January 14, 2005
Dan Rather Only Television Media Flack Not Paid By Government, Reports Show
Geraldo Rivera Possibly Not Paid Either, Rivera Claims
New documents subpoenaed by senators showed that the Department of Education and other government agencies have routinely paid almost every television personaliity, anchor, commentator, talk show host, and pundit to plug government programs at some point over the past four years. The entire staff of Fox News netted over a billion dollars in the past year, records show.
"Now we know where some of those misplaced Iraqi dollars went," said Senator Arlen Specter.
The White House denied any wrongdoing. "We have a duty to inform the public about government programs," said White House spokesperson Scott McClellan. "And Britt Hume, George Will, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly are part of the public." He explained that after the White House informed them and gave them a little money, they, in turn, informed the rest of the public.
The informal senate investigation began after it was revealed that Armstrong Williams, a talk show host and columnist, was paid $240,000 of taxpayer money to promote No Child Left Behind.
The only prominent television personalities who were not paid were Dan Rather and possibly Geraldo Rivera, "Dan Rather because we don't like him," explained a senior White House official, "and Geraldo because he's just a clown."
Critics of the program were quick to point out inadequacies in the White House "public information" program. "They should have informed the public about the government program to pay Britt Hume and others to plug government programs," said Indiana resident Jamie Fastow.
Posted by Tom Burka at 6:42 AM