WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- The White House paid a conservative African-American broadcaster $240,000 to plug its No Child Left Behind policy, USA Today reported Friday.
Armstrong Williams was reportedly paid to promote President Bush's education reform policies and urge other black journalists to do likewise.
Under terms of the payment, Williams was "to regularly comment on NCLB during the course of his broadcasts" and interview Education Secretary Rod Paige for TV and radio spots that aired during the show in 2004, the newspaper said.
Williams, 45, defended the arrangement and his promotion of White House educational reforms as something "I wanted to do it because it's something I believe in."
A former aide to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Williams is one of the top black conservative voices in the nation. He hosts a nationally-syndicated TV and radio show, "The Right Side," and writes op-ed pieces for newspapers, including USA Today, while running a public relations firm, Graham Williams Group.