Mainstream Media, Fake News and Politics
The finger of blame is shifting from Armstrong Williams to the Administration that paid him to promote "No Child Left Behind." The conservative pundit says he will not return the money and Education Secretary Ron Paige says it was all perfectly legal, but has agreed to investigate his department-s contract with a public relations firm that hired Williams to produce ads featuring Paige himself, put Paige on his programs and persuade other African-American journalists to talk about the new law. Is government-paid propaganda business as usual? What-s the role of news coverage in shaping government-s message? Do mainstream media still have the power to set America-s political agenda? We look at the legal and ethical issues with journalists, media analysts and a US Senator, who's calling for an investigation by Congress. Making News: Israel's Sharon Cuts of Ties to Palestinian President Abbas Citing yesterday's bombing and shooting that six Israelis and wounded five more, Israeli Prime Minster Ariel Sharon has cut all ties to newly elected Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who will be inaugurated tomorrow. Dan Ephron, who covers the Middle East for Newsweek magazine, has an update. Reporter's Notebook: Huygens Probe Lands on Titan It piggybacked into orbit around Saturn on the Cassini, which left Earth in 1997. Now, after being released from its mother ship on December 24, Huygens has landed on Titan, a moon almost as big as the planet Mars and, conceivably, a lot more interesting. Gerhard Schwehm, head of the Planetary Mission Division in the European Space Agency, says the probe could reveal important secrets about the origins of life on Earth.