U.S. govt again caught journalist-pimping.

September 8, 2006 | By | Reply More

Letting the media just do its job just isn’t enough for the Bush administration.  It’s hard enough to find honest aggressive media when only FIVE corporations now control the majority of all forms of the media in this country (this includes ALL the media: TV, movies, music, newspapers, magazines).

So now we learn that our government has once again secretly hired journalists to spew out its propaganda.  Note this report from MSNBC:

MIAMI – Ten South Florida journalists, including three with The Miami Herald’s Spanish-language sister paper, received thousands of dollars from the federal government for their work on radio and TV programming aimed at undermining Fidel Castro’s communist regime, the Herald reported Friday.

Pablo Alfonso, who reports on Cuba and wrote an opinion column for El Nuevo Herald, was paid almost $175,000 since 2001 to host shows on Radio and TV Marti, U.S. government programs that promote democracy in Cuba, according to government documents obtained by The Miami Herald.

Olga Connor, a freelance reporter who wrote about Cuban culture for El Nuevo Herald, received about $71,000 from the U.S. Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and staff reporter Wilfredo Cancio Isla, who covered the Cuban exile community and politics, was paid almost $15,000 in the last five years, the Herald said.

This is not the first time this has happened:

Last year, congressional auditors concluded that the Education Department engaged in illegal “covert propaganda” by hiring columnist Armstrong Williams to endorse the No Child Left Behind Act without requiring him to disclose he was paid.

Another columnist, Maggie Gallagher, had a contract with the Health and Human Services Department to help promote a marriage initiative.

Last year, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Pentagon paid a consulting firm and Iraqi newspapers to plant favorable stories about the Iraq war and rebuilding efforts.

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Category: Corruption, Media, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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