Just Another Shill in the Marketplace of Ideas

"There is certainly no shortage of story angles to choose from," writes Laurie Spivak, about the revelation that Armstrong Williams was paid to promote the Bush administration's education policies. "This isn't just a story about a self-serving pundit 'entrepreneur,' or the erosion of public trust in the media, or hypocrisy, or using covert propaganda to sell controversial Bush programs. ... Armstrong Williams, Karen Ryan and Ketchum PR are all bit players in what is a big budget, major studio production. ... The real story here is about the conservative movement and the ways that that movement - primarily through the marketing of conservative ideas - has molded and continues to mold public opinion in America."