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CC
December 1st, 2005, 09:28 AM
According to a report appearing in the Los Angeles Times, this covert payment has been sanctioned by Washington as part of its information offensive in Iraq.

The articles, written by U.S. military “information operations” troops, are translated into Arabic and placed in Baghdad newspapers with the help of a defense contractor, according to documents obtained by the paper.

The stories primarily trumpet the work of American and Iraqi troops, denounce insurgents and project U.S.-led efforts to rebuild the country in positive light.

Though sticking to facts, the articles, according to the L.A.Times, avoid information that might reflect poorly on the U.S. or Iraqi governments.

Records and interviews indicate that the U.S. has paid Iraqi newspapers to run dozens of such articles, with headlines such as “Iraqis Insist on Living Despite Terrorism,” since the effort began this year.

The Pentagon reportedly has a contract with a small Washington- based firm called Lincoln Group, which helps translate and place the stories. The Lincoln Group’s Iraqi staff, or its subcontractors, sometimes pose as freelance reporters or advertising executives when they deliver the stories to Baghdad media outlets.

The military’s effort to disseminate propaganda in the Iraqi media is taking place even as U.S. officials are pledging to promote democratic principles, political transparency and freedom of speech in a country emerging from decades of dictatorship and corruption.

The Pentagon’s information operations campaign has sparked a backlash among some senior military officers in Iraq and at the Pentagon who argue that attempts to subvert the news media could destroy the U.S. military’s credibility in other nations and with the American public.

“Here we are trying to create the principles of democracy in Iraq. Every speech we give in that country is about democracy. And we’re breaking all the first principles of democracy when we’re doing it,” said a senior Pentagon official who opposes the practice of planting stories in the Iraqi media.

The Bush Administration has also been criticised for distributing video and news stories in the United States without identifying the federal government as their source and for paying American journalists to promote administration policies, practices the Government Accountability Office has labeled “covert propaganda.”

Military officials familiar with the effort in Iraq said much of it was being directed by the “Information Operations Task Force” in Baghdad, part of the multinational corps headquarters commanded by Army Lt. Gen. John R. Vines. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were critical of the effort and were not authorized to speak publicly about it.

A spokesman for Vines declined to comment for this article. A Lincoln Group spokesman also declined to comment.

It is apt to note that U.S. law forbids the military from carrying out psychological operations or planting propaganda through American media outlets. Yet several officials said that given the globalization of media driven by the Internet and the 24-hour news cycle, the Pentagon’s efforts were carried out with the knowledge that coverage in the foreign press inevitably “bleeds” into the Western media and influences coverage in U.S. news outlets.

Daniel Kuehl, an information operations expert at National Defense University at Ft. McNair in Washington, told the paper that he saw nothing wrong in the planting of stories in Iraqi media, but questioned whether the practice would help turn the Iraqi public against the insurgency.

http://www.newkerala.com

Do you agree that such stories of covert use of propaganda should be allowed and do you think that it is even effective?

I feel the stories (especially since the source has been discovered) will do more to take support from the war as opposed to building the flagling support for the war...:O)

Zhavric
December 1st, 2005, 10:02 AM
Any chance of finding that story in a new site that's NOT "newkerala.com"???

Snoop
December 1st, 2005, 10:48 AM
Any chance of finding that story in a new site that's NOT "newkerala.com"???Try google - the story is true.

Meng Bomin
December 1st, 2005, 12:30 PM
Any chance of finding that story in a new site that's NOT "newkerala.com"???
The BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4490324.stm
Bush concern at Iraq 'propaganda'

<!-- S BO --> <!-- S IIMA --> <table align="right" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="203"> <tbody><tr><td> http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41078000/jpg/_41078996_papers_afp_203body.jpg Iraqis will wonder whether they should trust what papers say

</td></tr> </tbody></table> <!-- E IIMA --> <!-- S SF --> The White House has expressed concern over reports that the US military is planting favourable stories about Iraq in the Baghdad press. "We are seeking more information from the Pentagon," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.
The reports, originally carried by the Los Angeles Times, said the Pentagon was secretly paying Iraqi papers to run articles praising US and Iraqi troops.
Many stories are being presented as independent accounts, the paper said. <!-- E SF -->
"We're very concerned about the reports," Mr McClellan said on Thursday.
<!-- S IBOX --> <table align="right" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="208"> <tbody><tr> <td width="5">http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gif</td> <td class="sibtbg"> http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/start_quote_rb.gif We've made our views very clear when it comes to freedom of press http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/end_quote_rb.gif


Scott McClellan
White House spokesman

</td> </tr> </tbody></table> <!-- E IBOX --> "We need to know what the facts are," he told reporters.
The US, Mr McClellan said, was "a leader when it comes to promoting and advocating a free and independent media around the world, and we will continue to do so".
He added: "We've made our views very clear when it comes to freedom of press."



{article continues}

Zhavric
December 2nd, 2005, 07:31 AM
And now it's on cnn.com. (http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/12/02/iraq.newsstories.ap/index.html)

Mr. Hyde
December 3rd, 2005, 05:49 PM
Propaganda is a part of war.

During WWII for instance, just to name two countries:

America had a group devoted to giving wartime information to the people, and the group operated independent of the press.

The Nazis in germany, after the reichstag fire used propaganda to blame it on the ruskies.

The russians did it.

Propaganda is just a part of war. No one claims to like it, but secretly, I think everyone wants to hear that they're winning more than the truth.

CliveStaples
December 3rd, 2005, 07:54 PM
So, is the problem with this is that the U.S. government is providing news that puts the U.S. in a good light? I guess only "The U.S. is an evil Zionist dog!" is the only news that Iraqis should see; after all, why should we try to convince them that the U.S. ain't that bad--especially when it's an evil imperialist power that maims civilians with white phospherous and builds naked Muslim pyramids, right?

Really, I don't have a problem with this. Good news--pro-U.S. news--SHOULD be presented to the people.

CC
December 4th, 2005, 11:54 AM
Clive:
So, is the problem with this is that the U.S. government is providing news that puts the U.S. in a good light?
No, the problem is instead of allowing them to do their own reporting, with their own reporters the US has paid them to print ONLY the good news and NONE of the bad.


"The U.S. is an evil Zionist dog!" is the only news that Iraqis should see;
No. They should see whatever the facts are, bad included with the good. You know, FREEDOM OF THE PRESS like we advocate (or try) here in the US.


Good news--pro-U.S. news--SHOULD be presented to the people.
Yes it should, but so should the bad news.......:O)

CliveStaples
December 4th, 2005, 06:33 PM
No, the problem is instead of allowing them to do their own reporting, with their own reporters the US has paid them to print ONLY the good news and NONE of the bad.

So what? There are plenty of news organizations out there that report anti-U.S. bad news. What's the problem with reporting accurate, good, pro-U.S. news? They still have plenty of access to bad news--or are you suggesting that most news organizations portray the U.S. fairly, vis-a-vis good news vs. bad news?

Meng Bomin
December 4th, 2005, 07:24 PM
So what? There are plenty of news organizations out there that report anti-U.S. bad news. What's the problem with reporting accurate, good, pro-U.S. news? They still have plenty of access to bad news--or are you suggesting that most news organizations portray the U.S. fairly, vis-a-vis good news vs. bad news?
Clive, where did you establish that the pro-US new that the Pentagon has been paying for is accurate? Personally, I don't consider bribing journalists to write stories with a particular bias is a particularly ethical practice, and it doesn't seem as if reporters who were bribed to bias their stories in one direction are going to report accurately.

CliveStaples
December 4th, 2005, 07:57 PM
Clive, where did you establish that the pro-US new that the Pentagon has been paying for is accurate? Personally, I don't consider bribing journalists to write stories with a particular bias is a particularly ethical practice, and it doesn't seem as if reporters who were bribed to bias their stories in one direction are going to report accurately.

So when the government pays someone to do reporting, it's a bribe. But when Mr. Murdoch pays O'Reilly to do reporting, it's a salary. Hmm.

I presumed that the news reports (what you call "propaganda") were accurate because no contention was made that they were inaccurate--which is a contention that an opponent of such "propaganda" would not overlook.

PAYING someone to write a story with a "bias"--which has not been established in this case--isn't wrong, imo. If someone wants to pay me to write a story with a liberal bent, I can accept or reject that offer, as I please.

Additionally, it appears to me that these "propaganda" reports are merely FACTUALY accounts that put the U.S. in a good light. So, "The U.S. puts up a new school in Abu Nahasapeemapetilon" isn't necessarily written with a particular bias; it's just good news. Which, as Michael Isikoff admitted, the regular media outlets don't report.

Meng Bomin
December 4th, 2005, 08:21 PM
So when the government pays someone to do reporting, it's a bribe. But when Mr. Murdoch pays O'Reilly to do reporting, it's a salary. Hmm.
Hmmm...let's see why that is. Maybe it's because O'Reilly works as an employee of Mr. Murdoch and the reporters work as employees of their respective newspapers, not the US government. So, yes, when an outside interest pays a reporter to bias their story a particular way, it is a bribe.

I presumed that the news reports (what you call "propaganda") were accurate because no contention was made that they were inaccurate--which is a contention that an opponent of such "propaganda" would not overlook.
You presume that something is true because the claim hasn't been made otherwise?

Secondly, I never called it propaganda. I merely pasted an article which called it propaganda.

PAYING someone to write a story with a "bias"--which has not been established in this case--isn't wrong, imo. If someone wants to pay me to write a story with a liberal bent, I can accept or reject that offer, as I please.
I would tend to see it as inethical on the part of the reporter and the briber.

Additionally, it appears to me that these "propaganda" reports are merely FACTUALY accounts that put the U.S. in a good light. So, "The U.S. puts up a new school in Abu Nahasapeemapetilon" isn't necessarily written with a particular bias; it's just good news. Which, as Michael Isikoff admitted, the regular media outlets don't report.
Well, according to the article I posted:

Although many are basically factual, they only present one side of events and omit information that might reflect poorly on the US or Iraqi government, the newspaper said.
It's not even up to your standard of assuming true that for which there has not been a counterclaim.

CliveStaples
December 4th, 2005, 08:44 PM
Hmmm...let's see why that is. Maybe it's because O'Reilly works as an employee of Mr. Murdoch and the reporters work as employees of their respective newspapers, not the US government. So, yes, when an outside interest pays a reporter to bias their story a particular way, it is a bribe.

You're looking at it from the wrong side. The government isn't paying someone to NEGLECT their duty--say, if they were secretly paying O'Reilly, as an employee of Murdoch's, to do special news reports--they're paying a reporter to PERFORM a duty. Am I "bribing" a journalist if I say "find me all the good news from Iraq and print it up"?


You presume that something is true because the claim hasn't been made otherwise?

I'm presuming that the truthfulness isn't at issue if no one makes claims to the contrary.


Secondly, I never called it propaganda. I merely pasted an article which called it propaganda.

Fine.


I would tend to see it as inethical on the part of the reporter and the briber.

You are using pejorative terms; "briber" should be attached AFTER you have presented your argument, not as a basic premise.


Well, according to the article I posted:
Although many are basically factual, they only present one side of events and omit information that might reflect poorly on the US or Iraqi government, the newspaper said.
It's not even up to your standard of assuming true that for which there has not been a counterclaim.


So because they don't present the anti-U.S. side, they're untrue? The newspapers here in the U.S. ROUTINELY omit information that might reflect positively on the U.S. or Iraqi government, but I don't presume that their reports are false or that the reporters are being "bribed" as opposed to "paid legally for performing licit tasks".

Meng Bomin
December 4th, 2005, 10:36 PM
You're looking at it from the wrong side. The government isn't paying someone to NEGLECT their duty--say, if they were secretly paying O'Reilly, as an employee of Murdoch's, to do special news reports--they're paying a reporter to PERFORM a duty. Am I "bribing" a journalist if I say "find me all the good news from Iraq and print it up"?
What? They are neglecting their duty because their articles are not slanted in favor of the US? It's their duty to do bad reporting because "it's for the good guys"? Paying a journalist to write a biased article is bad journalism ethics on the part of both parties.

I'm presuming that the truthfulness isn't at issue if no one makes claims to the contrary.
Which is the logical fallacy of false dilemma:
http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/false-dilemma.html
It is quite possible that no one yet knows exactly how factual the stories are.

So because they don't present the anti-U.S. side, they're untrue?
No, but they are inaccurate. In reporting, factual truth =/= accuracy.

You are using pejorative terms; "briber" should be attached AFTER you have presented your argument, not as a basic premise.
I did present my argument (two paragraphs above that one). If an outside interest pays a journalist to write a slanted article, then they are bribing the journalist. My use of "briber" was perfectly valid.

The newspapers here in the U.S. ROUTINELY omit information that might reflect positively on the U.S. or Iraqi government,
That is a case of bad reporting.

but I don't presume that their reports are false or that the reporters are being "bribed" as opposed to "paid legally for performing licit tasks".
Of course, you don't presume it, because it hasn't been found to be happening. Your hypothetical is actually quite irrelevant to this discussion...as the knowledge of the incompleteness of the articles followed the knowledge that the reporters were being bribed.

CliveStaples
December 4th, 2005, 11:21 PM
What? They are neglecting their duty because their articles are not slanted in favor of the US?

What? No, not at all. They WOULD be neglecting their duty to their employer if the U.S. government had offered them money to twist their stories. But that's not what the government is doing.


It's their duty to do bad reporting because "it's for the good guys"?

No. I'm not sure who you mean by "their". If you mean "reporters, generally", then it's their duty to report what they're paid to report. If you mean "reporters, ideally", then it's their duty to report the truth. Reporters in the U.S. report true stories, but they don't report stories that tend to show the U.S. in a good light--they report bombings, not the construction of new schools.


Paying a journalist to write a biased article is bad journalism ethics on the part of both parties.

I disagree. Paying a journalist to write a FALSE article is bad ethics. EMPLOYING a journalist to present the views along with a certain analysis is in no way unethical.


Which is the logical fallacy of false dilemma:
http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/false-dilemma.html
It is quite possible that no one yet knows exactly how factual the stories are.

Excuse me. I didn't claim that because nobody raised the issue, the stories are automatically true. I just said that because nobody is raising the issue, I felt no need to address it.


No, but they are inaccurate. In reporting, factual truth =/= accuracy.

WHAT?!

W.

T.

F.

Factual truth =/= accuracy. Hmm. It's not enough that the reports are ACTUALLY TRUE--they must meet the Neverending Standard of Accuracy as well!


I did present my argument (two paragraphs above that one). If an outside interest pays a journalist to write a slanted article, then they are bribing the journalist. My use of "briber" was perfectly valid.

If an OUTSIDE interest. The government is not an OUTSIDE interest--it is the interest itself! It is the EMPLOYER itself!


That is a case of bad reporting.

Well, call it "bad reporting" 'til you're blue in the face--it's still the modern definition of news.


Of course, you don't presume it, because it hasn't been found to be happening. Your hypothetical is actually quite irrelevant to this discussion...as the knowledge of the incompleteness of the articles followed the knowledge that the reporters were being bribed.

They are only being bribed if the government is paying them to neglect their duty to their employer. In this case, the government is paying people WHO ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO THE CONTRARY to write "pro-U.S." articles in Baghdad newspapers. If the newspapers didn't want to run them, they don't have to accept the money to run them.

Let me get this straight:

If EXACTLY the same articles had been written by an Iraqi citizen who was not being paid to write it, you wouldn't have a problem, right? But because the author is being PAID to espouse a view, it's somehow "bribery"--even though the author isn't being paid to abuse any form of power. And because a newspaper is being PAID to run the article, it's somehow "bribery"--even though the newspaper is under no obligation to run unbiased reports!

Meng Bomin
December 4th, 2005, 11:40 PM
Factual truth =/= accuracy. Hmm. It's not enough that the reports are ACTUALLY TRUE--they must meet the Neverending Standard of Accuracy as well!
Not my standard per se, but there is a difference between factually true and accurate to the picture. If I tell you that a man hits a woman angrily, what image do you get? If I tell you that the woman was pointing a gun at his wife and that he hit her arm to block the shot, what image do you get? That is an illustration of factual truth vs. the accuracy of the image produced. One has to be careful as a (good) journalist that they are creating the correct image of the situation with their words. That was what I meant my factual truth =/= accuracy.

I will wait for your response to this before moving on.

CC
December 5th, 2005, 04:40 AM
The pentagon is paying for them to tell ONLY one side of the story. THAT is propaganda, whether the paper allows itself into accepting bribes to present ONLY the good news then the paper itself should be branded as "Bought and paid for" by the US. Hardly freedom of the press. It is most definetly showing biast.


Reporters in the U.S. report true stories, but they don't report stories that tend to show the U.S. in a good light--they report bombings, not the construction of new schools.
I don't know where you get your news but I have seen and heard the reporting of how much of the country has electricity restored, about schools being built and women taking a real role in the political leanings there. The U.S. does print both sides of the story, something they do not wish to occur in Iraq.


EMPLOYING a journalist to present the views along with a certain analysis is in no way unethical.
That depends on whether you think this level of propaganda is ethical. I do not.


If an OUTSIDE interest. The government is not an OUTSIDE interest--it is the interest itself! It is the EMPLOYER itself!
Hmmmm, the interest itself is TELLING the reporters what to print and not to print. Print the good, omit the bad.
So in clive's world it would be okay if the government here bought a newspaper that printed only the good things and none of the bad. It would be more slanted than Fox news. For that matter even if they (our gov) did by a TV station and told the station not to broadcast ANY bad news about the bad right here in the US for your view to be consistent you would say that is okay? A government buying the integrity of national and inter-national newspaper is NOT reporting the news, it by nature, is purposly not giving the full story. THAT is proaganda, which you have not denied, only that you are okay with it. I'm not.


Well, call it "bad reporting" 'til you're blue in the face--it's still the modern definition of news.
So we are paying them to show them how reporting should be, which is leaving out of any bad news. Reporters have a duty to present a clearer picture of what is going on other than what ALL is going on. To say that this is ethical is like saying that since bad news is not good PR that it is not reporting all the facts, rather it is selecting the facts it wishes to print and those it wishes to leave out in order to present an inaccurate picture of what is really going on.


they don't have to accept the money to run them.

Okay, so we wave more money under their noses than they will ever see in a lifetime and when they sell their integrity they are "reporters?" Hardly, they are paid PR people.


If EXACTLY the same articles had been written by an Iraqi citizen who was not being paid to write it, you wouldn't have a problem, right?
I would still have a problem, but not nearly so big a problem as to realize that it is the US doing the bribing.


"--even though the newspaper is under no obligation to run unbiased reports!
No, but if they wish to be taken as a legit source it would cost them their integrity, causing no one to take such a paper seriously or as legit.
Two things you are skipping around. You're only two justification you use is that "that is the way reporting is done these days" and that "If the newspapers didn't want to run them, they don't have to accept the money to run them."
Money talks. If you do not realize that fundemental of world workings using money to grease wheels is ethical especially when it is in our interests and ours alone, (actually just the citizens), actually only in the interest of those buying Bush's BS about why we invaded in the first place............:O)

Snoop
December 5th, 2005, 07:22 AM
After reading CC's response, I'm convinced there is a propaganda war. All wars use propaganda.

What propaganda you choose to believe is up to you - but only up to a point - then you are silenced - phisically, spiritually and emotionally. Only with silence can propaganda be successfull. As long as there is descent that is not totally stiffled we have a chance of obtaining the truth. That is what we are all after, isn't it? The truth, regardless of who paid for it.

Snoop
December 6th, 2005, 01:24 PM
At this site: http://www.clandestineradio.com/intel/intel.php?id=87 I found several sources for information on the Iraq conflict. There were 5 active links and 26 inactive links.

Sometimes I think the transition between active and inactive is a matter of dollars and guns; most of the time it is just an accident that allowed them to exist in the first place.

Here is a definition of Psy-ops:

Definition of Psychological Operations:

'Psychological Operations: Planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originator's objectives. Also called PSYOP. See also consolidation psychological operations; overt peacetime psychological operations programs; perception management. ' US Department of Defense http://www.iwar.org.uk/psyops/

mog
December 6th, 2005, 03:22 PM
This kind of thing completely destroys the credibility of the entire Iraqi press. Whenever any 'good' news appears from now on, there will immediately be claims that the story was planted by the Americans. While this has always been a problem, there is now a precedent which makes these claims infinitely more believable. The Iraqi people don't trust anything that the US has had a hand in publishing, and now this mistrust will extend to any pro-US news from any source.

FruitandNut
December 6th, 2005, 08:07 PM
Clive - I think when it comes to journalism and bias it is important ethically to be 'up-front' about the nature of your voice or bias. For instance here in the UK the Daily and Sunday Telegraphs are up-front about always taking a 'right-wing' perspective, so they are often nationally referred to as The Torygraph. The Independent (The Indy) prides itself in taking a more neutral political stance, so it is beholding to it's readership to maintain that stance.

CliveStaples
December 6th, 2005, 09:48 PM
The pentagon is paying for them to tell ONLY one side of the story. THAT is propaganda, whether the paper allows itself into accepting bribes to present ONLY the good news then the paper itself should be branded as "Bought and paid for" by the US. Hardly freedom of the press. It is most definetly showing biast.

"Freedom of the press" isn't denied by the U.S. government trying to show its good side and finding a willing outlet for that information; to the contrary, having various outlets and news-producers available is evidence of a free press. Is the government stopping people from printing anti-U.S. reports? Not that I've heard. Instead, the government is PRESENTING ITS SIDE.



I don't know where you get your news but I have seen and heard the reporting of how much of the country has electricity restored, about schools being built and women taking a real role in the political leanings there. The U.S. does print both sides of the story, something they do not wish to occur in Iraq.

I haven't heard very much good news reported by CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, or any other of the major media news outlets. Most of the good news I've heard is on the internet, and the vast quantity of good news that has gone unreported leads me to believe that the U.S. news producers aren't interested in presenting both sides of the story--which is fine by me. The solution to this problem is to have MORE news sources that present factually accurate news reports. You combat speech with speech.


Hmmmm, the interest itself is TELLING the reporters what to print and not to print. Print the good, omit the bad.

The interest itself is PAYING the reporters to report specific news stories.


So in clive's world it would be okay if the government here bought a newspaper that printed only the good things and none of the bad. It would be more slanted than Fox news. For that matter even if they (our gov) did by a TV station and told the station not to broadcast ANY bad news about the bad right here in the US for your view to be consistent you would say that is okay? A government buying the integrity of national and inter-national newspaper is NOT reporting the news, it by nature, is purposly not giving the full story. THAT is proaganda, which you have not denied, only that you are okay with it. I'm not.

First of all, the U.S. isn't at war in the United States.

Second of all, a government buying the services of a news organization which has freely accepted the government's offer isn't wrong by me.


So we are paying them to show them how reporting should be, which is leaving out of any bad news. Reporters have a duty to present a clearer picture of what is going on other than what ALL is going on. To say that this is ethical is like saying that since bad news is not good PR that it is not reporting all the facts, rather it is selecting the facts it wishes to print and those it wishes to leave out in order to present an inaccurate picture of what is really going on.

This is almost absurd. Do we remove the Nation and National Review because they don't present both sides of the story? Because they argue from a particular position? And are we then to deny the government the opportunity to present supporting evidence for what it has claimed to be good outcomes from the U.S. invasion of Iraq? I think not! In any argument, each side presents its own case. The "propaganda war", to me, is merely the government presenting its case. If the government's case is so flimsy--if the bad news that it doesn't report so egregiously outweighs the good news that it DOES report--then the government's news station competitors will present it.


Okay, so we wave more money under their noses than they will ever see in a lifetime and when they sell their integrity they are "reporters?" Hardly, they are paid PR people.

They are people who report the good news from Iraq. Is anybody angry at Al Jazeera for only reporting the bad news from Iraq? Does anyone consider that an abrogation of the freedom of the press? Of course not.


I would still have a problem, but not nearly so big a problem as to realize that it is the US doing the bribing.

The United States government is paying a news company to report the good news in Iraq. I think that calling it a "bribe" should be the CONCLUSION of an argument, not a starting position.


No, but if they wish to be taken as a legit source it would cost them their integrity, causing no one to take such a paper seriously or as legit.

Do you take the Nation seriously? Do you take National Review seriously? They won't be known as an IMPARTIAL news organization, but I don't see how their "legitimacy" will be called into question--unless, of course, they begin printing factually untrue reports!


Two things you are skipping around. You're only two justification you use is that "that is the way reporting is done these days" and that "If the newspapers didn't want to run them, they don't have to accept the money to run them."

I don't think that those are the ONLY two justifications, but they are at least among my justifications.


Money talks. If you do not realize that fundemental of world workings using money to grease wheels is ethical especially when it is in our interests and ours alone, (actually just the citizens), actually only in the interest of those buying Bush's BS about why we invaded in the first place............:O)

Using money to "grease wheels" is also referred to as "exchanging money for goods and services". I'm "greasing the wheels" of Jewel-Osco when I pay the cashier money so that she'll let me walk out of the store with the groceries I've selected. I'm "greasing the wheels" of Wheaton College when I hand over money so that people will agree to instruct me. Bribery is different; bribery occurs when money is accepted in return for an abuse of power or a deriliction of duty. In order to qualify the money paid to the Iraqi news organization in question, you will have to prove to me that either (1) it is an abuse of power for a news organization to provide factually accurate reports that bolster a particular side in some argument/conflict; or (2) it is a deriliction of duty for a news organization to fail to provide factually accurate reports that diminish a particular side in some argument/conflict.

Pibs
December 7th, 2005, 06:57 AM
So they faked the news before the invasion, are faking it during the invasion - and what's the betting they'll fake it after the withdrawal?


P.

CC
December 7th, 2005, 07:34 AM
clive:
"Freedom of the press" isn't denied by the U.S. government trying to show its good side and finding a willing outlet for that information
You are correct and I retract the statement.


Instead, the government is PRESENTING ITS SIDE.

Agreed. I just think they should have been up front about it. While not doing so may have been more effective in the short run, not being up front about who was "hiring" this news outlet may well render the use of such impotent when (if and when) we are to a point where we no longer have much resistance and must disiminate information to the Iraqis.


The interest itself is PAYING the reporters to report specific news stories.
If they truly simply wanted to counter bad news with good news they (our government) could have been in the open and print their own paper and make their own stations, etc;. Instead they were decieving in the source of info. While this may have been a war tactic, it makes one wonder who they are trying to affect with the tactics, the fighting Iraqi's, the Iraqi public, OR the US public.


if the bad news that it doesn't report so egregiously outweighs the good news that it DOES report--then the government's news station competitors will present it.
I agree, but the other sources are not attempting to hide the faces of who is dissiminating information. The US could have more easily started their own paper and radio there. Why don't they? Because then more people than not would be cautious as to accepting what they are being told is true.

Is anybody angry at Al Jazeera for only reporting the bad news from Iraq?
I am not so concerned with the examples Al Jazeera is showing as I am my own country.

I think that calling it a "bribe" should be the CONCLUSION of an argument, not a starting position.

I'll admit that "bribe" is not the best choice of words, perhaps I should have said "paid compliance". The medium has definetly put it's honesty in jeopardy by reporting only one side of the story. The ones now spewing only the bad news will lose legitimacy if and when things in Iraq begin to really make progress.

but I don't see how their "legitimacy" will be called into question
It is one thing to be a slanted news outlet overtly, another to do it covertly. The medium we have bought and tell what to print or broadcast will not be viewed as valid unless the body count begins to drastically drop.


Using money to "grease wheels"
Nothing at all wrong with greasing the wheels. But by doing so in secrecy, even though they are not printing lies, not being up front about who was supplying the information makes them less believeable by those who were listening and/or reading the media outlet itself.


First of all, the U.S. isn't at war in the United States.
Point taken.


Second of all, a government buying the services of a news organization which has freely accepted the government's offer isn't wrong by me.
Not by me either, though there should be public acknowledgement as to WHO owns the news org.

I have heard (I listen to talk radio)plenty enough to inform me that we are now making some progress over there. I believe we have yet to "turn the corner" so I believe that is why we are hearing more bad news than good. There (among the pulse of Iraq) is still more bad than good. We killed thousands and thousands of innocents when we began the bombing. I would think that the family and friends of the dead would need to see a lot of good before they would believe more good than bad is going on around them.
That being said it has (used to be more so) the job of the media to be a watchdog for ther subscribers. Checking our government on all the things it is doing that is questionalbly bad for the USA is the only real way to keep American's attention on it's own government.
It should be a given that we can always count on our government to be honest with it's doings for the citizen's. But to accept that would be naive to the extreme.
So our media has always been a watchdog. A watchdog has much less to bark about if all is in order.........:O)

CliveStaples
December 7th, 2005, 10:15 PM
Agreed. I just think they should have been up front about it. While not doing so may have been more effective in the short run, not being up front about who was "hiring" this news outlet may well render the use of such impotent when (if and when) we are to a point where we no longer have much resistance and must disiminate information to the Iraqis.

I agree.


If they truly simply wanted to counter bad news with good news they (our government) could have been in the open and print their own paper and make their own stations, etc;. Instead they were decieving in the source of info. While this may have been a war tactic, it makes one wonder who they are trying to affect with the tactics, the fighting Iraqi's, the Iraqi public, OR the US public.

The problem is that the people who need to get the good news are the same people who would dismiss out of hand any official U.S. government newspaper.


I agree, but the other sources are not attempting to hide the faces of who is dissiminating information. The US could have more easily started their own paper and radio there. Why don't they? Because then more people than not would be cautious as to accepting what they are being told is true.

The problem is that having "Released by the U.S. government" could make people discount these reports out of hand.


I'll admit that "bribe" is not the best choice of words, perhaps I should have said "paid compliance". The medium has definetly put it's honesty in jeopardy by reporting only one side of the story. The ones now spewing only the bad news will lose legitimacy if and when things in Iraq begin to really make progress.

I think you have an unrealistic standard. Do we only have one lawyer who prosecutes AND defends the accused? No. We have ONE side represent its own interests and the other side represent its own interests. I think that principle applies to the news industry as well: relying on each news outlet to provide perfectly unbiased and perfectly representative news stories is foolish. Instead, we should allow the news companies to compete with one another to give their reports.


It is one thing to be a slanted news outlet overtly, another to do it covertly. The medium we have bought and tell what to print or broadcast will not be viewed as valid unless the body count begins to drastically drop.

Why is that, CC? Does it matter to the people reading it? I mean, if the problem is that the news is "slanted", it doesn't matter if it's covert or not. If the problem is that the reports and "slant" are INCORRECT, then it doesn't matter whether the "slant" is covert or not.


Nothing at all wrong with greasing the wheels. But by doing so in secrecy, even though they are not printing lies, not being up front about who was supplying the information makes them less believeable by those who were listening and/or reading the media outlet itself.

The problem is that the people being targeted by this "news offensive" are the people who hate the U.S. and would automatically reject any official U.S. government news account.


Not by me either, though there should be public acknowledgement as to WHO owns the news org.

Self-defeating. The problem isn't with people who would tune in to the U.S. government news channel or buy the U.S. government newspaper; the problem is with people who refuse to consider the U.S.'s account of the war.


I have heard (I listen to talk radio)plenty enough to inform me that we are now making some progress over there. I believe we have yet to "turn the corner" so I believe that is why we are hearing more bad news than good. There (among the pulse of Iraq) is still more bad than good. We killed thousands and thousands of innocents when we began the bombing. I would think that the family and friends of the dead would need to see a lot of good before they would believe more good than bad is going on around them.

First, the number of U.S.-caused civilian casualities has been systematically exaggerated since the beginning of the war.


That being said it has (used to be more so) the job of the media to be a watchdog for ther subscribers. Checking our government on all the things it is doing that is questionalbly bad for the USA is the only real way to keep American's attention on it's own government.

There's a difference between being a watchdog and being retarded. I don't mind the papers saying "This general made a stupid mistake; fire him!" I DO mind the papers reporting EVERY SINGLE U.S. casualty without a single mention of the GOOD things being done by the U.S. military. It doesn't allow the people (for whom the papers are ostensibly keeping watch over the government) to make an INFORMED decision, because they cannot accurately weigh the COSTS (i.e., the stuff being reported by the press: U.S. casualties, Iraqi civilian casualties, etc., etc.) against the BENEFITS (i.e., the stuff not being reported by the press: new schools, economic prosperity in Iraq, how a similar approach has done wonders in Afghanistan, etc., etc., etc.).

Now, I don't really mind the MSM bias that much. Really. I just think that if we're going to have people arguing one side, we should have people arguing the other as well.


It should be a given that we can always count on our government to be honest with it's doings for the citizen's. But to accept that would be naive to the extreme.

Dude, it's not like they're experimenting on Iraqi civilians' brains in an attempt to find a "terrorist gene", or something f'd up like that. They're just putting pro-U.S. stories in the papers and providing compensation to those papers. I really don't mind.


So our media has always been a watchdog. A watchdog has much less to bark about if all is in order.........:O)

Which, of couse, gives them an incentive to bark more--even when there isn't much to bark about.

Pibs
December 8th, 2005, 04:08 AM
http://www.lewrockwell.com/zeese/zeese19.html

"Today, seven members of Congress wrote President Bush asking him to stop under-counting U.S. casualties in Iraq (see letter below). The Bush Administration has done its best to hide the realities of war from the American public."



P.

FruitandNut
December 8th, 2005, 04:20 AM
So they faked the news before the invasion, are faking it during the invasion - and what's the betting they'll fake it after the withdrawal?P.

Pibs - Tell me do, from your perspective is it only evil western politicians who fake news and information in general?

Even Pontius Pilate many moons ago is said to have posed the question, so classic of someone much embroiled in politics - "WHAT IS TRUTH"?

Does truth stand bold and independent, or is truth what you want it to be?

Albert Einstein:
"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."

Andre Gide:
"Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it."

Margaret Mead:
"I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world."

CC
December 8th, 2005, 09:34 AM
clive:
The problem is that the people who need to get the good news are the same people who would dismiss out of hand any official U.S. government newspaper.

So we put their face over ours and they find out. Now how do we prove to them that anything we have to say is in their best interests? If we had been up front the entire time at least the word (or what we think the word is) would still be being printed and aired. If Bush were thinking, he would have the station/paper publicly apoligize and explain why they did it. Even that would only be a firststep toward keeping their ear.


The problem is that having "Released by the U.S. government" could make people discount these reports out of hand.
So now that it has been exposed they won't even be listening or reading even to discount the news out of hand. IF we had been upfront about who was gathering the news, and IF we really are doing more good than bad then we would gain a wider audience as well as begin to convince the skeptics. Now, that opportunity has been squandered.


First, the number of U.S.-caused civilian casualities has been systematically exaggerated since the beginning of the war.
Are you even suggesting that thousands of civilians were not killed during the "Schock and Awe" bombing? Most certainly they died. I'll source it if I must, though it has been shown to be accurate by several media outlets.

So I asked you again. How do you expect THOSE families to trust that what we are doing and saying is in their best interest? By hiding behind the cameras? It was a bad idea. (one of many)


I DO mind the papers reporting EVERY SINGLE U.S. casualty without a single mention of the GOOD things being done by the U.S. military
I don't know what papers you read, or which news you watch, but I have been hearing about the good things being done, progress toward some sort of peace however is still heavily outweighed by the bad. Als, newspapers are generally openly biast. St. Louis Democrat? Leaned to the left. St. louis Post-dispatch leaned to the right. I don't think your insinuating that the civilian casualties caused by our initial invasion shows you are looking at BOTH sides of what has happened or is happening. I say that because I can hear both sides with a turn of the dial on my radio. Try changing the station/paper that you read.


Really. I just think that if we're going to have people arguing one side, we should have people arguing the other as well.
Is the other side claiming to get their news from us? Of course not. We should have been upfront from the begining. Though it may be uphill in the begining, I believe a lot of Iraqis would begin to support the U.S. media in regards to what good is being done when (and IF) we ever turn the corner from bad to good enough. Now, they will be more suspicious than if we had not attempted to report anything. We should either have been up front about who was paying the bills or simply waited until even the Iraqis themselves could see enough progress to then dial us in.


They're just putting pro-U.S. stories in the papers and providing compensation to those papers.
Sort of like the way big business supports politicians, buy them?
Uncle Sam comes up to a foreign paper he knows is being read by Iraqis and gives that paper a story to print they would simply print it if it had merit. THEIR OWN paper would be reporting whatever the truth was. But when Uncle Sam slides a stack of money with those stories, and the paper does not divulge the relationship of the paper with the U.S., it is only a matter of time before that is revealed, causing the paper's subscribers not to subscribe. DUMB move.


Which, of couse, gives them an incentive to bark more--even when there isn't much to bark about.
Do you think that the media, (and let's keep in mind that the media has a right side AND a left side depending on who or what you listen to) would hold back GOOD news when the U.S. citizens so much would like to see some good from the lives of our soldiers that was sacrificed?

As I said, I read stories detailing how schools are slowly coming into use, as well as infrastructor and utility needs slowly being brought back into use. But there is still a heck of a lot more bad for the Iraqis than good. So why should the media be reporting more good than is happening? Because at present the bad news still is much more abundant than any good news..............:O)

Valium
December 8th, 2005, 01:57 PM
Hey CC!

Do you think that the media, (and let's keep in mind that the media has a right side AND a left side depending on who or what you listen to) would hold back GOOD news when the U.S. citizens so much would like to see some good from the lives of our soldiers that was sacrificed?

Have you ever heard the saying "If it bleeds, it leads"? People aren't interested in feel good stories about how women in Iraq are acquiring more rights, or how there was a new school built today. They are far more interested in horrifying accounts of events so brutal, that it is hard to believe that they could happen in today’s world. The media has been aware of this faucet of human nature since its inception, and has taken advantage of it accordingly. All in an attempt to increase circulation, or ratings, or any other medium you can think of. This is shown by the priority given not to inspiring, hope-filled stories of progress, but instead to hostages being beheaded and roadside car-bombings. So I will answer your question, though it was for Mr. Lewis, yes, I think the media will give the good news a back seat when the bad news will sell more issues.

Pibs
December 8th, 2005, 07:45 PM
"women in Iraq are acquiring more rights"

You're kidding right? From the rights they enjoyed under Saddam to life under radical 'Islamists' who are but one step away from the Taliban? This is progress?

Iraq was the most secular of all M.E. countries and women had more rights there than anywhere else - now in many areas they daren't leave the house alone without a male chaparone, are wearing veils where they never used to etc.

As for schools and facilities such as electricity or clean water, they are still worse off now than they were before the war, and that's without the uranium all over the place and a 6 fold increase in cancers and birth defects.

Fruity - no, all politicians lie. That's why I'm a libertarian.


P.

CC
December 16th, 2005, 12:25 PM
valium:
People aren't interested in feel good stories
I understand what you are saying, it's like passing by a car accident, everyone slows down and looks. But they do not slow down and think, "Great! Someone got into an accident and I hope they die!" It's more like they drive by, see the wreckage and then hope that no one was injured too badly.
As I said, I've read plenty of good news stories from Iraq. Only the good news is still so far outweighed by the bad that more attention is given the good. I don't think there is anyone in the USA with any brain matter WANTS nothing but bad news in Iraq. But until it can either be shown we went there for the right reasons, (which IMO we did not) or this tragedy of a war finally begins to turn the corner to doing more good than harm, or we bring the troops back in any case, the bad news IS what people here will view first.............:O)

Meng Bomin
December 16th, 2005, 03:52 PM
"women in Iraq are acquiring more rights"

You're kidding right? From the rights they enjoyed under Saddam to life under radical 'Islamists' who are but one step away from the Taliban? This is progress?

Iraq was the most secular of all M.E. countries and women had more rights there than anywhere else - now in many areas they daren't leave the house alone without a male chaparone, are wearing veils where they never used to etc.

Actually, Pibs is right here. One of Saddams few good attributes was that he promoted more rights for women. Iraq has a long misogynist tradition and with Saddam gone, it has come back. While women in Afghanistan may be enjoying more rights than they did before the US and the Northern Alliance defeated the Taliban, I would think that the opposite effect is occuring in Iraq as instead of a traditionalist, religious regime, we toppled a secular regime that granted women more rights than in past times.

KevinBrowning
December 17th, 2005, 11:03 PM
While women in Afghanistan may be enjoying more rights than they did before the US and the Northern Alliance defeated the Taliban, I would think that the opposite effect is occuring in Iraq as instead of a traditionalist, religious regime, we toppled a secular regime that granted women more rights than in past times.

Highly doubtful. Iraqi women now have a direct say in their government through the right to vote, which the majority of them have exercised. There is now the opportunity for women in elected positions there. That is improvement.

Meng Bomin
December 18th, 2005, 12:07 AM
Highly doubtful. Iraqi women now have a direct say in their government through the right to vote, which the majority of them have exercised. There is now the opportunity for women in elected positions there. That is improvement.
So do traditionalist Iraqi men. In fact, traditionalist Iraqi men have a proportionally greater say than they did under Saddam. Saddam allowed women to have higher positions in society than they did under more traditional rule. The right to vote for all groups of society does not translate into more womens' rights, especially in a country where rape is viewed as being the fault of the woman. The ability of the populace to decide will more likely translate into a resurgence of traditional values, which will lead to a lower standing for women in Iraqi society.

KevinBrowning
December 18th, 2005, 12:47 AM
So do traditionalist Iraqi men. In fact, traditionalist Iraqi men have a proportionally greater say than they did under Saddam. Saddam allowed women to have higher positions in society than they did under more traditional rule. The right to vote for all groups of society does not translate into more womens' rights, especially in a country where rape is viewed as being the fault of the woman. The ability of the populace to decide will more likely translate into a resurgence of traditional values, which will lead to a lower standing for women in Iraqi society.

Democracy allows the will of the majority to become the norm, while protecting the will of the minority. Take America as a rough parallel. At first, women could not vote. Women would have had more rights if a dictator ensured it. But at what cost? Their quality of life, along with the men's, would have been poorer. Democracy enables positive change in a culture. By its nature it encourages respecting the rights of every citizen. Dictatorship imposes a facade of equality that masks oppression and poverty. Also, you are not heeding the fact that Saddam may have allowed certain women to have high positions, but he also grievously mistreated women in general, endorsing rape and all sorts of sexual cruelty to the politically rebellious. Democracy will allow their culture to make its own mistakes and victories, instead of hiding a reality of terror and hopelessness behind a "stable" and "equal" veneer.

FruitandNut
December 18th, 2005, 02:15 AM
Fruity - no, all politicians lie. That's why I'm a libertarian.

P.

And you live in Malaysia - Yeh, right!

Please qualify your 'brand' of libertarianism. Like minus women and people of religious persuasions other than Islam having equal rights, and minus gays of course (which has always puzzled me in view of what some of the Qu'ran and other religious texts have to say).

'Cos that is what the good peeps of Malaysia have voted for it seems.

Meng Bomin
December 18th, 2005, 02:20 AM
Also, you are not heeding the fact that Saddam may have allowed certain women to have high positions, but he also grievously mistreated women in general, endorsing rape and all sorts of sexual cruelty to the politically rebellious.
Politically rebellious popluation =/= general population. Saddam promoted womens rights in general, but disrespected them in some more specific cases. No, I think I knew that and took that into account. His attitudes toward women's rights in the general population should not be determined by how he treated political prisoners. He treated plenty of men in inhuman ways as well.

As for the rest of your post, it does very little to address what I actually wrote. I agree that democracy is a great system, but I also think that it works best if it comes from the people, not an invading power. Post-WWI Eastern Europe is a testament to that.