Friday, January 07, 2005

Bush, Williams, and $240K

I've appreciated virtually everything I've read by Armstrong Williams, and I especially root for black conservatives, especially since they experience a unique sort of loneliness in today's world. Furthermore, as anyone reading this blog knows, I am generally supportive of the Bush Adminstration. So it's a double shame to see that this has been happening:
White House paid commentator to promote law

By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY

Seeking to build support among black families for its education reform law, the Bush administration paid a prominent black pundit $240,000 to promote the law on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other black journalists to do the same.

Williams on being paid to boost NCLB: "I wanted to do it because it's something I believe in."

The campaign, part of an effort to promote No Child Left Behind (NCLB), required commentator Armstrong Williams "to regularly comment on NCLB during the course of his broadcasts," and to interview Education Secretary Rod Paige for TV and radio spots that aired during the show in 2004.

Williams said Thursday he understands that critics could find the arrangement unethical, but "I wanted to do it because it's something I believe in."

The top Democrat on the House Education Committee, Rep. George Miller of California, called the contract "a very questionable use of taxpayers' money" that is "probably illegal." He said he will ask his Republican counterpart to join him in requesting an investigation....

Why in the world would the Bush administration do this? Why would Armstrong agree to it? $240K? This is very strange...and stupid.