Wednesday, May 11, 2005

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The White House Doesn't Do Propaganda...

... the federal agencies have to do it on their own. We all remember Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher.

Now there's Dave Smith, doing public relations disguised as journalism for the Agriculture Department.

Is this really propaganda? Judge for yourself. The situation is different from either of the other two cases. The key facts, as reported by the WP:

"From NRCS's standpoint, it all reflected . . . very positively on the agency and what they were doing," Smith said. "It was just another method of getting their success stories out in the mass media."

Smith said he told magazine editors of his government contract, and he received no fee from the publications. One of the Outdoor Oklahoma articles was accompanied by a note identifying Smith as a freelance writer who works as a biologist for the agency. None of the articles appear to disclose his federal contract.

Gagner said the agency's intention was not to hide its role. And while the agency would consider such an arrangement again, "we would make sure there was somewhere in the article that says . . . that that writing was done by, for" the agency, he said.

posted by on 05.11.05 at 09:06 PM


I'm glad that somebody understands the distinction, however shady. It began to sound like Bush himself was slipping Williams and Gallagher stacks of hundreds in brown envelopes.

posted by: Klug on 05.11.05 at 09:06 PM [permalink]

This is actually rather encouraging. It means there is a chance that they might get around to trying to influence foreign & domestic opinion on our national security issues. Public diplomacy, public relations, etc. But that might be asking too much of big government Republicans.

posted by: Tom Holsinger on 05.11.05 at 09:06 PM [permalink]

Since he was an employee of the agency in question and not a nominally independent journalist, it seems quite benign.

posted by: trostky on 05.11.05 at 09:06 PM [permalink]


posted by: Cheap Web Hosting on 05.11.05 at 09:06 PM [permalink]

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