Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Manipulated Media

Well, it seems the 64% that perceive that the Administration provides misleading information wasn't far from wrong. News reports are saying that the US military personnel wrote news articles highlighting the good work being done by US and Iraqi troops. They then paid Iraqis to pose as independent journalists and to get those stories published in Iraqi papers. It is a bizarre form of "PR laundering". Apparently they even bribed Iraqi editors with sums as high as $1500 to publish these stories.

The things reported in the articles were true. But it was an underhanded way of handling PR. There are several problems with this. 1) it demeans the very story that they military wants to get out there- the good work that the troops are doing. 2) It demeans the work itself. 3) With information like this, Iraqis will no longer trust their own media (gee, sort of like we question ours) and 4) they will start with new accusations that the Americans are controlling their supposedly free press. In addition, these stories leak into US media. Thus, you ignore policies that are supposed to prevent propaganda-bleed.

The other aspect of this that bugs me is that the Bush Administration has not had the best record with the media anywhere. They paid consultant-reporters to put happy stories in our papers. They sent out infomercials to local stations that resembled news stories. They had stealth journalists in the briefing room, etc. This story breaks on the day that Bush is using the media to make his "war strategy" arguments.

Aside from the ethical issues, the danger comes when an administration, already detached from reality, starts believing in its own propaganda.


Anonymous said...

Goldwater announced the premise that Nixon, Ollie North, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and Bush embrace:
"Extremism in Defense of Liberty is No Vice."
Put another way, "The Ends Justify the Means."
The cause is liberty - what's a few lies here and there? Indeed, lying to the American people to protect them is patriotic and statesmanlike, they think.  

// posted by LTG

Anonymous said...

I don't think Goldwater held to that view later in his career/life. By the end he was much more into liberty than extremism.

Unfortunately if the bunch we have now have a conversion it will be too late for us. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

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