The Bush administration paid $240,000 to prominent African-American pundit Armstrong Williams, to "build support among black families for its education reform law," No Child Left Behind, reports USA Today, citing documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. The contract required Williams "to regularly comment on NCLB during the course of his broadcasts," and to interview Education Secretary Rod Paige. The Ketchum PR firm, on behalf of the Education Department, also "arranged with Williams to use contacts with America's Black Forum, a group of black broadcast journalists, 'to encourage the producers to periodically address' NCLB." The arrangement was part of a $1 million contract with Ketchum, which also produced video news releases touting NCLB. Williams, who also runs the Graham Williams Group PR firm, said he agreed to the contract because NCLB is "something I believe in." The Public Relations Society of America said Williams' failure to disclose the payment "does not describe the true practice of 'public relations.'"
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