Armstrong Williams, man of principle
Hilarious graphic, grabbed from Moeman on DKos.
Williams’ lame response to the criticism of being Bush’s whore on NCLB, taking $240K of the taxpayers’ money: “It’s a fine line,” he said Friday. “Even though I’m not a journalist — I’m a commentator — I feel I should be held to the media ethics standard. My judgment was not the best. I wouldn’t do it again, and I learned from it.”
Editor and Publisher: Armstrong Williams Column Axed by TMS
Three Democratic senators — Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and Harry Reid of Nevada wrote the president demanding Bush recover the money paid to Armstrong. PDF of the letter is here.
The National Association of Black Journalists calls on the White House to rebuke those in the Department of Education who used taxpayer dollars to pay off conservative commentator Armstrong Williams in an attempt to influence public opinion on administration policy…NABJ calls on all media outlets – radio, television and print – that feature Williams’ show, use him as a TV commentator or run his syndicated column to drop him immediately. “I thought we in the media were supposed to be watchdogs, not lapdogs,” said NABJ Vice President-Print Bryan Monroe, assistant vice president-news at Knight Ridder. “I thought we had an administration headed by a president who took an oath to uphold the First Amendment, not try to rent it.” [And more piling on…] “He’s lost his credibility,” said NABJ Vice President-Broadcast Barbara Ciara, managing editor-anchor at WTKR-TV in Norfolk. “He’s tainted fruit. And he’s unfairly indicted all commentators who have their own independent opinion, don’t need a script from the administration and don’t need to be paid off.”
Thanks to House Blend Reader Katherine, who shared her letter to the NABJ:
From: [email address omitted]
Sent: Friday, January 07, 2005 9:45 AM
Subject: armstrong williams
I am so thoroughly disgusted to learn that this current administration can successfully buy the work of a journalist to promote its propaganda regarding the No Child Left Behind program and other educational policies. I hope that the NABJ will stand up and speak out on this distortion of journalism. Your organization once honored my dear late father-in-law…He devoted himself to encouraging minorities and the disenfranchised to consider journalism as a career. I know he would be heartbroken to see the sorry state that journalism has fallen into in recent years. Please speak out for ethical and professional behavior of all journalists.
Katherine [last name omitted]
And she received a prompt response from NABJ’s VP/Print Bryan Monroe (email@example.com), indicating that the above statement had been released. Thanks, NABJ and all those that registered their disbelief and outrage at this idiot Williams. Let’s see if the money is forthcoming; Armstrong doesn’t want to give it back.
More on the fallout from the Williams payola here: Feds paid pundit to push Bush policy.
And here is a transcript of CNN’s Bill Hemmer kicking Armstrong’s *ss. Scroll about halfway down for the goodies.
Oh, and I had the first DKos diary up on this story this AM, here.