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House Republicans Investigate White House ‘Propaganda’

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A report issued by Republicans on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform issued this week complains that the Obama administration is ramming its agenda down our throats with such propaganda tools as websites, street signs, and artwork.

The 36 page document walks us through the history of Presidential propaganda, explaining that it’s used most intensely during wartime. The government during WWII issued a film about Victory Gardens, and Frank Capra‘s “Why We Fight.”

The Committee’s methodology has 16 firms sharing $66 million during Obama’s first year. The report is fair though, mentioning bad PR under Bush’s watch including the improper use of video news releases (VNRs) in 2004, paying radio host Armstrong Williams to thump No Child Left Behind, and our all time favorite, the fake FEMA presser.

Sadly, $161 million is the all time high spent in 2003, the year an international case needed to be made to invade Iraq. See the bar graph after the jump for the White House’s PR spend year over year.

The report covers the use of street signs like the one above to show the effects of stimulus spending, the use of websites like Recovery.gov to hammer the message, and also describes a conference call held by the National Endowment for the Arts communications director Yosi Sargent telling artists and other “cool people” to use their various media to get the word out with their art.


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Ranking Member, Darrell Issa (CA-49) is asking the GAO (Government Accountability Office) to investigate further.

You can find the Executive Summary here, and a full PDF of the report here.

[via WashingtonPost's Federal Voices]

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