Politics

Exposing the Echo Chamber Behind Social Security Privatization

The Bush administration ventriloquists are out in full force these days, breathlessly hyping "Personal Retirement Accounts" as a way to save Social Security by destroying it. For the average voter, getting a handle on what the Bush administration is proposing to do to Social Security is quite a challenge. The dozens of bobbing heads and clicking fingers, holding forth on cable news programming and the Internet is enough to make anyone's head spin.

Rise of the Media Machine

Arnold Schwarzenegger's "current California media tour to promote his plans for reforming state government looks like a resounding success - if only because the California media, rather than turning up the heat, often ends up in marshmallow mode with the state's famous governor." While some ask about his "proposed merit pay for teachers, the state's budget deficit, nursing reform and pensio

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Gannon Quits After Blogger Inquiry

"The Talon News correspondent at the center of a scandal over his White House press credentials quit last night amid a growing online investigation into his history, including allegations of involvement with several websites appearing to support gay pornography and promote male prostitution," reports Timothy Karr.

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No PR Firm Left Behind

In the continuing saga of taxpayer money used to champion Bush administration policies, the Palm Beach Post reports, "A Florida State University center has used more than a half-million in education tax dollars to put a positive spin on President Bush's key school policies, including hiring a public relations firm to teach charter schools to be more media-savvy." As part of a 5

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Anti-Propaganda Propaganda?

The Federal Propaganda Prohibition Act has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Stop Government Propaganda Act in the Senate, "to increase congressional oversight of federal PR contracts." Yet, "the reaction of the industry has been less than panicked." Why? "Neither bill is likely to become law." PR Week writes, "These anti-PR bills are mostly PR tools.

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A Quiet Revolution In Business Lobbying

"After brief pleasantries on the phone the other day," writes Jeffrey Birnbaum, "Thomas J. Donohue got down to business with a top health insurance executive. 'We're in a new year and a new time,' Donohue said smoothly. 'Can we put you on the list and get your money?' The executive said yes, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was $100,000 richer.

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Anti-Social Tendencies

"A city commissioner, a liberal radio producer, a deputy Democratic campaign manager and a number of university professors" were among 42 people on a "do not admit" list for President Bush's Fargo, North Dakota event promoting Social Security privatization. The White House said the list, given to two ticket distribution sites, must have come from local volunteers.

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