Nicolle Devenish, Communications Director
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC, 20500
Dear Ms. Devenish:
Congratulations on your new job. I'm Art Levine, a contributing editor of the Washington Monthly who has also written for numerous other publications that have often been quite critical of the Bush administration. Nevertheless, I've got a great proposal for you to consider. Even though the administration's $240,000 arrangement with Armstrong Williams seems to have backfired, I'd argue that paying commentators to promote the administration's agenda is still a savvy approach. (As a job-hunting freelancer newly returned to Washington, when I saw the news about the Williams flap, my gut reaction was: Why didn't I think of that?) But for your purposes, instead of supporting a conservative figure like Williams—who, after all, was "preaching to the choir"—why not back an enterprising liberal journalist who can write high-impact contrarian articles that will create intellectual legitimacy for your priority issues?
As Democrats unite in opposition to your administration's agenda here and abroad, you'll need someone like me to "shill" for you in liberal circles. Of course, I'm not as well-known as Armstrong Williams, but my progressive