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Cookie-cutter Bush propaganda editorials

[UPDATE: the editorial-o-matic author is identified!]

Chris Kromm at Facing South is right to wonder about the origin of several editorials that contain the same following paragraph:

One of the smartest things President Bush did to reduce recovery costs in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita was to suspend Davis-Bacon Act rules in the hardest hit states. But Congress is frantically trying to overrule the president, which would add billions of dollars to the already staggering recovery costs.

The almost-identical editorials appear in:
* Appeal-Democrat (Marysville-Yuba City, California)
* Daily News (Jacksonville, NC)
* The Free Press (Kinston, NC)
* Gazette.com (Colorado Springs)

As Chris notes, these are presented as unsigned editorials, which the reader will assume is a paper’s original opinion piece – and the Colorado paper’s headline on the “editorial” is “Our View.”

The Bush propaganda to drive worker’s wages down in the Gulf Coast is incredible; the editors of these newspapers are tools of the machine.

***

UPDATE: and it’s hacktacular: The cookie cutter editorial writer decloaks.

Facing South‘s comments are peppered with links to additional papers running variations on the editorial. This is something Keith Olbermann should be taking a look at.

The author of the editorial-o-matic is Sean Paige, editorial page editor of the Colorado Springs Gazette. Who is this dude? He’s right out of the GOP machine…From Sourcewatch:


From his bio at CEI.

According to a brief biographical profile supplied to the National Journalism Center, Paige attended a course in summer 1988 and has subsequently been “editorial page editor, Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph, reporter, Insight, editor, WasteWatch (DC), staff assistant for communications, White House, analyst, Media Research Center, Warren Brookes fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute, director of press relations, Citizens Against Government Waste, press assistant, Representative Robert Lagomarsino, press secretary, Keyes for Senate [Oh gawd.], published in Chicago Tribune ,Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Washington Times”.

You also might want to check out this 2002 Public Eye article from the Colorado Springs Independent on Sean Paige, written as he was coming on board at The Gazette:

So what can we expect from our new right-wing ideologue? Well, let’s take a look at his background: From 1988 to 1989, Paige worked as a personal aide to John Sununu. Three years later Paige worked as the press secretary for Alan Keyes.

John Sununu! Alan Keyes! How can we possibly decide which of these powerbars taste better?

…Of course, it isn’t fair to judge a man merely by the politicians he once worked for. But it is relevant to consider the kind of leaders that gets Paige’s juices flowing.

So what has Paige been doing since the Sununu/Keyes salad days? Besides working as a columnist for a publication owned by the above-mentioned Washingtom Times, for the past two years, he has also worked as an adjunct fellow and editorial director at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank.

According to PR Watch, the Institute postures itself as an advocate of “sound science,” but, in fact, “is an ideologically driven, well-funded front for corporations opposed to safety and environmental regulations that affect the way they do business.”

In another piece the following week, we find out how Freedom Communications’ philosophy of journalism works.

…let’s take a look at how The Gazette is pretending that some of its writers, who work in other states, are actually on staff and crafting their prose from the home office at 30 S. Prospect.

In a widely criticized move earlier this year, The Gazette‘s owner, Freedom Communications, based in Orange County, Calif., launched an exercise in what it calls “joint content.” Essentially, the suits upstairs decided that film reviewing, travel and food were pretty much the same wherever you go.

So why on earth should staffers at three different papers specialize in those beats? Why not have just one film reviewer, one travel editor and one food editor write for their three largest publications, the Freedom flagship Orange County Register, The Gazette and the Mesa, Ariz. East Valley Tribune?

…”Basically it was a decision at the corporate level,” said Warner. “It’s not something we were solicited about; it was a business decision and one I’m not going to Monday morning quarterback.”

I guess in 2005 it also applies to Sean’s hacktacularly-crafted editorials as well. Sweet.

***

While surfing about for more information on Sean, I came across one of his Hannity and Colmes appearances that you may want to check out, while he was at the Competitive Enterprise Institute: Are Government Regulations Causing More Shark Attacks?. You have to read it.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding