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Bush's Media Fakery

4
Aaron LarsonPerson was signed in when posted
03-20-2004
06:17 AM ET (US)
Still no honesty from the Bush Administration on these "VPR's"....
In a foolhardy obsession, the Bush administration continues to insist that a woman it used to portray a television reporter is actually a freelance journalist, not an actor. The woman appears in free videos distributed to local TV stations by the Health and Human Services Department....

The government insists that Ms. Ryan is the real deal. The Columbia Journalism Review, which put some actual reporters on the case, showed otherwise. Ms. Ryan turns out to be a public relations specialist who in this case was hired to portray a stand-up reporter presenting the Medicare plan as objective news. By her account, she once worked as a TV journalist. But her specialty, the review says, is this sort of faux news report.
3
Aaron LarsonPerson was signed in when posted
03-17-2004
07:14 AM ET (US)
So you are arguing that these are ads - essentially campaign ads - and that you can do whatever you want in a campaign ad? Great, whatever. But why would you think it is "no big deal" for a candidate to use taxpayer money to hire actors, film, and distribute campaign ads disguised as news coverage?

The Bush Administration, certainly, would never admit that these were "ads". What you describe would be illegal.
2
Big deal of the day
03-17-2004
12:32 AM ET (US)
Using actors in ads has to be the lowest form of trickery in the world. I always thought Mr Whipple was a real guy until someone told me he was really an actor. I cried.

If you use real people in ads you have to get their permission to do so and that is usually a daunting task so using actors is more convenient though more expensive and it helps some starving actor through another day. BC04 can afford it.
1
Aaron LarsonPerson was signed in when posted
03-16-2004
11:14 AM ET (US)
More on this story from The New York Times.

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