Thursday, December 01, 2005

U.S. papers hiding the truth a bit?

"Western press and frequently those self-styled 'objective' observers of Iraq are often critics of how we, the people of Iraq, are proceeding down the path in determining what is best for our nation," the article began. Quoting the Prophet Muhammad, it pleaded for unity and nonviolence.
But far from being the heartfelt opinion of an Iraqi writer, as its language implied, the article was prepared by the United States military as part of a multimillion-dollar covert campaign to plant paid propaganda in the Iraqi news media and pay friendly Iraqi journalists monthly stipends, military contractors and officials said.
The article was one of several in a storyboard, the military's term for a list of articles, that was delivered Tuesday to the Lincoln Group, a Washington-based public relations firm paid by the Pentagon, documents from the Pentagon show. The contractor's job is to translate the articles into Arabic and submit them to Iraqi newspapers or advertising agencies without revealing the Pentagon's role. Documents show that the intended target of the article on a democratic Iraq was Azzaman, a leading independent newspaper, but it is not known whether it was published there or anywhere else.
Even as the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development pay contractors millions of dollars to help train journalists and promote a professional and independent Iraqi media, the Pentagon is paying millions more to the Lincoln Group for work that appears to violate fundamental principles of Western journalism.

This is the type of commentary you are reading in the U.S. papers, they are also complaining that these stories don't tell both sides of the story, but what the US papers reporting of this story are either failing to tell you, or are burrying at the end of the article, the fact that many of these supposed planted stories are shaded in a different color and listed at the top of the page as advertisements. I suppose that the LA Times and the NYTimes would have complained that the "Voice of America" was paid to broadcast pro american radio into the former Soviet Union and it was unfair because it wasn't broadcasting Stalin's point of view.


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