Monday, January 17, 2005

Armstrong Williams And The Bush Administration, A Disgrace

It is a scandal that has slowly been building -- the payment by the Bush Administration of $240,000 to conservative commentator Armstrong Williams to shill for it in relation to the No Child Left Behind program.

As Frank Rich of the New York Times and David Shaw of the Los Angeles Times pointed out in weekend commentaries, this is an outrage of the first order, and we may only be seeing the tip of the iceburg.

Because, if the Administration paid one journalist to do its bidding, to sell its policies, it is hard to believe this was something that occurred only once, and only with Mr. Williams.

No, the suggestion is that this may have happened many times, and what is called for is a broadranging investigation to find out just how widespread this evil is. It is, need I say, far more serious than the questions raised about CBS, Dan Rather and Mary Mapes.

It would be foolish not to recognize that the press has been used in the past by other administrations. There's no question but that news personnel have worked for intelligence agencies, not only American ones, but foreign ones and enemies of the United States.

But the payment to Armstrong Williams is a strong hint that this practice of corrupting journalism is spreading and that this administration might be particularly guilty.

This could be a cesspool, and while I don't normally support an independent prosecutor, one may well be needed here to get to the bottom of it.

Meanwhile, as for Armstrong Williams, he should never be accepted again in journalism. He constitutes a veritable perversion of the First Amendment. It is worse than Jayson Blair, because Blair made up things on his own, and wasn't paid by the Government of the United States to try and put one over on people.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your failure to mention those on the left side of the political aisle on the take goes to demonstrate where your morals and ethics reside.

By the way I am posting this way because I am unable to get Blogger.com to work properly when I sign in.

Signed,

James C. Hess

1/18/2005 4:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Mr. Hess knows of those on the left that have admitted in public to accepting money from the
Federal Government for promoting policies disguised
as news, then NAME THEM. Keep the "morals" insult to
yourself, that is a typical right-wing charge to
discredit a person instead of identifying mis-information.

1/18/2005 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When time allows and assuming this blog entry is still here, I will return with examples from the left.

Aside: At least I sign my posts. Not doing so, not taking responsibility for what one writes goes to suggest one has something to hide, or a lack of morals.

1/19/2005 4:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, James Hess, made this post and the previous one.

1/19/2005 4:51 AM  
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