GAO finds DoE's contract with Armstrong Williams resulted in propaganda

WASHINGTON: The Department of Education's contract with commentator Armstrong Williams -- subcontracted by Ketchum -- to comment on the No Child Left Behind Act resulted in "covert propganda," the Government Accountability Office said today.

WASHINGTON: The Department of Education's contract with commentator Armstrong Williams -- subcontracted by Ketchum -- to comment on the No Child Left Behind Act resulted in "covert propganda," the Government Accountability Office said today.

The decision was sent in a letter to Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), who had requested investigation into the matter.

"[The] Department contracted for Armstrong Williams to comment regularly on the No Child Left Behind Act without assuring that the Department's role was disclosed to the targeted audiences," the letter reads. "This violated the publicity or propaganda prohibition for fiscal year 2004 because it amounted to covert propaganda."

As part of its contract with DoE, Ketchum paid Armstrong Williams's company, The Graham Williams Group, $240,000 to regularly comment on NCLB. USA Today first reported the story in January of this year.

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