The ads are all over the blogs.
Google ads telling us about the glory of President Obama.
Impressive, isn’t it?
“We’ll look at new Presidential orders, policies on the economy, alternative energy and foreign affairs, and his use of the new media” proclaims the ads proudly.
Uh, what’s that little thing at the end of the ad?
Hmm…according to Wikipedia, the “.gov” designates only websites by the US government. All “dot gov” sites are registered to the General Services Administration*. (other government offices have other designations such as “.mil” or “.fed.us”.)
and the “dotgov.gov” website assures us:
Domain Name Integrity
To maintain domain name integrity, eligibility is limited to qualified government organizations and programs. Having a managed domain name such as .gov assures your customers that they are accessing an official US Government Site.
Why should this matter?
Because if you bother to check out the “blogs”, they are written by professionals working in the government, but are essentially promoting partisan issues.
So why is taxpayer money paying the salaries of taxpayer funded government employees using an “official US Government site” to promote partisan propaganda?
“Obama Today will follow President Obama’s initiatives and policy directions. We’ll look at new presidential orders, policies on the economy, alternative energy and foreign affairs, and his use of new media. Weâ€™ll review the new president’s progress and governing style, take a look at the challenges of governing the United States, and keep you informed about the fun moments as well. We encourage you to share your thoughts on the presidentâ€™s job.”
Yes, the Whitehouse press office traditionally has gushy type propaganda on it’s website (Bush’s dog Millie had yearly short films to amuse you).
But a partisan outreach by civil servants? I have a problem with that.
Yes, many of the blogs are “MEGO” types (“My eyes glaze over”, i.e. booooring) that spout routine news releases.
For example, the “By the People” blog has articles on why the US’ name is being blacked because a few thousand prostitutes are trafficked by criminals; but they also have a post on the importance of Miranda rights.
But why does their article on unemployment cite a report from the (liberal) Brookings Institute, but not the (conservative) CATO or Heritage Institutes?
And why was the “Science Planet” website shut down? True, it didn’t have a lot about science, but instead was full of puff pieces on African and Muslim scientists (presumably we “over achieving” Asians don’t rate a mention) but never mind. That blog started in August 2008, so presumably is an experiment in getting out information.
Then there is the “Govt gab” blog, supposedly by and for government employees. Two of the last 4 entries actually have useful information (one on how to volunteer to clean up the oil spill, another on financial planning with links). Neither of these are partisan.
So is the “Obama today” blog partisan propaganda?
Well, it’s archives go back to 2007, so presumably no.
But never mind.
I’m sure our taxpayer money is going for a good cause.
* according to Wikipedia,
The General Services Administration (GSA) is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1949 to help manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. The GSA supplies products and communications for U.S. government offices, provides transportation and office space to federal employees, and develops government-wide cost-minimizing policies, among other management tasks. GSAâ€™s mission is “to use expertise to provide innovative solutions for our customers in support of their missions and by so doing foster an effective, sustainable, and transparent government for the American people.”