Pundit payola, fake “newscasts”, and Potemkin journalists
David Brock writes to Tap Dancing Scotty:
In light of recent revelations about the Bush administration’s relationship with conservative writers Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher, and Michael McManus, as well as about the administration’s repeated use of fake video “news” reports to promote policies, the public is understandably concerned that the White House seems to be trying to manipulate public opinion using fake “news.” Given that Talon News seems to be little more than a partisan political organization and given that, based on what Mr. Gannon has written, you apparently know what he will ask during your briefings, Mr. Gannon’s continued participation in White House press briefings would seem to exacerbate those concerns.
The public has a right to expect that when you hold press briefings, the reporters are real and the questions are not staged beforehand. They have a right not to be deceived into thinking they are seeing and hearing reporters ask honest questions when they are really seeing a staged performance by partisan operatives.