Deploying propaganda through paid surrogates, fake news reporters and tricked out video reports that are passed off as news is a de facto admission that the policies of the Bush Administration – and now the Schwarzenegger crew in Sacramento – can’t stand on their own.
Adding salt to the wound in the body politic is the fact that all this GOP chicanery is paid out of the public dole. (Now there’s a place to cut the budget.)
On the federal level, it is illegal to produce propaganda using taxpayer money. Fortunately for President Bush, the corrupt conservatives who control the US Congress will never investigate anything this Administration does.
On the other hand, Governor Schwarzenegger faces a legislature controlled by Democrats. And while the Pravdazation of government news reporting needs to be exposed to the antiseptic of endless committee hearings, it would be uncharacteristic of the Dems in Sacramento to make a fuss. More likely the fake news tapes will resurface as an issue in the governor’s race next year.
From the LA Times :
A week after Democratic legislators faulted Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for using taxpayer money to produce “propaganda” in the form of a mock news video, the administration on Wednesday acknowledged making several others to advance its policies.
A state senator intends to question officials today about the funding and distribution of the videos.
Initially, legislators focused on one tape extolling an administration proposal to end mandatory lunch breaks for hourly workers. But additional videos have surfaced in which the administration is promoting a cut in the number of nurses required on duty in hospitals, pay for teachers based on merit rather than seniority and a more stringent tenure track.
A video was also produced on Schwarzenegger’s plan to lower prescription drug prices, but it has not been released. Officials said it was a draft.
The other tapes, formatted as television news stories, were sent to stations statewide starting in December. Some news outlets aired portions of the video about lunch breaks, which state officials, who monitored usage of the tape, characterized as a news release.
Officials did not track which television stations used the merit pay and tenure video, and it is unclear if they monitored use of the tapes on nurses. They described both tapes as news releases.