Propaganda and War

Journalists in Iraq wrestle with controlled access to information

Summary:

FP spoke recently with Rod Nordland, who served as Newsweek’s Baghdad bureau chief for two years, about the challenge of getting out of the Green Zone to get the scoop.

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Covering up the war: a failure of American character?

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"Conservatives," who proudly wear their patriotism on their sleeves, dismiss the reports of the incident as a Big Lie floated by "the anti-American liberal media" in order to demoralize Americans and reduce public support for the war.

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Can't Win the War? Bomb the Press!

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The assault on a free press during our own wartime should be recognized for what it is: another desperate ploy by officials trying to hide their own lethal mistakes in the shadows.

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Iraq's Top Newspaper Warns U.S. on Atrocities

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Iraq's largest newspaper has issued a stinging denunciation of the latest in a string of alleged atrocities by U.S. troops in that country.

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Laura Bush complains "good polls" never show up on the front page

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Interviewed with her husband on "Larry King Live" on Thursday night, Laura Bush once again charged that "good polls" for the president never end up on the front page.

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U.S news outlets persist in calling murdered 14-year-old Iraqi girl a 'woman'

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When Reuters and other news agencies produced proof that the murdered Iraqi girl was 14, based on a passport and identity card, most news organizations then started calling her a girl -- but some persist in referring to her as a "woman."

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Is the Army trying to silence Lt. Watada?

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When Soldiers Refuse to Fight

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Alaska Governor cheats democracy by hiring PR firm

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Nothing wrong with a little marketing, right? Yes and no. Yes, if you believe the end justifies the means. No, if you believe in democracy.

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Abu Ghraib and the American Media: Dec 16

Summary:

Independent journalist Lila Rajiva will read from her new book, The Language of Empire: Abu Ghraib and the American Media, at Seattle's Elliott Bay Books on Friday, Dec. 16. The book is a model of in-depth, citizen media analysis, not only skewering craven propagandists like Hannity and Limbaugh, but also revealing the shameful and often racist double standards which have undergirded the main stream of Iraq war coverage in the US. Rajiva's book also offers an unflinching and clear-worded analysis of the role of torture and terror in contemporary American foreign policy. Event details here.


[ more by Lila Rajiva at Counterpunch | Alternet | Views Unplugged ]

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Media, War and Resistance

Media, War and Resistance
Summary:

Going to war is a serious business. In a totalitarian society, the dictator just says we're going to war and everybody marches. In a democratic society, the theory is that if the political leadership is committed to war, they present reasons, and they've got a very heavy burden of proof to meet because a war is a very catastrophic affair... The role of the media at that point is to present the relevant background, and to offer, in fact encourage, a forum of debate over this very dread decision to go to war... That never happened." [Noam Chomsky, reflecting on the first Gulf War in Manufacturing Consent]

As the Bush administration prepared for war in 2002 and 2003, the US establishment media largely abdicated their roles of challenging the government's PR frames and specious arguments. Instead, they willingly helped persuade the public of one lie after another: that war with Iraq was justified, necessary and legal, would be quick, and would bring democracy to the Middle East. A peace movement of unprecedented, international scale was effectively locked out of meaningful debate, and as it has before, the US went to war very much in the manner of a totalitarian state. Tens of thousands of Iraqis and Americans have so far lost their lives as a result - and the occupations, killings and "extraordinary renditions" continue. People of conscience must continue to resist Bush and his administration of death, and we must find new ways to hold our media accountable to democratic values.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey