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Armstrong Williams Payoff

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Aenimal
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0 posted 01-09-2005 08:30 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-01-06-williams-whitehouse_x.htm

What's the most disturbing part of this story?

Is it that Armstrong accepted the payoff, that would seem the case, as most of the media uproar has dealt with the ethical dilema of a trusted broadcaster being bribed?

Shouldn't it be that the administration used $240.000 of taxpayers money to pay him? Money that should have been used to aid the sytem rather than 'sell' the sytem?

Or is it with the article's revelation that the Ketchum PR firm was contracted to produce "video news releases" designed to look like news reports. More importantly that it's not the first time the administration has used this method or propaganda. Where's the uproar?

Still believe anything you watch on TV or the myth of the Liberal media?
Midnitesun
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1 posted 01-09-2005 09:16 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

I have a hard time finding anything that encourages learning to be unethical, and yet? I don't like the idea that one side is presented as positive, while so many others who day-and-night support education, go unrewarded.
Anyway, I can't get really upset over this, as there are so many other 'battles' I am more in favor of fighting at this time.
Hugs to you, dear friend. You are a truth seeker.
Alicat
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2 posted 01-09-2005 09:25 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

What strikes me as incredible is that actions of the Department of Education get passed over to the President's Administration whenever anything goes wrong.  Williams really screwed up, and took total responsiblity for his actions.  It was interesting seeing O'Reilley tear him down for failure of disclosure, which is rule number 1 for public figures.  Always say the words, every single time, if someone you are interviewing works for you, for the company, in the industry, where the money is from, and so on.  I was proud of Williams though.  He took the dressing down, admitted his mistakes, and will do whatever it takes to pay the Piper.  I just wish that more who got caught for such would behave the same, instead of going into instant blame mode.
Aenimal
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3 posted 01-09-2005 10:41 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

I also applaud Williams for accepting the blame. I feel sorry that all the focus is on the one individual instead of outrage at the situation.

Administration or Dept of Education. Both should be monitored and held accountable.

Personally i'm more disgusted with the propaganada productions,'video news releases', inflicted upon the public through 'news' outlets.
Alicat
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4 posted 01-09-2005 11:14 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

I hear ya, Aenimal.  Seems most the media still likes and looks for the 'lone gunman' to turn a phrase.  Get too many people/organizations, and things get too messy to handle and it's hard to pin fault.  One person is an easy target, so they try to narrow the field, find one person, and crucify the poor sod.  And then when the news organizations come under fire for someone doing something stupid, it's all someone else's fault, never the one who did the reporting.  Gotta love the double standards.
Huan Yi
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5 posted 01-09-2005 11:23 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

"And then when the news organizations come under fire for someone doing something stupid, it's all someone else's fault, never the one who did the reporting. "


By the way, how is CBS doing with its
investigation?
Alicat
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6 posted 01-10-2005 12:05 AM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Heh. Very good question, Huan.  I figure they'll come to a quiet conclusion after everyone has forgotten Rather's faux pas.
Balladeer
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7 posted 01-10-2005 01:03 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, that was a timely question, John

NEW YORK - Four CBS News staffers were fired Monday following the release of an independent investigation that said a "myopic zeal" led to the airing of a discredited "60 Minutes Wednesday" story about President Bush (news - web sites)'s military service.

CBS fired Mary Mapes, producer of the Sept. 8 report; Josh Howard, executive producer of "60 Minutes Wednesday" and his top deputy Mary Murphy; and senior vice president Betsy West.

Dan Rather, who narrated the report, was faulted for "errors of credulity and overenthusiasm," but was not disciplined by top CBS executive Leslie Moonves. Rather announced in November that he was stepping down as anchorman of the "CBS Evening News," but insisted the timing had nothing to do with the investigation.  (Of course not!!)

Two days after the report, Heyward ordered West to review the opinions of document examiners and confidential sources who had supported the story but no such investigation was done.

Although the panel said it couldn't prove conclusively the documents were forged, it said CBS News failed to authenticate them and falsely claimed an expert had done so when all he had done was authenticate one signature.

(it's about time)
Mistletoe Angel
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8 posted 01-10-2005 01:56 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

It's just incredible how so much of this seems to blitz by.

I don't have a problem with syndicated weekly talk show hosts discussing politics on their programs, even partisan politics in that manner. After all, there will be Al Frankens and Dennis Millers.

But bribing or paying someone to do so, that's a problem and I think the rules and regulations on media promotion must be revised or reviewed. This only reveals ever more the true obsessive nature of our corporate infrastructure and where the one with the buck always has the upper hand.

I, like I've professed many times, am opposed to the No Child Left Behind Act for many reasons personally and can't even begin to know where to start, but since that is not the general interest of this thread, but rather the media and media control, I'll just keep it there.

Indeed it is just propaganda the Administration wants them to air. I just feel if you're going to wear propaganda politics on your sleeve and discuss them each and every day on a television program, you should do it the honest way and do it by your own free will.

In the end, I don't think Williams is really the problem at all here necessarily, just the irresponsibility of those running our media which indeed is a long series of epic battles, which I agree with Kacy that are definitely alarming but there are more important things to focus on right now.

As an aside, the Bush Administration should know very well by now if they really want to push their NCLB reform initiative they could just work out a contract with Rupert Murdoch and Fox News. I'm sure they'd be more than delighted to do the propaganda.

As for CBS? I'm actually glad those staffers got fired if it was indeed merely "myopic zeal" they wanted to air. I've never thought highly of Dan Rather anyway. Some may say he simply just caters to Democratic Party interests. I say he caters to corporate interests, and has never exhibited any real vision, has never stood up for interests beyond the screen. So I won't be sad when he retires (or is removed). It's about time in my opinion for a fresh face who will stand up for progressive interests, not corporate interests.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20
Aenimal
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9 posted 01-10-2005 04:50 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

this is another example of why i've stopped watching mainstream media
JoshG
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10 posted 01-10-2005 05:08 PM       View Profile for JoshG   Email JoshG   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JoshG

Noah, I would be greatly interested in your ideas on NCLB.  I say start another thread discussing it, instead of using this one to spread DNC propoganda.
jbouder
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11 posted 01-12-2005 08:53 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

quote:
I, like I've professed many times, am opposed to the No Child Left Behind Act for many reasons personally and can't even begin to know where to start, but since that is not the general interest of this thread, but rather the media and media control, I'll just keep it there.


I too am interested in your thoughts on NCLB.  In my opinion, it is good and important legislation.  The implementation and underfunding are valid points of criticism, but the underlying philosophy - that educators ought to be held accountable for measurable and meaningful results, is, I think, a central civil rights issue.

I'm 100% in support of accountability measures in public education - particularly in special education and for at-risk students from underpriveleged or impoverished households.

Some level of accountability for results has been in effect since 1972 for special education.  The right to a free, meaningful education is the foundation on which that particular law rests.  It too is underfunded, but the due process rights of children and families with children with disabilities that the law protects are crucial - I've exercised them successfully for my own son and with great success.

Parents of "typical" children should be afforded the same protections - we may disagree on the mechanics of IDEA and NCLB (I do in numerous respects), but the future happiness and productivity in the adult lives of our children are worth the added effort it takes to assure no child is, in fact, left behind.

Jim
Brad
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12 posted 01-12-2005 09:40 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Jim,

We are in a 100% agreement on accountability. Just give me the toys, and I can do magic.

What, no toys?
jbouder
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13 posted 01-12-2005 10:29 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

But State Education Agencies have the "toys," Brad.  They're implementing the mandates and, in many cases, are achieving their objectives.

I agree that more funding should be added and that, to some degree, funding is essential for success.  It's not that the programs aren't being funded, it's that the Feds are not footing the bill.

In my "perfect world," funding would increased (1) to assist floundering systems in coming up to par and (2) to reward systems that are exceeding expectations.

By the way ... it was an NCLB provision that identified possible areas of need for my youngest.  Turns out he is perfectionistic (and, therefore, slow in completing his work ... wonder where he gets that?) and probably gifted.

Sure, I advocate for more toys whenever the issue is before decision-makers, but not having the Federal toys is a poor excuse for not striving to do the right thing.

Jim
JoshG
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14 posted 01-12-2005 11:55 AM       View Profile for JoshG   Email JoshG   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JoshG

You said what I wanted to say, but so much better Jim.
jbouder
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15 posted 01-12-2005 12:23 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Josh:

Only because I live it and witness its effects first-hand.  Rehashing political demagoguery is no substitute for making the law work for your own children.  I've made it work and witnessed the benefits of its working.

Funding is a serious problem, though.  These kinds of laws only work when you make them work for you.  I believe funding constraints are the chief reasons why systems do the cost/benefit analysis and determine the taking risks of non-compliance are more appealing than investing the resources necessary to apply.  The other reason is turf - the ethos of being the educational experts sometimes becomes a factor as well.

Jim
Skyfyre
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16 posted 01-12-2005 07:07 PM       View Profile for Skyfyre   Email Skyfyre   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfyre

Jim, Brad, and anyone who'd care to give their thoughts ...

As a tangent to the NCLB initiatives, at what point does the responsibility of the teacher/system end and the responsibility of the parent begin?  The most gifted teacher, with all the "toys" in the world, cannot teach a disinterested or unmotivated student.  Moreover, there is only so much motivation a stranger (ie teacher) can provide ... where is the line drawn at which it becomes the duty of the parent to ensure that his/her child is at least putting forth effort?

I'm not pointing fingers, mind you, but when I was tutoring it was truly sad to see the number of turnkey kids who were being raised, in essence, by the school system, usually with little success.  Teachers have little if any power to provide meaningful discipline to unruly students, and if these students also receive no guidance at home, are they expected to magically become self-disciplining?

No, I am not longing for the days of corporal punishment in schools ... but if teachers are being held accountable, is it not also reasonable to hold the parents accountable as well?
jbouder
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17 posted 01-13-2005 08:59 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

The responsibilities should overlap.  Parents should be involved to the highest degree their abilities and energies allow.  I'll grant you that poor home lives have a negative effect on a child's educational progress.  It is exceedingly difficult for a single mother, for example, to fill in the home gap as completely as a nuclear family can.  Schools cannot supplant parental involvement, but the law must encourage parental involvement.  I have no easy answers regarding less-than-ideal households.  All schools can do is hope the families are making the home environment a learning environment also and provide tools to families to make the home-education experience meaningful.

Sperm and egg donors have to be parents.  Once the child is born, the child takes center stage.

Just my opinion.

Jim
Ron
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18 posted 01-13-2005 11:19 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
All schools can do is hope the families are making the home environment a learning environment also and provide tools to families to make the home-education experience meaningful.

Reverse that statement, Jim, and you run into your own double standards.

"All parents can do is hope the schools are making the school environment a learning environment also and provide tools to teachers and administrators to make the public education experience meaningful."

Why should the schools be held to a higher standard than the parents? Why should we hope in one case, but demand in the other? Perhaps more importantly, are you prepared to give up some of your own parental rights in order to place the child center stage?
Juju
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19 posted 01-13-2005 02:23 PM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

If any of you think that this is the first in only propaganda you forget.

-Fariehieght 911 (;
-Edwards and his wife eat at wendys for thier anerversery
-Kerry had plastic surgery
-Kerry really diddn't earn his purple hearts

Propaganda is all around us.  I am sure some democrates have done the same thing .

It is politics

juju
jbouder
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20 posted 01-13-2005 04:00 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Ron:

It isn't my double standard, Ron.  It is the law's double standard.  All schools can do under the current regulatory regime is hope.

quote:
Why should the schools be held to a higher standard than the parents?


Because the schools receive Federal dollars to do so.  If the Feds want to give me $$$ to educate my children in exchange for demonstrating educational results, then I ought to be held accountable.  As it stands, my responsibility to give my children educational advantages by making our home a learning environment is a moral responsibility.

"Why should we hope in one case, but demand in the other?"

Ask Congress.  I dunno.  What do you suggest we do about it? Perhaps tell the schools they no longer will be held accountable for results because the government cannot figure out how to hold families accountable?

"Perhaps more importantly, are you prepared to give up some of your own parental rights in order to place the child center stage?"

Yes, provided my due process rights are preserved so that I may have access to independent dispute resolution should I disagree with the direction in which the local education agency is taking my child.

In regular education, schools are required to bring children to a certain, baseline level of proficiencies in academic subjects.  If the school fails persistently, parents have the option to send their children to schools that are performing more favorably.

In special education, schools are required to provide a free appropriate public education - which is regulatory blah-blah-blah left to be fleshed out by the courts to mean (1) and education at no cost that (2) affords a child with a disability with meaningful benefit.  Not maximum potential, but more than minimal or trivial progress.

If I want more than "meaningful benefit," it's on my nickel and with my sweat.

Jim
Mistletoe Angel
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21 posted 01-26-2005 01:18 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

From Democracy Now!

Second Conservative Pundit Found to be On Gov't Payroll

The Washington Post is reporting that it has found another conservative pundit was on the government payroll without ever disclosing the contract to the public. The White House paid syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher $21,500 for consulting and ghostwriting related to the Bush administration's efforts to promote the sanctity of marriage. Gallagher is president of the Washington-based Institute for Marriage and Public Policy and a frequent television guest. Her writings on marriage have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Weekly Standard. After being outted by the Post, Gallagher wrote QUOTE "I should have disclosed a government contract when I later wrote about the Bush marriage initiative. I would have, if I had remembered it." Earlier this month is was disclosed prominent conservative commentator Armstrong Williams was paid $240,000 to promote the controversial No Child Left Behind legislation on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other African-American journalists to do the same.


*******************************************

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20

Mistletoe Angel
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22 posted 02-04-2005 02:00 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Here's some developments on this related issue:

1)
http://www.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/02/04/web.us/index.html

"Information warfare" is under criticism in fear certain web-sites are running propaganda, which may result in further misinformation.

2)
http://www.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/01/26/paid.pundits/index.html

Bush declares he disapproves of the payoff practice and wants it to stop, while the Democrats push forward the Federal Propaganda Prohibition Act of 2005.

3)
http://www.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/01/08/bush.journalist/index.html

Tribune Media Services announces they are dropping further promotion of Armstrong William's columns.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20

Mistletoe Angel
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23 posted 02-11-2005 04:41 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Bush press pal quits over gay prostie link

BY HELEN KENNEDY
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU

Jim Guckert, aka Jeff Gannon, on the web

WASHINGTON - A conservative ringer who was given a press pass to the White House and lobbed softball questions at President Bush quit yesterday after left-leaning Internet bloggers discovered possible ties to gay prostitution.
"The voice goes silent," Jeff Gannon wrote on his Web site. "In consideration of the welfare of me and my family, I have decided to return to private life."

Gannon began covering the White House two years ago for an obscure Republican Web site (Talon-News.com). He was known for his friendly questions, including asking Bush at last month's news conference how he could work with Democrats "who seem to have divorced themselves from reality."

Gannon was also given a classified CIA memo that named agent Valerie Plame, leading to his grilling by the grand jury investigating her outing.

He came under lefty scrutiny after revelations that the administration was paying conservative pundits to talk up Bush's proposals. By examining Internet records, online sleuths at DailyKos.com figured out that his real name was Jim Guckert and he owned various Web sites, including HotMilitaryStud.com, MilitaryEscorts.com and MilitaryEscortsM4M.com.

"The issue here is whether someone with connections to male prostitution was given unfettered access to the White House and copies of internal CIA documents. For a family values administration, that's pretty creepy," said John Aravosis, one of the bloggers chasing the story.

The White House didn't return a call asking how someone using an alias was given daily clearance to enter the White House.

On his TalonNews Web site, Gannon had written that liberals were out to get him because he's a white conservative man who owns a gun, drives a sport-utility vehicle and is a born-again Christian.

Yesterday, however, he abruptly quit, and all of the stories he wrote were erased from the Web site. A great many were on gay issues, including one detailing John Kerry's "pro-homosexual platform" that was headlined mockingly, "Kerry Could Become First Gay President."


**************************************

Hmmmmmmmmmm...

Are we nearing the bottom of all this or are we still at the top?

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Alicat
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24 posted 02-11-2005 06:04 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

For the record, Noah, he didn't own those pornographic natured websites.  While working as an IT, he was asked to reserved those domains by a buyer, who later backed out and never paid for the work done.  For all those you blame of skewing facts, it really seems to me that the sites you refer to do the same thing, which reflects back on you.  I don't mean that harshly, nor as a personal attack, just something you might want to be mindful about.  It's something I've been guilty of as well, which is why I really try to be careful about citing others.
 
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