The U.S. Education Department paid $700,000 to the Ketchum public relations and marketing firm, to produce two video news releases and to rate newspaper coverage according to how favorably reporters described the Bush administration's No Child Left Behind law in 2003. Democratic Senators Frank R. Lautenberg and Edward M. Kennedy have criticized the Ketchum contract as "an illegal use of taxpayer funds. ... A comprehensive, nationwide media study identifying journalists and news organizations writing favorable stories on President Bush and his political party's commitment to education has only a political purpose."
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