Bush's Surgeon General of Industry-Friendly Spin

dandelion"White House officials viewed former surgeon general Richard H. Carmona as a public relations tool, pushing him to make political appearances and promote the Bush administration's agenda while he was in office, according to a series of executive branch e-mails released yesterday by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.)," reports the Washington Post. In July, Carmona had testified before Congress that Bush appointees routinely "sought to rewrite his speeches, send him on political trips, and suppress his reports on global health and other politically sensitive topics." The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is also investigating allegations that Carmona "was blocked from participating in [a] breast-feeding advocacy effort and that those designing [a pro-breast feeding] ad campaign were overruled by superiors at the formula industry's insistence." The ad campaign, as originally designed, graphically illustrated the dangers of not breast feeding, with "photos of insulin syringes and asthma inhalers topped with rubber nipples." The watered-down ad featured "more friendly images of dandelions and cherry-topped ice cream scoops," supposedly to communicate the risk of respiratory dangers and obesity.