Monday, January 10, 2005

No Pundit Left Behind

Would you like to track down other "journalists" the Bush administration is paying to "promote" their Orwellian programs? Do you have a pension for sifting through data and doing research. Do you like a good mystery? Need a good subject to do your Masters or Doctoral thesis on?

Then do I have a project for you.

Today, Armstrong Williams, the pundit who was paid $240,000 by the Bush administration to promote NCLB on his national television show, was quoted as follows:
"This happens all the time," he told me. "There are others." Really? I said. Other conservative commentators accept money from the Bush administration? I asked Williams for names. "I'm not going to defend myself that way," he said. The issue right now, he explained, was his own mistake. Well, I said, what if I call you up in a few weeks, after this blows over, and then ask you? No, he said.
Over at Daily Kos in response, blogger and former government employee GregP has posted a "distributed research project" used to track down other pundits that the Bush administration has greased to push their programs. Through on-line research that will direct Freedom of Information Requests, this project looks to spread the research throughout the blogosphere in attempts to uncover just how many pundits are on the take. The project is called No Pundit Left Behind, and Greg describes it this way:
Since this story hits a raw nerve in the punditocracy, though, I think the blogosphere is really the right forum for breaking this story... It's going to take some time and effort -- a few months probably -- but if we can "out" a few more Armstrong Williams' it's well worth it!  From what Williams let slip today, it sounds like he may be just the tip of the iceberg, and misuse of federal funds for political purposes may be much more widespread in the Bush Administration.
Come on. I know itching to go after the SCLM. Imagine being the one to find out that Tucker Carlson or Tim Russert has been paid off. Just imagine...