Mordecai Lee. Congress vs the Bureaucracy: Muzzling Agency Public Relations. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, c2011.
Government bureaucracy is something Americans have long loved to hate. Yet despite this general antipathy, some federal agencies have been wildly successful in cultivating the people’s favor. Take, for instance, the U.S. Forest Service and its still-popular Smokey Bear campaign. The agency early on gained a foothold in the public’s esteem when President Theodore Roosevelt championed its conservation policies and Forest Service press releases led to favorable coverage and further goodwill.
Congress has rarely approved of such bureaucratic independence. Political scientist Mordecai Lee—who has served as a legislative assistant on Capitol Hill and as a state senator—explores a century of congressional efforts to prevent government agencies from gaining support for their initiatives by communicating directly with the public.
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