Monday, November 16, 2009

Gene Patterson's $200,000 govt paycheck

WATE TV news talking head Gene Patterson was hired as "deputy mayor" for Skull & Bones mayor/ambassador Victor "Victoria" Ashe. Salary in year 2000 was $98,048, for a non-existant job, i.e., "propaganda services". Tennessee Open Records Act request by John Lee at Pirate News. Patterson got paid at least two $100,000 paychecks, and has now returned to top disinfo agent at WATE TV News.

Ashe was George W Bush's gay lover according to Leolla McConnell's book Lustful Utterances. McConnell is now missing and presumed murdered, just like one of Victor Ashe's boyfriends in the Andrew Johnson Hotel on Gay Street (Pirate News TV HQ), and GW Bush's black girlfriend, Margie Shoedinger, who sued him for rape in Houston. Kitty Kelly's vetted Bush biography, The Family, proved GW was queer as a 3-dollar bill.

TN Open Records Act reply from City of Knoxville Municipal Corp, 1 Nov 09, received 9 Nov 09. Refusal to provide public records for $20-million media contracts with WBIR TV and Knoxville News Sentinel. But law director Debbie Poplin (or WBIR?) had no problem throwing WATE under the bus.

Tennessee Open Records Act Request - By John Lee at Pirate News, 1 November 2009

Cliff Clark had a massive stroke - After Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz overturned the TN Open Records Act and constitutions, threatens arrest of Pirate News. State of TN v Clifford Clark

Judge burns 1st Amendment on Constitution Day - Reads Miranda rights to Pirate News, State of TN v Clifford Clark, 9/11/2009

Pirate News subpoenas public records from City of Knoxville - Subpoenas for rebuttal witnesses WBIR TV and Knoxville News Sentinel regarding their $20-million govt contracts for propaganda services selling a Police State to the sheeple.

State v Clark Archive - All charges dismissed against Mr Clark after a Knox County deputy confessed to shooting a red-light traffic camera.

PROHIBITION ON PUBLICITY OR PROPAGANDA - H.R.2764 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008, SEC. 639. "No part of any appropriation contained in this Act shall be used for publicity or propaganda purposes within the United States not authorized before the date of the enactment of this Act by the Congress."

GAO: VIDEO NEWS RELEASES -- Unattributed Prepackaged News Stories Violate Publicity or Propaganda Prohibition - Prepackaged news stories are complete, audio-video presentations that may
be included in video news releases, or VNRs. They are intended to be
indistinguishable from news segments broadcast to the public by
independent television news organizations. To help accomplish this goal,
these stories include actors or others hired to portray “reporters” and may
be accompanied by suggested scripts that television news anchors can use to
introduce the story during the broadcast. These practices allow
prepackaged news stories to be broadcast, without alteration, as television
news. The publicity or propaganda prohibition states, “No part of any
appropriation contained in this or any other Act shall be used for publicity or
propaganda purposes within the United States not heretofore authorized by
the Congress.” GAO has long interpreted this provision to prohibit agencies
from, among other things, producing materials that are covert as to origin.
Our opinions have emphasized that the critical element of covert
propaganda is concealment of the government’s role in producing the
materials. Agencies have violated this law when they used appropriated
funds to produce articles and op-ed pieces that were the ostensible position
of persons not associated with the government. Since the 1990s, VNRs have become a popular public relations tool for
private corporations, nonprofit organizations, and government entities to
disseminate information, in part because they provide a cheaper
alternative than more traditional broadcast advertising and are welcomed
by some local news stations in smaller markets with significant budget
restraints. While the use of VNRs is widespread and widely known by those in the
media industry, the quality and content of materials considered to
constitute a VNR can vary greatly. Generally, a VNR package may contain
several items, including a series of video clips, known as B-roll footage;
title cards containing relevant information, known as slates; a
prepackaged news story, sometimes referred to as a story package; and
other promotional materials.1 These materials are produced in the same
manner as television news organizations produce materials for their own
news segments. By eliminating a news station’s production efforts and
costs of producing an original news story, VNR creators can find stations
willing to broadcast a favorable news segment on a desired topic. United States Government Accountability Office, Testimony Before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. Senate. Statement of Susan A. Poling, Managing Associate General Counsel, Office of General Counsel.

GAO: Bush promotion of Medicare shift illegal - The Bush administration’s promotion of the new Medicare law through videos made to look like news reports violated a prohibition against using public money for propaganda, Congress’ General Accounting Office said Wednesday. The materials in English and Spanish were produced by the Health and Human Services Department but did not identify their source. The videos, or parts of them, aired on at least 40 television stations in March, the department said. While there were several components to the video news releases, GAO faulted the administration for distributing seemingly independent, ready-to-air reports that did not inform viewers that they came from the government. The story packages violated the law because the government “did not identify itself as the source of the news report,” said GAO, Congress’ investigative arm. The English version ends with a woman’s voice saying, “In Washington, I’m Karen Ryan reporting.” A man identifies himself as a reporter named Alberto Garcia in the Spanish-language version. “The viewing audience does not know ... that Karen Ryan and Alberto Garcia were paid with HHS funds for their work,” congressional investigators said.

Bush Administration Spent $1.6B on ‘Propaganda’ Efforts - A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress’s research and auditing body, tracks more than 340 contracts negotiated between several government departments and PR, advertising and media firms from 2003 through the first part of 2005. The study, requested by the House of Representatives Democratic leadership, found that from 2003 to mid-2005, the administration racked up some $1.4 billion in contracts with advertising agencies to broadcast positive messages about its policies and initiatives. Another $200 million went to public-relations companies, and $15 million were spent building connections with media outlets. Individual members of the press received a total of $100,000 in promotional contracts. The bulk of the money went toward brightening the image of the military, with the Defense Department spending over $1 billion on media contracts. That chunk far outpaced the second-biggest spender, the Department of Health and Human Services, which doled out some $300 million. The Air Force budgeted a $179 million contract for a national and local "advertising partnership" to recruit new military members. The Department of Homeland Security spent approximately $24 million on contracts to market itself. This included no-bid contracts with ad agencies in 2004 and 2005, worth about $6.5 million, for the development of the "Ready Campaign" – which involved public service announcements "designed to educate and empower Americans about how to prepare for and respond to terrorist attacks." According to a fact sheet issued in tandem with the GAO report, the top contractor hired by the White House was Leo Burnett USA, which received contracts worth $536 million over the study period. In addition to the government, Leo Burnett counts Philip Morris, Walt Disney, McDonald’s and Visa among its clients and controls advertising agencies in 82 countries. The company branded the "Army of One" ad campaign, though the Defense Department last December broke ties with the company by signing a deal with a new ad agency worth an estimated $1.35 billion over five years.

GAO: Department of Education Contract to Obtain Services of Armstrong Williams - The Department of Education contracted to obtain commentary on the No Child Left Behind Act by Mr. Armstrong Williams, but took no steps to assure that its role in sponsoring that commentary was disclosed to the targeted audiences. This constituted covert propaganda in violation of the fiscal year 2004 publicity or propaganda prohibition found in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004, Pub. L. No. 108-199, div. F, title VI, 624, 118 Stat. 3, 356 (Jan. 23, 2004). Because the Department of Education had no appropriations available to contract for covert propaganda in violation of the publicity or propaganda prohibitions found in Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004, Pub. L. No. 108-199, div. F, title VI, 624, 118 Stat. 3, 356 (Jan. 23, 2004), the Department also violated the Antideficiency Act, 31 U.S.C. 1341. It must report these violations to the Congress and the President, and transmit a copy of that report to this Office. 31 U.S.C. 1351, as amended.

GAO Reconsideration of B-303495—Office of National Drug Control Policy Prepackaged News Stories - In B-303495, we concluded that the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s (ONDCP) use of appropriated funds to produce and distribute prepackaged news stories that were part of video news releases (VNRs) violated the prohibition on the use of appropriated funds for publicity or propaganda purposes. We do not believe it is appropriate to withdraw B-303495 and stand by that legal opinion. ONDCP asserted that the authority to conduct news media outreach included the authority to create news stories without revealing the government as the source of the story. Applying commonly accepted canons of statutory construction, we concluded that while this authority permits more than the traditional authority granted to agencies to conduct information dissemination, the language of the statute did not grant the authority to create news stories without attribution. There was no indication that Congress intended this authority to allow the distribution of information that would otherwise violate the publicity or propaganda prohibition. Finally, your letter asserts that our opinion failed to distinguish between deliberate concealment of the source by the government from the news media and the subsequent concealment of the source from the public by the news media. As stated above, the target audience of the prepackaged news stories was the television viewing audience. ONDCP is responsible for its own actions in concealing its role as the source from that target audience. Again, the materials in question were designed so that broadcasters would not make changes to the prepackaged news story before broadcast. ONDCP’s actions and intent resulted in the deliberate distribution of news stories to the public without disclosing government authorship to that audience. The fact that ONDCP used the television broadcasters as a medium to reach this target audience does not relieve it of its responsibility.

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