Thursday, December 01, 2005

Never be surprised

Really. I should never be surprised by the actions of the our government. I've told you before the my 17 year old son is in a extremely paranoid state right now, doing his best imitation of Chicken Little as he discusses the state of our federal government. When news comes across my computer screen like this, I move to join him. Bwaak, bwaak.

So our military is following the example of the Bush administration and is paying for good press. Remember the Bush administration paying columnists to be nice to them around the issues of education? Remember the Bush administration distributing "news" pieces to television stations that were not exactly news?

There is nothing new under the sun in Bushland. The military is simply following that example. So it seems just a bit disingenuous for the White House to demand to get to the bottom of this. "We're very concerned about the reports. We are seeking more information from the Pentagon," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

Hey. He's back. McClellan. Guess Bushland thought it was safe for his face to appear in public. Not that anyone trusts anything he says now. Odd position for an administration spokesman to be in, isn't it?

Anyway. "Concerned"? Please. The only concern this administration would have about such efforts would be that the military was caught misbehaving. The White House would, on general principles, applaud such propaganda and misinformation. And breaking of the law.

Because the LA Times article made it clear that the military did break a law this time around. US law says no planting propaganda through US press. Any propaganda anywhere inevitable ends up in the US press, given how small the world has become through the internet.

And there doesn't seem to be any question that these plants in the Iraq press were not news. Even military folks say that "(a)bsolute truth was not an essential element of these stories". Simple equation for those of us who are math-challenged: news=truth. No truth? Not real news. Unless, of course, you count news made by lying. Which Bushland seems awfully good at making these day.

Something else this administration is good at is attacking the press. Didn't I just blog about that? But wait, there's obviously more. We can talk about Bush's plans to bomb Al Jazeera. Or the constant US attempt to silence Al Jezeera. Or we can talk about the ironic embarrassment of this happening while our government trains Iraqi journalists in Western journalism.

Speaking of embarrassment. The BBC noted that the planted propaganda is "an embarrassment to the American military at a time when it is trying to promote transparency in Iraq". Said with typical English understatement.

Think the Bushies will be starting up a Fox news outlet over there soon? Seems a logical next step, now that this hasn't worked out.

Until tomorrow,


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