Here is a new fact about how some of the $829 billion stimulus money was spent: it went for advertisements on two of the most partisan, pro-Obama commentary shows on television.
Since advertisers are customarily called sponsors, that means that we taxpayers sponsored highly partisan shows on MSNBC that were hosted by Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann. (The explosive Mr. Olbermann is no longer on MSNBC, despite our generosity.)
The Washington Times reports:
The Labor Department paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal stimulus funds to a public relations firm to run more than 100 commercials touting the Obama administration’s “green training” job efforts on two MSNBC cable shows, records show.
The commercials ran on MSNBC on shows hosted by Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann in 2009…
And here’s the zinger:
…but the contract didn’t report any jobs created, according to records reviewed recently by The Washington Times. …
David Williams, president of the nonprofit watchdog Taxpayers Protection Alliance, called the contract “questionable” because it created no jobs and because of the placement of the ads on shows viewed as friendly to the administration’s policies.
“Hiring a PR firm does not create jobs, and this was obviously meant for selling a particular political agenda,” Mr. Williams said. “The placement really reeks of a political ad rather than a job ad, and taxpayers see through this.”
Labor Department officials replied to the Times’ questions by email, saying that the TV spots had been used to inform potential green employers of the availability of green-trained potential employees—for whom, thanks to excessive regulation there are few jobs, green or otherwise.
As for the choice of Maddow and Olbermann for our patronage, the officials said that the Larry King Show (also now gone) and public television’s Jim Lehrer show had been considered but that reportedly the rates were considered too high. They said that the two MSNBC shows reached a target audience and got good “gross perceptions per spot.”
I have a gross perception about this use of taxpayer money.