From Pacific News Service:
"There can be no defense of syndicated columnist Armstrong Williams' disgraceful grab of public money from the Education Department to tout President Bush's No Child Left Behind law while posing as an objective journalist. But focusing on one man's ethics disaster misses the larger and more important story of the Bush administration's pattern of placing propaganda in U.S. news media.
Williams' contract was part of a $1 million Education Dept. deal with public relations giant Ketchum that produced "video news releases" designed to look like news reports. Last year, the Department of Health and Human Services hired Ketchum to produce videos touting the administration's controversial Medicare plans, also disguised as news segments. Many stations aired the spots with no explanation to viewers that they were watching government propaganda. The Government Accounting Office called the use of taxpayer money for the project illegal, but did not require that the money be repaid."
If Congressional Democrats are as outraged as they say they are about William's media machinations, they will demand that Williams repay the money, (he says he won't), that Bush prohibit government agencies from paying journalists for faking news about their programs, and ferret out any other journalists that have shilled for government agencies."