration's were worse... That would not change my opinion about this one now.


Originally posted by junglejake
It was already known that this would be a high figure when the investigation into the spending began. Let's explore why.


Where there is smoke, it is a reasonable assumption there is fire... This administration has been at the root of plenty of smoke during its term... The fact that someone might call for an investigation of that smoke does not surprise me...


Originally posted by junglejake
You're calling out promotional items a bit. You went after junior golf programs, bowling programs, etc. and the promotional things they have had created. I'm sure the Air Force, Navy, Army and Marines are just as guilty. The question is, why? Why would they spend thousands of dollars to put a logo on some gear?


Sorry, but I think the excuse you attempt to craft for this spending is way to attenuated from the "recruitment" purpose you suggest... Even a brief look through the items make clear that there is more of a country club opinion held by the spenders, than an earnest effort to recruit new people to the Armed Forces...


Originally posted by junglejake
Why do corporations pay millions of dollars for product placement in movies? Why did Nike spend millions of dollars on graphic designers to develop a swoop, and why do they put it on everything? Why do colleges spend money on bumper stickers, window decals and sweatshirts?


In a competitive environment, they do it to gain market share. Government is not a business. I think to draw the comparison is incorrect.


Originally posted by junglejake
There is a reason they're called "promotional" items. They promote the good or service being provided. Yeah, so there's some governmental social programs that I don't like us spending money on as a nation. However, if we're already spending the money on the programs, I'd like people to at least know about them so the money isn't completely wasted. Did you know there was a junior golfer government program? I sure didn't, but I bet I would have if the government had spent about $1 million on advertising it in major cities. If I had kids, I might even consider sending them into the program. I may not, but by knowing about it, I would have the option.


If you are active duty with dependents, then yes, you could send them. But I doubt you wouldn't know about it, simply because you didn't see one of their promotional towels...

I simply don't agree.


Originally posted by junglejake
The big spender appeared to be our military. Who would think that our military would promote itself. I don't know about you, but I was seeing "Marines" decals on people's cars before 9-11. In war time, you have to promote joining the military more in an all volunteer army because the risk is far greater. When you have an American media highlighting only the bad news coming from that war, and none of the good news, you have to promote the benefits of a military career or term of service even more. How many millions in air time do you think all the news agencies spent covering some woman who lost her son in battle versus the amount of money in air time spent on covering other families who had a slightly different reaction than Cindy when they lost a son, daughter or spouse? How much advertising money do you think Coke would spend if Pepsi didn't exist compared to how much they do now?


Again, I don't agree. The items in the sturdy have little to do with recruitment. Moreover, government is not a business, nor should it "sell" its policies... That is what the political process is for...


Originally posted by junglejake
There is a lot of money this administration is throwing out there that I don't think they should be. They're spending way too much cash, making government bigger, as opposed to what conservatives typically want.


Agreed....which is why this thread exists.


Originally posted by junglejake
In this case, however, it appears to be a witch hunt. How dare the military spend money to put out a different image than the media has been putting forward!



I have already addressed this point above.


Originally posted by junglejake
And then tying this spending to Bush as the main instigator...Come on, there's plenty else you can go after him for that's legitimate. However, the headlines look good for those with a political aim. Take, for instance, the subject of this thread. Paying for the spin: How Bush Spent $1.6 billion on public relations and media spending. Let's face it, most people only read headlines, and many here only read subjects before drawing conclusions. If you don't believe that, I could direct you to a rather large thread (about 1,900 replies) where, generally, when people first jumped into it, they commented on the title without ever having read the initial post.

This was done for spin, and the media is very willing to promote that spin. Other individuals are, as well. Something to think about. Maybe even researched.


Sometimes, the spin happens to be correct...
Moreover, I think people are smart enough to make their own judgments.



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