Can you imagine….

…if Bill Clinton had been caught paying a journalist $250,000 in taxpayer money to hawk his policies, as the Bush administration has been caught doing? Can you imagine the howls of outrage, the demands for the heads of the journalist and the Democratic officials responsible? This is a scandal for which there’s no way out — it cannot be justified in any way. For now, Armstrong is offering up the embarrassingly weak excuse, “Well, I really believed what I was saying about No Child Left Behind.” So why did he accept a quarter of a million dollars to say it?

Of course, the Republicans will walk away without a scratch (the journalist will have to go, I suspect; he can never be credible again). Clinton would have been flayed alive, and Rush and Sean and the gang will just laugh this off as those wacky libruls making a lot of noise over nothing. Fuck ’em.

Update: As predicted, Armstrong Williams has indeed been fired.

Chicago-based Tribune Media Services dropped Williams’s column yesterday, saying he had violated his contract. “Accepting compensation in any form from an entity that serves as a subject of his weekly newspaper columns creates, at the very least, the appearance of a conflict of interest,” prompting readers to ask whether his opinions “have been purchased by a third party,” a company statement said.

The Discussion: 5 Comments

White House Paid A Commentator To Argue Its Case

No matter how you slice it, dice it, and try to finesse it , in

January 7, 2005 @ 5:48 pm | Comment

Shame on you, Richard, for deliberately and maliciously lying about the Arm$trong William$ payola scandal!!

The actual amount was $240,000, not a quarter-million. See? You’re no better than Michael Moore or Dan Rather or Jayson Blair or any of the other lying liars of the lying liberal media liar élite.

(ahem) But seriously, this story is actually about PR. You’re in the biz; what do you know about Ketchum, the firm that apparently orchestrated the William$ deal? Do you subscribe to Jack O’Dwyers’ newsletter, by any chance? There seems to be some interesting info about Ketchum in there.

January 8, 2005 @ 6:49 am | Comment

Vaara, don’t go there, at least not on this blog — for reasons related to my career, I cannot say a word about Ketchum, much as I may want to. Well, I guess I can say this: Ketchum is a great company with a lot of great people, but whoever thought up this little scheme has done no favors to the image of public relations, which was pretty terrible to begin with.

I think the scarier questions is, how many other “journalists” are in the employ of government? Since this worked so well for quite a while, I can’t believe it was just an isolated instance.

January 8, 2005 @ 8:53 am | Comment

Exactly. The only extraordinary thing about William$ is the fact that he got caught.

January 8, 2005 @ 10:35 am | Comment

I have yet to blog on this – well, it is PR related, so it fits on my blog – but the bigger story is that Ketchum is reaping its just rewards for the Karen Ryan VNR incidence, where AP reporters are now requesting documents through the FOI act.

The guns are set on Ketchum, and it’s because they made themselves a target.

Is Vaara in PR to be subscribing to Jack?

January 9, 2005 @ 5:20 pm | Comment

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.