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An "independent" healthcare expert, bought and paid for by ObamaCo

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If it was wrong when Armstrong Williams did it for Bush/Cheney, it isn't right when this guy does it for Obama/Biden--to the tune of over $780, 000.

And that it's been indignantly, and hypocritically, deplored by propagandists on the right doesn't make it okay, either.

For too long, liberals have reflexively defended rightist actions by the Democrats, just because such actions have been savaged by Republicans. This impulse has allowed the Dems to get away with doing what those very liberals screamed against when the Republicans were doing them.

Those who thus defend the indefensible are finally just as partisan as any fierce defender of Bush/Cheney. If we observe our moral standards only when the Other Side offends them, then we offend them, too--or they're not really moral standards.

MCM


Where's the Outrage Over Obama's Health Care Propagandist, Jonathan Gruber?

http://www.prwatch.org/node/8829

US News and World Report blogger Peter Roff is comparing the Obama Administration's payments to Jonathan Gruber to the the pundit payola scandal of the Bush Administration paying Armstrong Williams.

In January 2005, USA Today
revealed that a US Department of Education contract paid Williams to promote
Bush's No Child Left Behind legislation on his TV show and to ask other African American journalists to do likewise. Democrats and media activists were appropriately outraged at such blatant and hidden government propaganda.
A January 7, 2010, report by Marcy Wheeler on her Firedoglake blog exposed the similar failure of the Obama Administration and influential MIT economist Jonathan Gruber to fully and consistently reveal Gruber's role in
receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars as a paid consultant to the Obama Administration, while promoting Obama's health care legislation.

Roff, a long-time
Republican activist and right wing pundit, notes that in the William's payola scandal "senior Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives wrote to President George W. Bush expressing their outrage.
In one of those letters, then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Reps. Henry Waxman, George Miller, David Obey, and Elijah Cummings denounced the payments made to Williams under a government contract as 'illegal
covert propaganda' intended to influence the American electorate."
What a difference partisanship makes now that Obama is president. In the Gruber scandal prominent liberals including New York Times columnist Paul Krugman have attacked the messenger, Marcy Wheeler and Firedoglake, rather than criticizing the lack of disclosure and the money changing hands, and digging further into the relationship between Obama and his paid health care advocate Jonathan Gruber. Who else is receiving convenient Administration funding while flacking 'independently' for Obama policies? In a democracy, we need to know and we have a right to know, no matter which party controls the White House.
While partisans Democrats might chafe at how this issue provides fodder to Fox News, Grover Norquist and others
on the Right, in this instance Roff's point that this should have been disclosed, or never happened, is correct and the blame should be placed on the administration. Jonathan Gruber has been a key third party advocate for Obama's legislation and this is a classic propaganda tactic. Gruber is someone trusted and pawned off on the press and public as independent, but with a lucrative and not so transparent financial relationship to the person whose position (in this case Obama) he is supporting.
Gruber himself, in his finer and less public moments, has described being a "paid consultant to the Obama Administration." Unfortunately, that relationship was not very visible or publicly recognized until Marcy Wheeler
blew her blogger's whistle. She deserves praise, not derision, and this case deserves investigation, not the back of
the hand from Dems whose silence makes them appear quite comfortable with government propaganda when it's
their president.
===
John Stauber is a writer and activist.

 

Mark's new book, Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008, a collection 14 essays on Bush/Cheney's election fraud since (and including) 2000, is just out, from Ig Publishing. He is also the author of Fooled Again: The Real Case for Electoral Reform, which is now out in paperback (more...)
 

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...because the entire system we have of mainstream... by Gustav Wynn on Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 8:04:30 AM