Drudge Report wipes smile off Treasury Department's face

Online ad to hire cartoonist yanked after being exposed by conservative news site

Don't ever underestimate the power of sunlight … or the Internet, in general … or The Drudge  Report, in particular.

The Treasury Department learned that lesson the embarrassing way this morning after being forced to pull an online contract solicitation for … a cartoonist.

Here's the original link, which reads in part:

The Contractor shall conduct two, 3-hour, Humor in the Workplace programs that will discuss the power of humor in the workplace, the close relationship between humor and stress, and why humor is one of the most important ways that we communicate in business and office life. Participants shall experience demonstrations of cartoons being created on the spot. The contractor shall have the ability to create cartoons on the spot about BPD jobs. The presenter shall refrain from using any foul language during the presentation. This is a business environment and we need the presenter to address a business audience.

Smelling a classic "your tax dollars at work" example, The Drudge Report this morning featured as it's top headline and link: "HELP WANTED: Dept of Treasury seeks contractors for 'power of humor'..."

It wasn't long before that link caught the attention of Democratic lawmakers. According to The Hill:

The chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee quashed an effort by the Treasury Department to hire a cartoonist after the link to the job ad was posted on the Drudge Report.

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) contacted the Treasury Department to complain after Matt Drudge’s web site linked to a want ad for contractors with the “ability to create cartoons on the spot about [Bureau of the Public Debt] jobs.”

“Of all the agencies, the Bureau of Public Debt should know that there is very little that is funny about today’s economic conditions,” Dorgan said in a statement. “I understand the need for motivation in the workplace, but I think we have a greater motivation to save the taxpayers some money.”

Before you could draw a funny-looking stick figure, language had been added to the solicitation notice that read: "There have been modifications to this notice." And by modifications they meant: "Bureau of Public Debt has determined that it no longer has a need for this requirement."

Score one for Drudge.

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