No Williams

So where did the Armstrong Williams case go? One more instance of blatant criminality by Republicans… Maybe it’s that we all know it won’t be investigated – who would investigate? Who would be held accountable? And anyway, Bush has said that the “accountability moment” is so last year. Even bloggers dropped it – taking the so obvious bait when the Right falsely accused two bloggers of taking payments from the Dean campaign. “LOOK OVER THERE!” Off they went…

I came across a column on the subject, by John Young. He thinks the reason might be:

“This is what I’ve come to believe: It’s all about business. The White House is an enterprise of which members of a slim voting majority see themselves as stockholders. Those on the outs are stockholders of a group that didn’t win the contract.

To the stockholders whose firm again won the bid, what the management group does to achieve its business plan is of less importance than what it delivers–say, tax cuts and a stock market that purrs.”

Maybe, but something he wrote just before that got me thinking:

“…in pondering the lack of a sufficient uproar over the administration’s having paid black commentator Armstrong Williams $240,000 to tout the No Child Left Behind Act on the air. It’s one of several examples of a stealthy use of tax dollars to manipulate opinion.

What explained the lack of public outrage? I asked.”

I think a good part of the answer is right there: “Stealthy use of tax dollars to manipulate public opinion.” And not just tax dollars – although that is a big deal, and a big, big crime (that we know no one will answer for). There’s also the $300-million-a-year stealthy persuasion campaign of the Right’s network of think tanks that I frequently write about here. Combine that with the effect of Fox News, almost all of AM radio’s all-day-every-day right-wing persuasion campaign, the $100 million per year put into the Washington Times, and let’s not forget the corporate money involved.

After a while this kind of money just has to have an effect.

“What explained the lack of public outrage?” he asked? I think maybe the well-funded manipulation of public opinion is … wait for it … manipulating public opinion.