(Redirected from Payola)
On Friday, 7 January 2005, John Files for the New York Times reported that 
- The Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress, said on Thursday that the Bush administration violated federal law by producing and distributing television news segments about the effects of drug use among young people.
- The accountability office said the videos "constitute covert propaganda" because the government was not identified as the source of the materials, which were distributed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. They were broadcast by nearly 300 television stations and reached 22 million households, the office said.
- The accountability office does not have law enforcement powers, but its decisions on federal spending are usually considered authoritative.
- In May the office found that the Bush administration had violated the same law by producing television news segments that portrayed the new Medicare law as a boon to the elderly.
- The accountability office said the administration's misuse of federal money "also constitutes a violation of the Antideficiency Act," which prohibits spending in excess of appropriations.
Instances of covert propaganda
- A 2006 study titled "Blogs and Military Information Strategy," which was written for the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), suggested "hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message. ... Information strategists can consider clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers or other persons of prominence ... to pass the U.S. message." The study also suggested hacking an "enemy blog" to use it "covertly as a vehicle for friendly information operations." According to a SOCOM spokesperson, the study's suggestions "are not 'actionable,' merely thought provoking." 
- Otto Reich was head of the now-defunct Office for Public Diplomacy (OPD), which the House Committee on Foreign Affairs censured for "prohibited, covert propaganda activities" (Washington Post, 10/11/87). 
- Medicare Prescription Drug Bill Vote Scandal, 2003
- In January 2005 the GAO scolded the Bush administration a second time for distributing video news releases (VNRs), this time produced by the Office of National Drug Control Policy concerning the dangers of marijuana. They featured former reporter Mike Morris, and were aired, at least in part, on 300 news shows. The GAO called it "illegal government propaganda". 
- Armstrong Williams and Ketchum, for providing $240,000 to Williams as the "Minority Outreach" component of a contract with the U.S. Department of Education to promote the Bush administration's "No Child Left Behind" Act.
- Maggie Gallagher had a $21,500 contract with the Department of Health and Human Services and a $20,000 Department of Justice contract to help promote the president's "marriage initiative". 
- Michael McManus was paid $10,000 as a subcontractor for the Department of Health and Human Services, to promote the Bush Community Healthy Marriage Initiative. 
- The U.S. Department of Defense sponsors two internationally-focused websites, the Southeast European Times, which focuses on the Balkans, and Magharebia, which focuses on North Africa. CNN reported that the Pentagon paid some 50 contributors to the Balkans site, through private contractor Anteon Corporation.  "It's not disinformation," a military spokesperson said of the North African site. Every printed word is the truth." 
- Karen Czarnecki, a top aide to Bush administration Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, repeatedly appeared as a "conservative pundit" on Fox News and the PBS show "To the Contrary," without revealing her government position. 
- Bush regime charades
- Manufactured journalism
- Pentagon military analyst program
- Pundit payola
- Video news releases
- Noah Shachtman, "Military Report: Secretly 'Recruit or Hire Bloggers'," Wired.com blog "Danger room," March 31, 2008.
- Lawmakers Call on President to Stop Covert Propaganda, 7 January 2005
- Howard Griel, "Covert Propaganda in Time and Newsweek, Covert Action Information Bulletin, Spring 1984, No. 21, pp. 14–23.
- David Barstow and Robin Stein, Under Bush, a New Age of Prepackaged TV News, 13 March 2005, The New York Times