JURIST Digital Scholars
FCC investigates paid commentator’s support of Bush education plan
FCC investigates paid commentator’s support of Bush education plan

[JURIST] Federal Communications Commission [official website] chairman Michael Powell ordered an investigation [PDF statement] Friday into whether political commentator Armstrong Williams [media website; Wikipedia profile] improperly failed to disclose that he was paid by the Bush administration to support the president's education plan. Williams was paid $240,000 as part of a commitment the Department of Education had with public relations firm Ketchum [corporate website; Ketchum CEO Ray Kotcher offers this op-ed on the controversy] to promote their education plan. The agreement included ads with Education Secretary Rod Paige to endorse the controversial No Child Left Behind Act [Education Dept. website]. Though both Williams and Paige maintain that the agreement was legal, President Bush said in an interview published Friday that the Cabinet "needs to take a good look and make sure this kind of thing doesn't happen again." AP has more.