Where's the Outrage Over Obama's Health Care Propagandist, Jonathan Gruber?

US News and World Report blogger Peter Roff is comparing the Obama Administration's payments to https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Jonathan_Gruber" title="referen

US News and World Report blogger Peter Roff is comparing the Obama Administration's payments to Jonathan Gruber to the the pundit payola scandal of the Bush Administration paying Armstrong Williams.

In January 2005, USA Todayrevealed that a U.S. Department of Education contract paid Williams to promote Bush's No Child Left Behind legislation on his TV show and to ask other African American journalists to do likewise. Democrats and media activists were appropriately outraged at such blatant and hidden government propaganda. A January 7, 2010, report by Marcy Wheeler on her Firedoglake blog exposed the similar failure of the Obama Administration and influential MIT economist Jonathan Gruber
to fully and consistently reveal Gruber's role in receiving hundreds of
thousands of dollars as a paid consultant to the Obama Administration,
while promoting Obama's health care legislation.

Roff, a long-time Republican activist and right wing pundit,
notes that in the William's payola scandal "senior Democrats in the
U.S. House of Representatives wrote to President George W. Bush
expressing their outrage. In one of those letters, then-House Minority
Leader Nancy Pelosi and Reps. Henry Waxman, George Miller, David Obey, and Elijah Cummings denounced the payments made to Williams under a government contract as 'illegal covert propaganda' intended to influence the American electorate."

What a difference partisanship makes now that Obama is president. In the Gruber scandal prominent liberals including New York Times columnist Paul Krugman have attacked the messenger, Marcy Wheeler and Firedoglake,
rather than criticizing the lack of disclosure and the money changing
hands, and digging further into the relationship between Obama and his
paid health care advocate Jonathan Gruber.
Who else is receiving convenient Administration funding while flacking
"independently" for Obama policies? In a democracy, we need to know and
we have a right to know, no matter which party controls the White House.

While partisan Democrats might chafe at how this issue provides fodder to Fox News, Grover Norquist
and others on the Right, in this instance Roff's point that this should
have been disclosed, or never happened, is correct and the blame should
be placed on the administration. Jonathan Gruber has been a key third party advocate for Obama's legislation and this is a classic propaganda tactic. Gruber
is someone trusted and pawned off on the press and public as
independent, but with a lucrative and not so transparent financial
relationship to the person whose position (in this case Obama) he is
supporting.

Gruber
himself, in his finer and less public moments, has described being a
"paid consultant to the Obama Administration." Unfortunately, that
relationship was not very visible or publicly recognized until Marcy
Wheeler blew her blogger's whistle. She deserves praise, not derision,
and this case deserves investigation, not the back of the hand from
Dems whose silence makes them appear quite comfortable with government
propaganda when it's their president.

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