Amazing. Just as the Department of Health and Human Services did last year with the White House’s Medicare reform bill, it seems the Department of Education has been sending out faux ‘news’ videos to local TV stations promoting the No Child Left Behind bill.
(They even use the same faux reporter — ‘Karen Ryan’ — as appeared in the earlier HHS videos.)
What really popped out at me in this new AP story, however, was this: The company that the Department of Education hired to produce the ‘news’ videos was also hired to analyze and rank news coverage of the law in order to gauge the success of their PR campaign.
One might say that this was a reasonable use of public money if the coverage were being judged on the basis of how effectively it informed the public about benefits they could receive under the law, and stuff like that. But according to the AP story, in the rankings paid for by the Department, “points are awarded for stories that say President Bush and the Republican Party are strong on education.”
What’s the public interest in that exactly? That’s campaign work, paid for by tax dollars.