Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Reverse Payola

Post Ombudsman Michael Getler reveals that The Washington Post Co. is among the more than 100 companies that have donated large sums of cash to support President Bush's $40 million-dollar inaugural gala. According to Getler, The Post gave $100,000 to ensure that it would have enough tickets to the nine balls, three candlelight dinners, two church services, one parade, and single congressional brunch planned for the day. "Readers who wrote to me said they viewed this as inconsistent with the role of a hard-nosed news organization," Getler writes. "I would say they have a good point. "

$250,000 to waltz with the Bushes
Other media companies chipping in to fund Thursday's extravaganza include His Royal Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Washington Television Center ($250,000) and Time Warner ($250,000). In the spirit of good journalism, shouldn't they have pasted a disclosure onto their every report on the inauguration? Don't stop there. Why don't these news organizations provide full disclosure of their Bush largesse on every single story they write about this administration? The people have the right to know that there's a lot more to Big Media than meets the eye.

[For more on the extent of Moon's DC influence peddling make frequesnt visits to John Gorenfeld's brilliant investigative blog.]

MediaChannel's Danny Schechter wonders whether any "hard-nosed" Post, Washington Times or CNN journalists exchanged their ball gowns and tuxedos for a camera and a pen to cover the major street protests planned throughout the day. The only news organizations that appear to be paying attention to the protests are their breathless detractors in the right press, including this predictable swipe from Cybercast News Service's Kathleen Rhodes, who brands the protestors as communist backers of Cuba's Fidel Castro and North Korea's Kim Jong Il.

SIDEBAR: Communications companies are also footing the bill, hoping perhaps to find a favorable ear in Washington as Congress gets set to rewrite the 1996 Telecom Act. Those on the Inaugural A-list include AT&T ($250,000), Qualcomm ($100,000), SBC Communications ($100,000), Cisco Systems ($100,000), Clearwire ($100,000) and Oracle ($100,000). Think about that the next time you pay your phone/cable/Internet bill.


Anonymous said...

Since GW is a Texan, looks like he would have a huge BBQ like, the late greatest governor Florida ever had, Gov Lawton Chiles. He invited all comers and free. But, hey, that would mean GW would have to follow Gov Chiles example be fiscally responsible and leave money in the coffers of the state of Florida for the next guy. That guy happened to be Jeb Bush. He's spent the excess plus. Now Florida is not only the 47th lowest spending state per child for education in the USA, but we're in financial trouble. As to GW, he ran the first time around based on bringing "integrity" back to the White House. In my opinion, the has never been a man in the USA presidency with less integrity. The man is a pathological liar. He is totally out of touch with reality. I suppose he'll pay historians to re-write history to suit his desires. To think, this man believes God whispers in his ear... I believe it's a totally opposite entity. He says"Let them eat cake".Lynn

Anonymous said...

The media news organizations should only cover the actual inauguration. Unless the media can dig up stories from loose lips (drunk policy makers) they have no business at all helping support and extravagant waste of money. I only watched a sound bite of the inaugrural speech. Let the society section of newspapers give a little coverage to the inauguraral activities out of their budgets. That is where the coverage belongs.

I wonder if the inauguration would have been such a big waste of private and public funds (for huge security expenses) if the media refused to pay for coverage. Any payment for coverage is a bad precedent. I don't ever want a publication I subscribe to directly supporting anything partisan. The parties are for the winners and their workers with invitations given only to the politically powerful in the losing party, if then.

Anonymous said...,2933,151448,00.html
GWB signed into law and end of life law for TX in 1999. Few know about this. He was govenor of Tx at the time. Stranger still, Jeb did about the same law for FL, so none of this was a suprise to either of them.