March 18, 2005
Dear Mr. Ephram Watley,
We appreciate your willingness to help counterbalance the recent spate of negative publicity surrounding media stories allegedly "planted" by our office. Your pursuit of the truth is truly admirable, and we commend you for your journalistic integrity. Below is a "factsheet" which you are free to use for your publication. As discussed, a completely unrelated check for $5,000 is enclosed, with absolutely no expectation of a quid pro quo.
White House Spokesperson
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(Washington) Recent reports that the White House has been surreptitiously planting stories in the media are patently false, according to independent observers, and are largely the result of Democratic efforts to discredit the administration.
"While it is true that the administration provides materials such as video clips and articles to newspapers and television news stations, these materials were simply provided in the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. "This administration has always been focused on the unfettered dissemination of information to the American public, and these contributions are simply an illustration of that principle."
The White House has been generously providing such factsheets to the media in an effort to make sure that journalists have access to the latest and most accurate information. Despite malicious and unfounded rumors to the contrary, the administration is not distributing checks with these factsheets.
"The materials provided by the administration have been a Godsend," said Terrence Goldberg, of WTF-TV Action News in Hazelton. "As an independent journalist, I have always found the materials to be accurate, reliable, and not in the least bit biased."
There has been speculation that the allegations about attempted media-tampering have been initiated in an effort to draw the public's attention away from a variety of financial and moral woes plaguing many media outlets. According to recently released statistics, 55% of all such outlets are filing for bankruptcy, and 80% of them are pornographers.
"I for one am grateful to the White House for taking the time to present its side of the story," said Mark Battale, a minister in Knoxville, Tennessee. "In my opinion, America needs all the news it can get from the Administration. I hope they make more articles and interviews available to the American public."
"Don't worry," said a cheerful McClellan. "We've got plenty more where that came from."