No Izvestia in Pravda, No Pravda in Izvestia

In case you missed this AP story from a few days ago, here it is again: Bush™ is setting up a Social Security war room in the Treasury Department. (You may remember the infamous internal memo from January that didn't get much play. Read the related NYT article here.) Your tax dollars at work:
For the administration, the communications effort is being coordinated out of Treasury's public affairs office through the new Social Security Information Center. Three people have been hired, with two more hires possible soon. The first three employees are veterans of the Bush-Cheney campaign or the Republican National Committee. (Italics mine.)
Read the whole story here.

In a related development, the NYT details the widespread use of pre-packaged administration “news” stories and how they wind up on the air. While this is upsetting enough for the present, it's much more so for what it portends for future administrations.

Yes, the entire system is FUBAR. All such video releases should be clearly identified; the FCC could regulate that. But another, even better place to start would be to cut the government out of the business altogether.

And yet look at how hard some reporters labor to "rework" the stories:

"I didn't actually go to Afghanistan," [Tish Clark Dunning] said. "I took that story and reworked it. I had to do some research on my own. I remember looking on the Internet and finding out how it all started as far as women covering their faces and everything."
Geez, really? Did you find out why the men wear those funny hats?

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