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TAXPAYERS PAID FOR OBAMA PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN, SAYS REPORT

 

By NWV News writer Jim Kouri
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
April 18, 2011
2011 NewsWithViews.com

Documents from President Barack Obama's own Department of Health and Human Services detailing the agency's massive taxpayer-funded multimedia campaign designed to promote the Affordable Health Care Act (also known as Obamacare) and other HHS policy initiatives were obtained yesterday by a Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group devoted to investigating and prosecuting government corruption and abuse.

According to the records obtained by Judicial Watch in response to a March 23, 2011, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the total cost of the campaign, which targets Obama's electoral coalition, could reach as much as $200 million.

The HHS documents describe in detail the key to success of the propaganda campaign in the "Statement of Work" accompanying the Acquisition Plan: "Health and program-related messages are processed by the target audience according to a particular reality, which he or she experiences. Attitudes, feelings, values, needs, desires, behaviors and beliefs all play a part in the individual's decision to accept information and make a behavioral change. It is by understanding the importance of these characteristics that health and program-related messages can be targeted to the beneficiary in effective ways."

"When it comes to effective propaganda creation, no one -- not even Adolph Hitler's minister of propaganda Dr. Joseph Goebbels -- holds a candle to the denizens of Madison Avenue and Hollywood," said political strategist Mike Baker. "We're talking about a subtle, almost subliminal kind of propaganda that if discovered is easily defended or used to discredit those who expose it."

Among the highlights from the documents:

An April 27, 2010 Department of Health and Human Services Acquisition Plan entitled "National Multimedia & Education Campaign & Grassroots Outreach," details a comprehensive five-year communications program covering a variety of HHS policy initiatives, including "health care reform."

According to a section of the Acquisition Plan entitled, "Independent Government Cost Estimate," the Health and Human Services ASPA (Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs) states: "ASPA is unable to provide a definitive government cost estimate. Campaigns vary is [sic] size and scope. Some campaigns involve radio, some TV, and some print. Other campaigns may involve all of those avenues plus on ground events, website, bus tours, etc." However, ASPA "is letting this contract in order produce three to four campaigns per year through the life-cycle of the contract. We are requesting a contract with a $200,000,000 maximum."

According to a subsequent March 14, 2011 contract included among the documents, HHS hired The Ogilvy Group "to provide services to design, develop, and execute a multiplatform educational media campaign to promote the new website Healthcare.gov, including the new Spanish language version of the website." The total amount of the contract award: $3,998,928.

The Ogilvy contract "task order" describes the purpose of the Healthcare.gov website: "To accompany such a monumental piece of legislation (The Affordable Health Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare), the law charged the Department of Health and Human Services with the creation of a website to aide Americans about the health insurance coverage options available to them." (U.S. Senator Charles Grassley has deemed the HHS online program "state-sponsored propaganda.")

The Ogilvy contract also describes the "audiences" that will receive "targeted messaging" during the campaign: "Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Young People, Women/Mothers," all considered key target demographics for the Obama reelection campaign.

According to the Ogilvy contract, HHS sought to receive "media training" in the following areas, among others: "controlling your message," "handling hostile interviews," "artful repetition," "identifying loaded questions" and "being persuasive."

"There is nothing educational about this Obamacare propaganda campaign to force 'behavioral changes' on Americans. These records prove the administration is using taxpayer dollars to manipulate public opinion. It also appears the Obama administration is trying to get a leg-up in the reelection campaign by targeting key Obama constituencies with positive and misleading messages about the president's 'signature' policy initiative," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

"This Big Brother campaign is most certainly underhanded, potentially unlawful, and it must be stopped. If Congress is looking for a place to trim the deficit, this is a good place to start," Fitton said.

ANDY GRIFFITH TV PROPAGANDA?

The Obama Department of Health and Human Services produced a series of three Medicare television advertisements featuring actor Andy Griffith, which were deemed misleading by a number of press outlets, including the nonpartisan FactCheck.org.

The ObamaCare support team obviously believed that Griffith, who starred as Sheriff Andy Taylor on the long-running TV series The Andy Griffith Show and later played a criminal defense lawyer on the equally popular series Matlock, was the perfect spokesperson for an unpopular program. With the majority of Americans opposed to ObamaCare and its proponents, who would be a better and more believable spokesman than an elderly and homey Andy Griffith?

The Obama Administration spent $3,184,000 in taxpayer funds to produce and air the Griffith "propaganda" spots on national television in September and October of 2010 to educate “Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers, and family members about forthcoming changes to Medicare as a result of the Affordable Care Act.” The political advertisements were intended to decrease the amount of damage suffered by the Democrat Party at the polls in the November elections, according to Mike Baker.

The production for the three advertisements cost $404,000; the total amount budgeted for the national media placement is $2.78 million, which breaks down per ad to $754,000 (‘1965’), $1,112,000 (‘Music to My Ears’), and $1,390,000 (‘Cozy Chair’).”

In press statements touting the new Griffith advertising program the Obama White House described its purpose: “The Affordable Care Act [Obamacare] will strengthen the health care system for all Americans, but senior citizens in particular stand to benefit from the new law. And the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is getting a little help delivering the good news from a well-known TV star: Andy Griffith.”

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However, according to FactCheck.org, a project of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, the advertisements intentionally misinform the American people. In a new TV spot from the Obama administration, actor Andy Griffith, famous for his 1960s portrayal of the top law enforcement official in the fictional town of Mayberry, N.C., touts benefits of the new health care law.

"Griffith tells his fellow senior citizens, ‘like always, we’ll have our guaranteed [Medicare] benefits.’ But the truth is that the new [Obamacare] law is guaranteed to result in benefit cuts for one class of Medicare beneficiaries -- those in private Medicare Advantage plans,” said Baker.

2011 NWV - All Rights Reserved

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There is nothing educational about this Obamacare propaganda campaign to force 'behavioral changes' on Americans. These records prove the administration is using taxpayer dollars to manipulate public opinion.