Letter from David Brock, RE: Armstrong Williams


January 7, 2005

Kevin Klose
President and Chief Executive
National Public Radio
635 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001

David D. Smith
Chief Executive Officer
Sinclair Broadcasting Group, Inc.
10706 Beaver Dam Road
Hunt Valley, MD 21030

Roger E. Ailes
Chairman and CEO
FOX News Channel
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036

Jonathan Rodgers
TV One
101 Wayne Avenue, 10th floor
Silver Spring, MD 20910

David D. Williams
President and CEO
Tribune Media Services
435 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

Dear Sirs:

I'm writing today to bring to your attention a report in the January 7 edition of USA Today that conservative commentator Armstrong Williams was paid $240,000 by the U.S. government to promote a Bush administration education initiative -- a financial relationship he failed to disclose to readers, listeners, and viewers.

If the facts as reported by USA Today are correct, Mr. Williams was being secretly paid by the Bush administration to promote government policies at the same time that he was participating in public debate on those policies. I presume that you are as troubled by this gross conflict of interest as I am. I respectfully ask that you immediately review your professional relationship with Mr. Williams and take whatever actions you may deem appropriate, including severing that relationship, on the grounds that Mr. Williams's integrity has been irrevocably damaged by taking money to influence the public debate without disclosing those payments.

In my view, the payments, if made -- as well as Mr. Williams's failure to disclose the payments -- would disqualify Mr. Williams from appearing in the media as an independent commentator.


David Brock
President and CEO
Media Matters for America

Government Paid Propaganda
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