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Obama Admin Paid $18K To Rate BP News

From an approving Associated Press:

News rater, anti-Palin group get govt Gulf work

By SHARON THEIMER (AP)
September 13, 2010

WASHINGTON — The federal government hired a New Orleans man for $18,000 to appraise whether news stories about its actions in the Gulf oil spill were positive or negative for the Obama administration, which was keenly sensitive to comparisons between its response and former President George W. Bush’s much-maligned reaction to Hurricane Katrina.

Just imagine the hue and cry and gnashing of teeth if President Bush had put someone on the payroll to assess news reports about his response to Hurricane Katrina.

The government also spent $10,000 for just over three minutes of video showing a routine offshore rig inspection for news organizations but couldn’t say whether any ran the footage. And it awarded a $216,625 no-bid contract for a survey of seabirds to an environmental group that has criticized what it calls the "extreme anti-conservation record" of Sarah Palin, a possible 2012 rival to President Barack Obama.

Another shock. It’s almost as if the Obama administration sees federal funding as a way to hand out patronage jobs. It’s almost as if they use the taxpayers’ money to reward their friends and punish their enemies.

The contracts were among hundreds reviewed by The Associated Press as the government begins to provide an early glimpse at federal spending since the Gulf disaster in April…

The White House is still deciding whether it will bill BP for spill-related trips by Obama and his wife, Michelle, to the Gulf, including the president’s flights aboard Air Force One, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars each.

That is really rich. Let’s hope BP learns its lesson and stops contributing to politicians who want to put them out of business.

The contracts the government has disclosed so far include at least $5.8 million for helicopter services, $3.1 million for lodging, $1.4 million for boat charters, $225,000 for water-testing devices, including some used aboard ships, $457,570 for cellular and satellite phone services, $25,087 for toilets, $23,217 for laundry services and $109,735 for refrigerators and freezers.

Yet the government’s new contracting data includes errors and vague entries that make it difficult to identify wasteful spending. It spent $52,000 on a boat charter described merely as "marine charter for things," with no further explanation. A separate $90,000 contract for a single 70-pound anchor is listed incorrectly; the contractor told the AP it actually supplied hundreds of anchors.

A White House spokesman, Ben LaBolt, declined to comment on the contracts.

Among all the contracts, perhaps none is more striking than the Coast Guard’s decision to pay $9,000 per month for two months to John Brooks Rice of New Orleans, an on-call worker for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, under a no-bid contract to monitor media coverage from late May through July.

Rice told the AP that he compiled print and video news stories and offered his subjective appraisal of the tone of the coverage. "From reading and watching the media I would create reports," he said. "I reported either positive coverage, negative coverage, misinformation coverage."

The Coast Guard expects BP to reimburse the $18,000, Coast Guard spokesman Capt. Ron LaBrec said

As well they should. Why should Mr. Obama have to pay for riding herd on his PR?

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, September 14th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Obama Admin Paid $18K To Rate BP News”

  1. Right of the People says:

    So BP has to pay for Barry and Thunderbutts vacations now??? WTF is up with that? If I were running BP I’d tell them to take it out of the 20 billion they already extorted. This is why you never pay a blackmailer, they’ll just keep coming back for more.

    If big business is smart they’d stop all of their political contributions, particularly to the Dims. I used to be when you bought a politician the SOB stayed bought!

  2. untrainable says:

    And people think Oblamer is out of touch. I mean I know whenever I watch the news, I need someone smart to tell me what it all means. I just don’t have the modern Ivy League education to help me decide what things mean. But I thought Obie had all that. I guess he doesn’t have time between basketball games and golf matches to watch the news and make a determination for himself. Is this an admission that our president is a moron, or just that he’s so smart he can’t relate to the way everyone else sees the world? Without a teleprompter this guy couldn’t find his ass with both hands and a google map (with pictures).

  3. AcornsRNutz says:

    This whole article is a hilarious! Seriously, this would have been front page, week long, SNL fodder-worthy news under Bush. I can see it now, some lousy impressionist fat ass comedian screaming to Tina Fey to come tell him what the news meant while it ranted on about what a jackass he was.

    This must be the change obama promised. SNL now actually has to try to be funny, and news folks have to hide stuff they used to fight over.


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