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    11 May 2005

    More bushCo Gov't propaganda - USDA

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    Ya know, this is getting to be ridiculous. I don't care if it were a Dem or even better a progressive in charge, propaganda is unacceptable. What is happening to our country?
    A third federal agency has admitted it paid a journalist to write favorable stories about its work.

    Documents released by the Agriculture Department show it paid a freelance writer $9,375 in 2003 to "research and write articles for hunting and fishing magazines describing the benefits of NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) programs."

    Three articles by the writer, Dave Smith, appeared late last year in two magazines aimed at hunting and fishing enthusiasts: Outdoor Oklahoma, published by that state's Department of Wildlife Conservation, and Washington-Oregon Game & Fish, published by Primedia.

    Neither identified Smith as having been paid by the government. The stories focused on how money from a 2002 agricultural subsidy bill had been used to help preserve wetlands that hunting and fishing enthusiasts enjoy in Oklahoma and the Northwest.

    Smith, a biologist by profession who now works for the NRCS in Montana, said Tuesday that the magazines knew he'd been paid by the Agriculture Department. "I clearly spelled out to them," in writing, "that I'd been hired to do this," he said. He said the magazines did not pay him for the articles. "I knew I couldn't be paid by them" since he'd already been compensated, Smith said.

    Smith said he did not mention in the stories that he had been paid by NRCS. "I'd already explained to the magazines what the deal was and I thought they would take care of it from there," he said.

    Only $9k, but the list keeps growing...

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