Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Laugh, Cry, and Learn
December 30, 2004 10:24 AM   Subscribe

"Massive misinformation" from Arab news networks such as Al-Jazeera is hampering the US effort in Iraq, Rumsfeld told the troops during his Christmas Eve visit to Mosul: "Everything we do here is harder because of television stations like Al Jazeera and Al Arabiyah." In remarks that were not quoted in the American press, the defense secretary went on to tell the troops, "We don't go out and hire journalists and propagandize and lie and put people on payroll so that they'll say what you want. We just don't do that and they do and that's happening" (which is itself meta-misinformation.) Meanwhile, the Pentagon's multimillion-dollar solution -- the CIA-funded Iraqi news network, Al-Iraqiya (featuring "Iraqi programs that make you laugh, cry, and learn") -- has become "an irrelevant mouthpiece for [coalition] propaganda" according to one of its own former correspondents, veteran news reporter Don North.
posted by digaman (21 comments total)

 
...and then there's those traitorous bastards manning the humvee armoring factory, lying about government procurement of thier service. why, the pricks have actually had to barricade the door and take the phone off the hook, so determined is the defense department to place additional orders with them.
posted by quonsar at 10:37 AM on December 30, 2004


Could we possibly stop pumping bullets into Irony?
posted by eriko at 10:54 AM on December 30, 2004


...Because the administration Rumsfeld represents has been a veritable fountain of straight talk.
posted by everichon at 10:56 AM on December 30, 2004


"We don't go out and hire journalists and propagandize and lie and put people on payroll so that they'll say what you want."

Why bother to pay for it? American media will do it for free.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:10 AM on December 30, 2004


"We don't go out and hire journalists and propagandize and lie and put people on payroll so that they'll say what you want. We just don't do that and they do and that's happening"

No... you just don't let journalists have access, prevent pictures or videos of dead troops or returning coffins, and in every way possible sanitize everything before it gets to the American people. It's censorship.

I, for one, am glad that the BBC, Reuters, and yes Al-Jazeera are out there to inform those Americans that care of what is actually going on.

Many Americans like to believe in the fluffy white cloud world the Administration tries to convey. Unfortunately for them, organizations like Al-Jazeera put news out there that shows the other side.
posted by AspectRatio at 11:21 AM on December 30, 2004


mmm hmm.... ok.
posted by Witty at 11:27 AM on December 30, 2004


No discussion of Al-Jazeera is complete without a mention of the outstanding documentary Control Room.
posted by muckster at 11:35 AM on December 30, 2004


What?! Rumsfeld lied to the troops?? OUR troops?!?
posted by sellout at 11:44 AM on December 30, 2004


More evidence of the Despicable Arab Media (google cache due to real web site problem)
posted by ParisParamus at 11:46 AM on December 30, 2004


From the LA Times article: "The Pentagon in 2002 was forced to shutter its controversial Office of Strategic Influence (OSI), which was opened shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, after reports that the office intended to plant false news stories in the international media. But officials say that much of OSI's mission — using information as a tool of war — has been assumed by other offices throughout the U.S. government."

I doubt they stop at international media.
posted by davy at 11:57 AM on December 30, 2004


I can see it now, Osama Bin Laden in a cave holding a rare meeting with the troops ... "My brothers, everything we do here is EASIER because of stations like Fox. Oh, and politicians like Donald Rumsfeld. We should send him a book token or something..."

Other than that ... same difference. TV stations showing opposing point of view ... bad. TV stations showing balanced, neutral point of view ... damnit, also bad. TV stations showing OUR point of view ... GOOD. Got it, thanks. Is Rumsfeld cynical enough to believe that his troops are buying any of this? And is it overly optimistic of me to believe they're not? :)
posted by kaemaril at 12:24 PM on December 30, 2004


Many of the troops are teenagers from suburbia fighting under Rumsfeld's command at the risk of their lives, and seeing their buddies' limbs get blown off every day. They have significant cognitive-dissonance motivation to generally believe that Rumsfeld is not selling them a Humvee-ful of horseshit every time he opens his mouth. That's what takes the matter of the veracity of Rumsfeld's statements out of har-har cafe irony land.
posted by digaman at 12:33 PM on December 30, 2004


The Big Lie.
posted by Doohickie at 12:38 PM on December 30, 2004


I believe I saw those comments on TV in a tiny bar down in Mexico (between Tsunami coverage). He also said something to the effect that freedom of the press creates all kinds of problems, but a country like the US is strong enough to withstand them. How these gargoyles get away with this stuff is beyond me.

Oh wait, I remember how. Thanks Bush voters!
posted by scarabic at 12:39 PM on December 30, 2004


What I don't understand is that back in the day of the Soviet threat, we didn't seem to give a rat's ass what Pravda said. (ot - this post was delayed as I perused the Time vs Pravda headline comparisons, interesting stuff).

Of course, back in the day, we seemed to hold truth in high esteem, and hold our politicians accountable to a standard that was independent of party affiliation.
posted by forforf at 1:04 PM on December 30, 2004


We didn't give a rat's ass what Pravda said, because the administration then wasn't busy revving up its list of extraneous factors to be blamed for the loss of a war that they claimed would be easily won.
posted by digaman at 1:09 PM on December 30, 2004


forfort: Of course, back in the day, we seemed to hold truth in high esteem, and hold our politicians accountable to a standard that was independent of party affiliation.

digaman: We didn't give a rat's ass what Pravda said, because the administration then wasn't busy revving up its list of extraneous factors to be blamed for the loss of a war that they claimed would be easily won.

Talk about cognitive dissonance!

Or is this just another attempt at meta irony?
posted by Chuckles at 1:29 PM on December 30, 2004


From this link, some of the shows on Al Iraqiya -- I found a couple very interesting...

Burning Issues: Analysts discuss a hot weekly topic. -- someone's got a devilish sense of humor, seeing as how we're blowing shit up and lighting stuff on fire in Iraq on a daily basis. Burning Issues, indeed.

Hour with the President: One hour's discussion every week with Iraq's President. Wow. A whole entire hour with their very own president, no matter how contrived I am sure it is. Perhaps the Iraqi people would be suprised to know how infrequently our own Dear Leader, their Liberator, speaks to the American press. Or, maybe not.
posted by contessa at 3:46 PM on December 30, 2004


>We don't go out and hire journalists and propagandize and lie

Judith Miller in the NYT, Fox News, most of CNN, etc. You dont have to "hire" ideological partners. They want to help and they do, especially when the media owners are in that same political party.

Of course a country with a tighly controlled media ecology like the US must rail against more open media or enough people are going to question what's going on. So far the "bad apples" and "bad intelligence" lies are working pretty well. You could stop a random person on the street and get a good conspiracy theory tin-foil hat account of how Saddam was directly tied to 9.11. Where does this all come from? The American media.
posted by skallas at 3:56 PM on December 30, 2004


You could stop a random person on the street and get a good conspiracy theory tin-foil hat account of how Saddam was directly tied to 9.11. Where does this all come from? The American media.

Um, hang on. The media has a partner in crime: Americans.

The facts of 9.11/Saddam have been exhaustively, repeatedly reported. Could major media have been more aggressive in challenging the White House? Absolutely.

But the facts have been out there for a long time, practically everywhere. The millions of Americans who are too dumb, lazy or Dittoheaded to absorb them belong up against the wall, blindfolded, right next to The Media.
posted by sacre_bleu at 4:45 PM on December 30, 2004


"We don't go out and hire journalists and propagandize and lie and put people on payroll so that they'll say what you want."

Why bother to pay for it? American media will do it for free.


Worse yet, Americans pay to have it piped into their homes.
posted by squirrel at 10:38 PM on December 30, 2004


« Older Before,...  |  AARP Says No To Bush ...... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments