Oh Come On!

by Jonah Goldberg

I’ve never had any beef with Armstrong Williams before. Good guy. Nice guy. Smart guy. But what the hell is this about?


White House paid commentator to promote law

By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY

Seeking to build support among black families for its education reform law, the Bush administration paid a prominent black pundit $240,000 to promote the law on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other black journalists to do the same.

Williams on being paid to boost NCLB: “I wanted to do it because it’s something I believe in.”

The campaign, part of an effort to promote No Child Left Behind (NCLB), required commentator Armstrong Williams “to regularly comment on NCLB during the course of his broadcasts,” and to interview Education Secretary Rod Paige for TV and radio spots that aired during the show in 2004.

Williams said Thursday he understands that critics could find the arrangement unethical, but “I wanted to do it because it’s something I believe in.”

The top Democrat on the House Education Committee, Rep. George Miller of California, called the contract “a very questionable use of taxpayers’ money” that is “probably illegal.” He said he will ask his Republican counterpart to join him in requesting an investigation….

Me: I mean come on. Why do this? Did someone need an operation? Unless some major facts are being left out this just dumb. It looks bad because it is bad.

Update/Clarification:
Sorry if I seemed to be critcizing only Williams. I think it was stupid and unacceptable for the Administration to give him the money. If the Clinton Administration had been paying off liberal pundits to promote his policies we would have gone batty, and rightly so. A better explanation is required. The whole thing seems gross to me. I posted this up top too.

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