New York Times (registration required):
But the arrangement, which started in late 2003 and was first reported yesterday by USA Today, also stipulated that a public relations firm hired by the department would "arrange for Mr. Williams to regularly comment on N.C.L.B. during the course of his broadcasts," that "Secretary Paige and other department officials shall have the option of appearing from time to time as studio guests," and that "Mr. Williams shall utilize his long-term working relationships with 'America's Black Forum' " - an African-American news program - "to encourage the producers to periodically address the No Child Left Behind Act."
This is not the first time Ketchum has been caught manufacturing news. What is so stunning is the blatant venality. Usually these things are done with enough subtlety to preserve the fiction of journalistic integrity.
Whoever wrote the contract must have been a political appointee, for there isn’t a career civil servant on the face of the earth dumb enough to write an illegal requirement into a procurement contract.
Will someone tell Laurence Moskowitz That you can’t say one thing to the New York Times and an entirely different thing to PR Week.