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billgerat
Hope-nosis

Registered: Aug 2000
Location: ObamaNation
Posts: 26434
Bush administration pays actors to pose as TV journalists promoting Medicare law

Dems attack videos promoting Medicare law
Bush administration pays actors to pose as TV journalists

--Monday, March 15, 2004 San Fransisco Chronicle
------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Washington -- Congressional investigators are scrutinizing television segments in which the Bush administration paid people to pose as journalists praising the benefits of the new Medicare law, intended to help elderly Americans with the costs of their prescription medicines.

The videos, a hybrid of advertising and journalism, are intended for use in local television news programs.

Several of the videos include pictures of President Bush receiving a standing ovation from a crowd cheering as he signed the Medicare drug-benefit law on Dec. 8.

The materials were produced by the Department of Health and Human Services, but the source is not identified. Two videos end with the voice of a woman who says, "In Washington, I'm Karen Ryan reporting."

But the production company, Home Front Communications, said it had hired Ryan to read a script prepared by the government.

Another video, intended for Latino audiences, shows a Bush administration official being interviewed in Spanish by a man who identifies himself as a reporter named Alberto Garcia.

One television segment shows a pharmacist talking to an elderly customer at a drugstore counter. The pharmacist says the new law "helps you better afford your medications," and the customer says, "It sounds like a good idea." Indeed, the pharmacist says, "A very good idea."

The government also prepared scripts that can be used by news anchors introducing what the administration described as a made-for-television "story package."

In one script, the administration suggests that anchors use this language: "In December, President Bush signed into law the first-ever prescription drug benefit for people with Medicare.

"Since then, there have been a lot of questions about how the law will help older Americans and people with disabilities. Reporter Karen Ryan helps sort through the details."

The "reporter" then explains the benefits of the new law.

Lawyers from the General Accounting Office, an investigative arm of Congress, discovered the materials last month when they were investigating the use of federal money to pay for certain flyers and advertisements that publicize the Medicare law.

In a report to Congress last week, the lawyers said those flyers and advertisements were legal, despite "notable omissions and other weaknesses."

Administration officials said the television news segments were also a legal, effective way to educate beneficiaries.

Gary Kepplinger, deputy general counsel of the accounting office, said, "We are actively considering some follow-up work related to the materials we received from the Department of Health and Human Services."

One question is whether the government might mislead viewers by concealing the source of the Medicare videos, which have been broadcast by stations in Oklahoma, Louisiana and other states.

Federal law prohibits the use of federal money for "publicity or propaganda purposes" not authorized by Congress.

In the past, the General Accounting Office has found that federal agencies violated this restriction when they disseminated editorials and newspaper articles written by the government or its contractors, without identifying the source.

Kevin Keane, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, said there was nothing nefarious about the television broadcast materials, which he said had been distributed to television stations across the country. Under federal law, he said, the government is required to inform beneficiaries about changes in Medicare.

"The use of video news releases is a common, routine practice in government and the private sector," Keane said. "Anyone who has questions about this practice needs to do some research on modern public information tools."

But Democrats disagreed. "These materials are even more disturbing than the Medicare flyer and advertisements," said Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.

"The distribution of these videos is a covert attempt to manipulate the press," he said.

Lautenberg, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and seven other members of Congress requested the original review by the accounting office.

Documents from the Medicare agency show why the administration is eager to advertise the benefits of the new law, on radio and television, in newspapers and on the Internet.

"Our consumer research has shown that beneficiaries are confused about the Medicare Modernization Act and uncertain about what it means for them," states one document from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey indicated that only a fraction of the U.S. seniors understood the law, and the more they learned about it, the less they liked it.

In addition to offering seniors and the disabled a limited drug benefit beginning in 2006, the law gives private insurance companies billions of dollars to lure beneficiaries away from traditional Medicare and into managed care.

"Video news releases" have been in use for more than a decade. Pharmaceutical companies have done particularly well with them, producing news- style health features about the afflictions their drugs are meant to cure.

Such videos have drawn criticism from some news media ethicists, who consider them to be at cross-purposes with journalism's mission to verify independently the claims of corporations and governments.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/artic...MNGPG5KODH1.DTL

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Does this really surprise anyone? Typical bushleague bullcrap.

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Old Post 03-16-2004 01:29 AM
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Sabine
Other

Registered: Mar 2002
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How shocking.

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Old Post 03-16-2004 01:32 AM
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Desmond02
\m/(>_<)\m/

Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 413

cant say that im surprised one bit. just another example of how pretentious this presidential imposter in the white house really is. A vote against bush is not only a vote against tyranny, hegemony, death, destruction, pilfering, ect... but is also a vote against karl rove and the other political cronies bush who come up with shit like that

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Old Post 03-16-2004 01:53 AM
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mmmtravis
stealthy ninja

Registered: May 2002
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next you'll tell me those raisin bran commercials are using paste instead of milk.

what is this world coming to?

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Old Post 03-16-2004 02:20 AM
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Sabine
Other

Registered: Mar 2002
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shocking! shocking I say! pretty soon politics will be full of lies and dirtiness if Bush keeps this shocking shocking behavior up.

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Old Post 03-16-2004 02:30 AM
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euphorbia
caustic milk - hybrid

Registered: Apr 2001
Location: behind the irony curtain
Posts: 19147

those republicans paid actors to act?! In commercials?
omg im forming a militia; its time to revolt against the government.

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Old Post 03-16-2004 02:37 AM
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Sabine
Other

Registered: Mar 2002
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this makes me question advertising altogether.

does this mean I won't have hair like the girls on the Pantene commercials?

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Old Post 03-16-2004 02:39 AM
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euphorbia
caustic milk - hybrid

Registered: Apr 2001
Location: behind the irony curtain
Posts: 19147

quote:
Originally posted by Sabine
this makes me question advertising altogether.

does this mean I won't have hair like the girls on the Pantene commercials?



pantene is for hair? Ive been rubbing it on my ass and tits.
no fucking wonder.



Im writing someone a nasty letter.

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Old Post 03-16-2004 02:48 AM
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morgana
THE Bitch

Registered: Jul 2000
Location: my mother's bloody womb
Posts: 7542

yes, let's all twist the implications and mock them now.

wooooh.

from what i take away from it, the 'advertisements' are set up to look like they're made from actual news footage. you know...like, real. and stuff.

however, since discovering that fox has a writing and scripting team for all of their reality shows, i have learned my lesson about this so called 'reality' thing. i've written it off. none of you exist. you are simply the imaginings of several little script monkeys typing away in a boardroom somewhere in order to alleviate my frustration with my life. your main job is to keep my inquiries and dissatisfactions in this forum, instead of taking them out into the so called 'real' world, where i could upset the delicate balance of this carefully crafted society.

welcome to the matrix, morgana.

and you all wondered why i type in lime font.

*passes out*

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Old Post 03-16-2004 03:27 AM
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bunkum
Sanditon

Registered: Jul 2000
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Can we get a close-up on your face while you talk on the phone to your mom whilst hiding in the bathroom, morg? I think the viewers would love it!

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Old Post 03-16-2004 03:31 AM
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morgana
THE Bitch

Registered: Jul 2000
Location: my mother's bloody womb
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*waves at the camera*

don't mind the smell.

*sprays lysol*

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Old Post 03-16-2004 03:38 AM
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missphinx
Edgy the Budgie

Registered: Jul 2000
Location:
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morgana, for god's sake, woman, you can't smell anything over tv. I don't care what they said in the 60s about smellovision. It never happened. What do we have to do to get you to remember, shake it into you?

Sheesh.

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Old Post 03-16-2004 03:40 AM
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morgana
THE Bitch

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i was talking to the big hairy guy with the camera, sphinx. sheesh.

*farts*

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Old Post 03-16-2004 03:42 AM
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missphinx
Edgy the Budgie

Registered: Jul 2000
Location:
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man with camera...

riiiigggghhhhht.

In other news, thanks to our good friend mmmtravis, I've been researching the fabulous career of Professional Food Stylist for about 15 minutes or so.

I found a lovely recipe for non-melting ice cream.

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Old Post 03-16-2004 03:49 AM
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Peter_Torque
Grill Instructor

Registered: May 2002
Location: No. California
Posts: 4175

quote:
Originally posted by Desmond02
... karl rove and the other political cronies bush who come up with shit like that

Attachment: hot-karl.jpg
This has been downloaded 110 time(s).

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Old Post 03-16-2004 04:11 AM
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Desmond02
\m/(>_<)\m/

Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 413

hehehe, i dont give a fuck. when im violently sodomizing members of the bush white house in my own personal form of reprisal against all of the evil and wrong that they have done to the world and america, ill pull out all the stops. rustry trombone, the houdini, dirty sanchez, cleveland steamer, hot karl, the screaming dragon, it doesnt matter...ill fuckin do eet!!!

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Old Post 03-16-2004 04:42 AM
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SocialParasite
wallet.dat is where it at

Registered: Jul 2000
Location: fuck you daaaaaaaaad
Posts: 24496

quote:
Originally posted by euphorbia
those republicans paid actors to act?! In commercials?
omg im forming a militia; its time to revolt against the government.



The problem isn't with the ad but how the ad is presented.

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Old Post 03-16-2004 06:23 PM
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Smug Git
Arrogance Personified

Registered: Aug 2001
Location: Hilbert Space
Posts: 36297

It isn't supposed to be a political ad, though, is it? It is paid for by the taxpayer, and yet (it appears) to present the Bush-driven schemes as a great thing, apparently as assessed by a journalist (where there is at least some expectation of neutrality). Fucking sucks.

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Old Post 03-16-2004 06:40 PM
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Cliffie
Adorable Pussycat

Registered: Mar 2004
Location:
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Well, why should Bush be any different from his literal and political forbears? He's learned from the successes of george the First and the Gipper -- and the disaster that befell Clinton -- that media image is everything.

You take my job. Sales reps come and rattle on to my boss about the glories of this or that new drug, and he just believes it, and then he's giving it out like Skittles to anyone to asks. He forgets they are sales reps. It's come out recently that a lot of those so-called research findings about the safety and efficacy of the new drugs came directly out of the keesters of ad copywriters, but does he care?

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Old Post 03-16-2004 06:50 PM
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zim
-

Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Boston
Posts: 3119

quote:
Originally posted by Smug Git
It isn't supposed to be a political ad, though, is it? It is paid for by the taxpayer, and yet (it appears) to present the Bush-driven schemes as a great thing, apparently as assessed by a journalist (where there is at least some expectation of neutrality). Fucking sucks.
paid for by the taxpayer?

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Old Post 03-16-2004 06:51 PM
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zim
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Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Boston
Posts: 3119

quote:
Originally posted by Cliffie
Well, why should Bush be any different from his literal and political forbears? He's learned from the successes of george the First and the Gipper -- and the disaster that befell Clinton -- that media image is everything.

You take my job. Sales reps come and rattle on to my boss about the glories of this or that new drug, and he just believes it, and then he's giving it out like Skittles to anyone to asks. He forgets they are sales reps. It's come out recently that a lot of those so-called research findings about the safety and efficacy of the new drugs came directly out of the keesters of ad copywriters, but does he care?

where is it that you work? and what drugs are you refering to?

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Last edited by CHiPsJr on 11-09-2006 at 08:23 AM

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Old Post 03-16-2004 06:52 PM
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Cliffie
Adorable Pussycat

Registered: Mar 2004
Location:
Posts: 46

I'm a headshrinker who works for a psychiatrist. I refer to all those drugs you are suddenly seeing advertised on TV. Not to mention dozens of others.

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Old Post 03-16-2004 06:57 PM
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zim
-

Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Boston
Posts: 3119

good thing im sane.
hah

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Old Post 03-16-2004 06:58 PM
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Smug Git
Arrogance Personified

Registered: Aug 2001
Location: Hilbert Space
Posts: 36297

quote:
Originally posted by ZiM
paid for by the taxpayer?


It is government (rather than GOP) dough that pays for these particular ads, isn't it? They were produced by the Department of Health and Human Services.

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Old Post 03-16-2004 07:07 PM
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Azrael
The Advocate

Registered: Dec 2002
Location:
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Sanity is overrated.

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Old Post 03-16-2004 07:08 PM
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