White House Hires News Monitor. Also Hire Sarah Paliln Critic for Environment Analysis.

The Associate Press is reviewing the Obama Administration spending on the Gulf Oil Spill. The White House  hired a New Orleans man $18,000 to watch news coverage of the Oil Spill in the Media.

The government also spent $10,000 for just over three minutes of video showing a routine offshore rig inspection for news organizations but couldn’t say whether any ran the footage.

The White House is hire an environmental group who is critical of former Republican Vice President Nominee Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. The group Defenders of Wildlife, received a $216,625 noncompetitive contract from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a seabird survey in the BP spill area.

The White House hired a local man to observe news coverage:

Among all the contracts, perhaps none is more striking than the Coast Guard’s decision to pay $9,000 per month for two months to John Brooks Rice of New Orleans, an on-call worker for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, under a no-bid contract to monitor media coverage from late May through July.

Rice told the AP that he compiled print and video news stories and offered his subjective appraisal of the tone of the coverage. “From reading and watching the media I would create reports,” he said. “I reported either positive coverage, negative coverage, misinformation coverage.”

The Coast Guard provided the AP with a copy of two of Rice’s printouts of news stories but didn’t respond to a request for copies of his reports rating the tone of news stories. Rice said he had already deleted them. The AP requested copies of all Rice’s reports under the Freedom of Information Act but hasn’t received them.

The Coast Guard expects BP to reimburse the $18,000, Coast Guard spokesman Capt. Ron LaBrec said.

The fed’s hired an environment activist group who was critical of Sarah Palin as an environmental analyst on Gulf Oil Spill:

Defenders Action Fund, have criticized Palin, a former Alaska governor, for supporting use of low-flying airplanes to hunt wolves and other wildlife in winter.

Defenders of Wildlife also has been urging Discovery Communications to drop plans for “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” a reality TV series, and wants sponsors and viewers to boycott it. The Interior Department said the Fish and Wildlife Service hired the group to survey the effects of oil on ocean birds because its chief scientist, Chris Haney, is respected and experienced in bird research. It said BP approved the scientist’s selection.

An executive for Defenders of Wildlife said politics played no role in the $216,625 contract.

“I just truly believe there are no dots to connect,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, the group’s executive vice president and a former director of the Fish and Wildlife Service under former President Bill Clinton.

This is a sample of the government  spending related to spill.

AP via Yahoo News has More.

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