An online journal of politics, policy, and society with a special focus on Maryland -- Contact: on_background at yahoo.com.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Covert Propaganda

In case you missed it, the Administration gave a tv commentator $240k to promote the No Child Left Behind Act, drawing the ire of Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings, who decried (in a press release from Jan. 7) the use of limited funds for propaganda while human needs go unmet, and indicated that he sees a pattern.
"Sadly, it appears that this is not an isolated incident. Yesterday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that video news releases concerning the dangers of marijuana, involving actors pretending to be reporters and distributed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, constitute 'covert propaganda'.

Covert propaganda to influence public opinion is illegal, unethical and dangerous. It violates fundamental principles of open government, it distorts the free press and the public's right to know."