CNN’s ‘Inside Politics’ Discusses HHS Audits of AIDS Organizations That Participated in Barcelona Protest
CNN's "Inside Politics" last night featured a discussion about HHS' audits of federal funding for AIDS organizations that participated in a demonstration during a speech given by HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson during the XIV International AIDS Conference last month. Maria Echaveste, deputy chief of staff under former President Clinton, and Rich Lowry of the National Review joined host Judy Woodruff. When asked by Woodruff if HHS' inquiry into the groups' funding is "legitimate" or a "witch hunt," Echaveste said, "I think it's a witch hunt. I think ... they're sending a signal that there may be retribution for people expressing their freedom of speech and it's just really shocking." Lowry said that "what the groups engaged in went well beyond expressing their opinions or even booing," adding, "They engaged in a 30-minute effort -- a successful effort -- to shut down and make it impossible to hear the HHS secretary give an address at an international conference. So if you're a member of one of these groups that, on the one hand, fattens itself on federal funds, and on the other hand, goes overseas to shout down U.S. officials, you should expect to get some blowback and some additional attention from Congress." A transcript of the discussion is available
online (Woodruff, "Inside Politics," CNN, 8/19).
In addition, a video clip of the discussion is available online.
NPR's "Morning Edition" today also reported on HHS' audit of AIDS organizations (Silberner, "Morning Edition," NPR, 8/20). The full segment will be available online in RealPlayer after noon ET.