Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Press payoffs illustrate Bush's policy problems

Press payoffs illustrate Bush's policy problems
By Brenton Kenkel
Published: Tuesday, March 1, 2005
The phenomenon of "fake news" has received much attention because of the popularity of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and the Web site The Onion (www.onion.com).
But the biggest purveyor of fake news is probably the Bush administration.
Previous presidents have been unabashed about their disdain for the news media; they and their press offices would spin the facts and outright lie to try to deflect scrutiny.
President Bush's approach has been a bit different, however, even though he's done his share of spinning and "misleading" (i.e., lying). Rather than merely scorn the media, Bush has tried to subvert it, either by paying off journalists or simply by creating a parallel media universe composed of conservative lackeys.
In early 2004, stations nationwide ran a "news" video by "reporter" Karen Ryan, explaining the benefits of Bush's bloated Medicare plan. The video didn't mention that it was produced by the Department of Health and Human Services.....