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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Bush/Cheney Propaganda?

    What do leading Republicans have to say about the executive branch's fake news videos?
    ASK THIS | March 16, 2005
    If Bush's allies are critical, then the propaganda charge can't be written off as mere partisan bickering.

    By Barry Sussman

    [email protected]

    Q. For Republican elected officials: In his press conference on March 16, President Bush defended the executive branch's practice of making and distributing videos for TV stations to run as independently gathered news. What is your view: Is this a legitimate practice for the executive branch?

    Let’s see if I've got this right. Some news organizations are chastising the Bush Administration for putting out propaganda in the guise of video news releases while, at the same time, other media outlets are removing the government ID and running the videos as news.

    The Comptroller General, the head of the Government Accountability Office, said distribution of videos made to look like real news reports is unethical and contrary to appropriations law. But the Justice Department has instructed the executive branch to ignore the Accountability Office.

    On March 16, Ken Herman of Cox News Service asked Bush a sharp, clear question about all this. In response, the president defended the practice as a means of getting information to the public, and used the Maurice Stans defense, saying earlier administrations had done it. An excerpt of the question and answer:

    HERMAN: Mr. President… Does it raise ethical questions about the use of government money to produce stories about the government that wind up being aired with no disclosure that they were produced by the government?

    BUSH: ...There is a Justice Department opinion that says these pieces are within the law so long as they're based upon facts, not advocacy. And I expect our agencies to adhere to that ruling, to that Justice Department opinion. This has been a longstanding practice of the federal government to use these types of videos.

    The comptroller general passes the reasonable-person test for logic and ethics and the president flunks it, trying as he does to assert the preposterous notion that fake news — trickery and deceit — is educational and serves democracy.

    But there is a problem. While news organizations certainly should report on this issue, members of the the media may not appear to many people as the best, most independent judges of the question. For one thing, it involves them. And for another, they may be seen by some as just another squawking pressure group, which is how the White House likes to portray the media.

    Reporters should put the question about the fake videos not to groups that may be seen as adversaries of Bush but rather to his allies, including Republican governors, senators and other GOP figures. I expect some of them will have strong opinions on the issue, if asked.

    And rather than just fulminate, reporters and editors should be hard at work trying to find the extent of the propaganda abuse. Bush is drawing the line on videos "based upon facts, not advocacy." That's a hard distinction these days, but not impossible. And how much money is being spent on PR? What does that include? Is it a domestic problem only, or, as Defense Secretary Rumsfeld has urged in the past, is the U.S. putting out disinformation abroad?

    Barry Sussman is the editor of the Nieman Watchdog Project.
    E-mail: [email protected]

    This is just one of many reasons not to always believe what we see or hear coming from this administration. :rolleyes:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Re: Bush/Cheney Propaganda?

    If you want to read an eye opening article about propoganda and manipulation of the news media, then take a look at this article in this months Rolling Stone Magazine.

    Never before in history had such an extensive secret network been established to shape the entire world's perception of a war. "It was not just bad intelligence -- it was an orchestrated effort," says Sam Gardner, a retired Air Force colonel who has taught strategy and military operations at the National War College. "It began before the war, was a major effort during the war and continues as post-conflict distortions."

    In the first weeks following the September 11th attacks, Rendon operated at a frantic pitch. "In the early stages it was fielding every ground ball that was coming, because nobody was sure if we were ever going to be attacked again," he says. "It was 'What do you know about this, what do you know about that, what else can you get, can you talk to somebody over here?' We functioned twenty-four hours a day. We maintained situational awareness, in military terms, on all things related to terrorism. We were doing 195 newspapers and 43 countries in fourteen or fifteen languages. If you do this correctly, I can tell you what's on the evening news tonight in a country before it happens. I can give you, as a policymaker, a six-hour break on how you can affect what's going to be on the news. They'll take that in a heartbeat."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Re: Bush/Cheney Propaganda?

    This is great information, thank you! This information is going to be forwarded to all my friends online!

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