Inserting himself into the biographies of past presidents on the White House website apparently wasn’t enough for President Obama. His State Department is now editing its descriptions of foreign countries into yet another taxpayer-subsidized campaign commercial for the Obama Administration.
The State Department has recently ended its long-running series of Background Notes, which were analytical, objective histories of other countries. In their place, new “Fact Sheets” now tout Obama’s policies and actions toward each nation. No more historical context, no recounting of complex and long-standing issues in the country. Just cut to the chase—that is, the time when the current Administration came to power.
Heritage’s Jim Roberts, one of the editors of Heritage’s Index of Economic Freedom, was struck by the disproportionate change in emphasis while doing some research recently. Roberts, who worked at the State Department from 1982 to 2007 and used to write these country profiles, said he had never seen edits like these under either previous Republican or Democratic Administrations.
Roberts noted that “They seem to be not ‘fact sheets’ but brag sheets,” adding that the edits appear to treat countries more favorably when the Obama Administration agrees with their leaders.