3.18.2005

White House VNR?

I heard a story about this on NPR and then my bro mentioned he read about it in the New York Times. I searched every which way on Google, and couldn't find any genuine footage from these things. If anyone can point me in the right direction I would be thankful.

I should note, that I find it strange that I can't find this stuff. It would seem that if it is so controversial, and improper, the footage would be widely available. Is this reason to be skeptical?

6 comments:

Andrew said...

I like how the NYTimes skewed this story to be even more irrationally anti-bush than Molly Ivans’ recent editorial on the subject. (http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/opinion/11159050.htm)

There are 2 essential facts the NYTimes left out of their "news" piece that may explain why this isn’t being covered.

1.) While the NYTimes pretends “pre-packaged” news is a phenomenon new to the Bush administration, the practice was created and used extensively by the Clinton administration. The NYTimes only now seems to find the practice objectionable because they don’t agree with the “propaganda” the White House is now putting out.

2.) The Bush administration would not waste the effort of packaging the news if there wasn’t a willing consumer in the MSM. If this story was pursued, it would further diminish the credibility of traditional news sources so it shouldn't be a surprise they're not covering this one.

Joe said...

The article mentioned several times that this practice dates back to the Clinton administration. And why now? How bout because Bush wasn't simply creating propagandistic pieces for the news; he was actually paying reporters to spin his policies! That's the eggregious part. The failure of local news shows to deliver "hard facts," is, of course, no suprise, since local news has long been an anemic and sanitized mechanism to deliver sports and weather, with occasional dashes of crime and human interest stories. But paying nationally syndicated reporters and columnists is despicable.

Ben said...

I posted this question not to debate the validity of the piece (though that is a worthy point to address), but because I couldn't find any examples of this supposedly bad behavior. If a paper like the NYT is going to devote serious column inches to an issue, one would think that there would be video clips a-plenty floating 'round out there. Where are they?

It's not that articles like the one mentioned don't have steam or the issue isn't being covered. A casual search on Google shows that it is indeed being covered, heartily. What bothers me is that these articles do not show me what they so easily call propaganda, they seem to think it's enough to call it such. Since they are implicated, I would simply prefer to not rely on the MSM for this kind of declarition.

I heard a sound clip on NPR over the weekend, and I must say it made the issue much more interesting to me. It featured a former MSM television reporter actually signing off with a very official sounding, "This is Karen Ryan reporting". The article pointed out that Ms. Ryan is employed by a PR firm, thus she is no longer a "reporter" in the common parlance. So while this issue may relate to Armstron Williams-type in that a person was paid to promote a government funded program, it's not the same thing.

Andrew said...

Sorry, but I still find the outrage over this issue a little amusing. So Armstrong Williams is the distinction the NYTimes is hanging it's hat on? Oh the humanity! This issue isn't going to be covered because it's a non-issue.
News organizations accepting payoffs to "report" on a certain subject is hardly new. The only "New" aspect to it is that conservatives have apparently finally figured out how to do it too.
(http://www.nypost.com/seven/03172005/postopinion/opedcolumnists/22480.htm)

** Since 1994, National Public Radio has accepted more than $1.2 million from liberal foundations promoting campaign-finance reform for items such as (to quote the official disclosure statements) "news coverage of financial influence in political decision-making." About $400,000 of that directly funded a program called, "Money, Power and Influence."

Andrew said...
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Joe said...

Although there is certainly cause for concern when NPR accepts money from interest groups to cover certain issues, it is another matter entirely when the money comes directly from the administration.

(Sorry Ben, I understand your desire to find these things, but I am useless in that pursuit).