August 15, 2006
Moonlighting in PropagandaA government official moonlights in hogwash:
Labor Department deputy assistant secretary Karen Czarnecki has repeatedly appeared on television — including Fox News and PBS — as a pundit...The Labor Department doesn't think it's unethical, but it is highly inappropriate considering she is a salaried employee of the people and she is espousing the ideology of her party. It smacks of propaganda at our expense.
She also never mentions her government position on any of her gigs. It's no surprising that Fox is participating in such hackery, but PBS? Shame on you.
Experts opine that PBS should've disclosed Czarnecki's government position, especially in the light of the the Williams/Gallagher payola scandal.
PBS Ombudsman agrees:
"It seems to me that it is a big mistake for the program and PBS — no matter what the Labor Department says — not to make her other full-time association clear to viewers in some fashion," Getler wrote. (Earlier, we reported that show host Bonnie Erbe said the government told her Czarnecki could not be identified as an official.) "If they don’t want to change the on-screen captions, then Erbe ought to at least describe the association verbally to viewers, and state that [Czarnecki] is not speaking for the department. Viewers can understand that.Hear hear.
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