The Bush administration paid an African-American pundit $240,000 (£127,000) to promote its education policies to the black community and urge other black journalists to do the same in the run-up to the presidential election.
In an effort to promote its controversial education reform programme, No Child Left Behind, the education department paid Armstrong Williams “to regularly comment on NCLB during the course of his broadcasts” on a nationally syndicated television show.–Gary Younge —Bush paid TV pundit to push education plan (Guardian)
Celebrities like Michael Moore, Richard Gere, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and former Minnesota governor Jesse “The Body” Ventura shamelessly use their celebrity clout to advocate their political agendas, none of them pretend to be objective.
While Armstrong was a columnist, not a news reporter, and thus was never expected to be unbiased, this is still a very awkward situation.
I love the quote from the education department official who referred to the pay-for-content program as a governmental “outreach” effort.