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Congress' General Accounting Office charged the Bush administration with using public money for propaganda on Wednesday. The Associated Press reported that videos created by the administration to promote the new Medicare law were styled as news reports- but without any disclaimers that they were, indeed, dramatized. The The English-language version of the video, which aired on about 40 different television stations in March, ends with an actor stating "In Washington, I'm Karen Ryan reporting."
Although Bill Pierce, spokesman for Health and Human Services (the producers of the videos) blamed the TV stations for not identifying the source of the materials, his boss, Kevin Keane, thought differently. Keane said the videos should have been clearly identified as to the source. When officials met with the press in March, Clinton administration videos were shown, which came with a clear disclaimer that HHS was the producer.
Earlier this month, the Congressional Research Service declared that the administration probably violated federal law in its efforts to keep the estimates of the costs of the Medicare bill from the Democrats.