Sunday, January 09, 2005

Pimping for NCLB

The story about Armstrong Williams has legs. This morning on Meet the Press, Tim Russert and a panelist of journalists discussed Williams' acceptance of a quarter million dollars to pimp No Child Left Behind:

MR. YORK: You know, No Child Left Behind--a lot of conservatives hated it; a lot of Democrats hated it. The only way you could get somebody to say something nice about it is pay them $240,000.

MR. HUNT: Well, and they did it, of course, in a very sneaky way. It was funneled through a PR firm, Ketchum PR firm, so they knew exactly what they...

MS. MITCHELL: It was laundered.

MR. HUNT: Yeah. They knew exactly what they were doing.

Andrea Mitchell was half joking, but half not. The Administration has had to be very sneaky -- probably even illegal -- to win the grudging public support for NCLB that they've received so far. Without the propaganda, and with stiff punishments for neighborhood schools around the corner, it'll be very interesting to see what happens to public opinion of the controversial act.

Harry Reid and other Senate Dems are calling for the Education Dept. to take back the money they gave Williams.

When asked if people might think that he had sold his opinions to the government, Williams responded, "It's fair for someone to make that assessment." Education Secretary Rod Paige, a Bush appointee, knew about the payments and did not insist on disclsure.

1 Comments:

Blogger Joe Thomas said...

The whole thing is an new take on an old Rodney Dagerfield joke.

"I was an ugly kid... and ugly kid, I tell ya. I was so ugly my parents had to tie a porkchop around my neck just so the dog would play with me."

The president merely tied a $240,000 porkchop around NCLB and found someone that would tout it.

9:23 PM  

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