Jan 24, 2005
Armstrong Williams, a conservative newspaper columnist and TV commentator, was paid $240,000 by the Bush Administration to talk up Bush's "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) education policy.
It's now become a scandal, since the news media are supposed to be "neutral" and "impartial."
The real scandal in this whole affair is the NCLB program itself.
"No Child Left Behind" is a shell game, pure and simple. It forces public schools to meet a whole list of unreasonable criteria – or they lose federal money.
On the other hand, NCLB allows for charter schools to be set up to compete with public schools for students. The charter schools can get federal money – and they don't have to be tested to meet the same rigorous criteria. Even though study after study has shown that most charter schools perform WORSE than the public schools they draw from.
"No Child Left Behind" is nothing but a way to shift money from public schools to private, charter schools – leaving children behind across the country.
This scandal continues – and very few of the news media bring it up at all, whether or not they were paid by the Bush administration.
It seems like there are a lot of ways other than money for an administration to buy off reporters.