“Covert propaganda” in California

The administration of California’s Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has followed the Bush White House in producing "video press releases" neatly disguised as actual news items for distribution to TV news stations—Bush to promote the Iraq war, Arnold to promote his anti-union policies. Critics call the tactic "covert propaganda" and compare it to the methods of totalitarian regimes. (UK Independent, March 14)

The White House program did, thank goodness, rate an outraged op-ed in the March 13 Sunday New York Times.

But one would hope that the reference to totalitarian regimes would jog some media memories. Few commentators seem to recall these days that the muscle-bound Governator is, at best, rather equivocal about repudiating his family’s Nazi past.