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  1.    #1  
    Pentagon pays Iraqi papers to print its 'good news' stories

    Holy Crap! What hypocrisy!

    Excerpts:

    Faced with suicide bombings, claims of Iraqi death squads, and kidnappings, the Pentagon has come up with an innovative solution to solving the problems in Iraq: buying good news. Using defence contractors or intermediaries posing as freelance reporters, the military has been paying Iraqi newspapers to publish stories written by a military propaganda unit lauding the US mission.

    According to the Los Angeles Times, the articles are translated into Arabic and placed in Baghdad newspapers where they are often presented as unbiased accounts by independent journalists. Records obtained by the newspaper indicate the US has paid to publish dozens of articles since the operation began this year, with headlines such as "Iraqis insist on living despite terrorism" and "more money goes to Iraq's development".
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    At the heart of the operation is a contract the Pentagon has with a small Washington based firm, Lincoln Group, whose Iraqi staff help translate and place the stories, posing as freelance reporters or advertising executives.

    A spokeswoman for the group did not return calls yesterday. On one occasion documented by the LA Times a man with the same name as a Lincoln worker paid editors at the Al Mada newspaper $900 (£520) to publish an article headlined "terrorists attack Sunni volunteers". He paid cash and left no calling card. Records obtained by the LA Times show the man told the Lincoln Group he gave the paper more than $1,200.
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  2. #2  
    Just like LA Times, NY Times, CNN, etc. being the liberal mouthpiece!
  3. #3  
    Wow this sounds really bad...

    ...until you read the actual LA Times story instead of the left-wing UK Guardian spin on it.

    I admit it has the hint of hypocrisy, but it's not worthy of so many angry emoticons. Two things stand out to me:

    - The stories planted appear to be factual - and there is no evidence to the contrary in the LA Times.
    - Nothing is being done to restrict the Iraqi press from printing whatever the hell they want - positive or negative.

    Some commentators favorable to Bush were found to have taken money for stories during the last election. Does that mean the US press is not free? The answer is obvious.

    So while this is probably not something we should be doing, it's hardly the outrage some seem to be actively seeking to hammer Bush with.
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  4. #4  
    Getting positive press out during wartime? Seems to me like a smart move by the US milatary. This shouldn't be a Bush vs dems thing. It is our boys over there risking their lives. Every little bit helps.
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  5. #5  
    I don't think we should be surprised at something like this being done...part of the 'win the hearts and minds' ideal. Iraqi's read the paper probably just like we all do...we don't all believe everything we read and I am sure they don't either.
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  6. NRG
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    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    Wow this sounds really bad...

    - Nothing is being done to restrict the Iraqi press from printing whatever the hell they want - positive or negative.
    I agree with most of what you say besides the above selected piece of your post. It is not suppression but just the opposite of it, coercion. Kind of like the lobbying that I dislike so much.

    It is molesting public opinion. IMO.
  7. NRG
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    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by heberman
    Getting positive press out during wartime? Seems to me like a smart move by the US milatary. This shouldn't be a Bush vs dems thing. It is our boys over there risking their lives. Every little bit helps.
    I agree we should work together for a common goal which our socirty is lacking and has been for quite sometime.

    But again see above post for my feeling on it.
  8. NRG
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    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    I don't think we should be surprised at something like this being done...part of the 'win the hearts and minds' ideal. Iraqi's read the paper probably just like we all do...we don't all believe everything we read and I am sure they don't either.
    I would expect them not to trust the papers, well, after the propaganda that has been shuffled through their papers and airwaves while Saddam was Boss Hogg of the country. But this is Psy. Ops and I don't know if it has a place at this stage of the game?

    We are trying to build a cohesive government, correct? Yet at the same we are tampering with one of the major pillars of democracy, the free press, "The Fourth Estate"(Was that long winded?....pheww!). Well anyways, I feel if we want a democracy there, we should let public opinion rule. Us trying to setup a democracy using communist tactics(propaganda), I feel is self-defeating, because it is not what our country/form of government is based on.

    Just my ¢2.
  9. #9  
    What the hell is wrong with that?

    There a war going on over there. Lets just freaking finish it asap and worry about your sactamonious free press gripes after we leave... sheesh...
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  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by NRG
    I would expect them not to trust the papers, well, after the propaganda that has been shuffled through their papers and airwaves while Saddam was Boss Hogg of the country.
    Good point.

    Quote Originally Posted by NRG
    But this is Psy. Ops and I don't know if it has a place at this stage of the game?
    We don't know how long it might have been going on. It may not be that 'late' in the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by NRG
    We are trying to build a cohesive government, correct? Yet at the same we are tampering with one of the major pillars of democracy, the free press, "The Fourth Estate"(Was that long winded?....pheww!).
    (*Note-this might make some journalists upset)...Arguably the free press really isn't free (speaking mostly about MSM). It's owned/controlled at some level by businessmen/women who are accountable to stockholders who want to make a profit. News that gets reported is news that will draw more readers. Hence its only free if its making money (i.e. news decisions are made not on whether it would be good/bad for free press but rather if it would be profitable.)

    [QUOTE=NRG]Arguably in Iraq, the U.S. has not been getting a lot of 'good' press so maybe this fabricated press is just evening it out so to speak so both sides can get heard?

    Quote Originally Posted by NRG
    Well anyways, I feel if we want a democracy there, we should let public opinion rule.
    Why...public opinion does not rule here (i.e. we don't have mob rule.)

    Quote Originally Posted by NRG
    Us trying to setup a democracy using communist tactics(propaganda),
    What makes it a communist tactic?

    Quote Originally Posted by NRG
    I feel is self-defeating, because it is not what our country/form of government is based on.
    Well it does appear to be self-defeating if we are trying to gain credibility with the people (and on a side note...didn't 'they' ever think that this would come out? How could 'they' think that this would stay secret and not be something that could be revealed/proven?)
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  11. NRG
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    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by gfunkmagic
    What the hell is wrong with that?

    There a war going on over there. Lets just freaking finish it asap and worry about your sanctimonious free press gripes after we leave... sheesh...
    Hey there ACC brethren. Let's look at the "principles of democracy" from the Governments own website.
    This is how the government describes the website:
    affairs community. IIP designs, develops, and implements a variety of information initiatives and strategic communications programs, including Internet and print publications, traveling and electronically transmitted speaker programs, and information resource services. These reach--and are created strictly for--key international audiences, such as the media, government officials, opinion leaders, and the general public in more than 140 countries around the world.
    Sanctimonious BS my ***. This is a way that the democratic government is applied, it is a staple. You would not live in a democracy if the government applies pressure to the press.

    Here are a few highlights from the webpage.
    In a democracy the press should operate free from governmental control. Democratic governments do not have ministries of information to regulate content of newspapers or the activities of journalists; requirements that journalists be vetted by the state; or force journalists to join government-controlled unions.

    1) A free press informs the public, holds leaders accountable, and provides a forum for debate of local and national issues.

    2)In democracies the government is accountable for its actions. Citizens therefore expect to be informed about decisions their governments make on their behalf. The press facilitates this "right to know," by serving as a watchdog over the government, helping citizens to hold government accountable, and questioning its policies. Democratic governments grant journalists access to public meetings and public documents. They do not place prior restraints on what journalists may say or print.

    3)Press outlets should establish their own editorial boards, independent of government control, in order to separate information gathering and dissemination from editorial processes.

    4)Journalists should not be swayed by public opinion, only by the pursuit of truth, as close as they can get to it. A democracy allows the press to go about its business of collecting and reporting the news without fear or favor from the government.
    Sorry G I disagree with all your points relating to the press.
  12. cardio's Avatar
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    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by NRG
    I agree with most of what you say besides the above selected piece of your post. It is not suppression but just the opposite of it, coercion. Kind of like the lobbying that I dislike so much.

    It is molesting public opinion. IMO.
    Wow, they are being Americanized fast over there, wonder if it comedy news network (CNN)
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by NRG
    I agree with most of what you say besides the above selected piece of your post. It is not suppression but just the opposite of it, coercion. Kind of like the lobbying that I dislike so much.

    It is molesting public opinion. IMO.
    Or alternately, it's simply getting the word out about how things are going. As I pointed out, the LA Times said the stories were factual and provided no evidence of anything untrue being spread. It is not coersion.
    co·erce

    TRANSITIVE VERB:
    co·erced , co·erc·ing , co·erc·es

    1. To force to act or think in a certain way by use of pressure, threats, or intimidation; compel.
    2. To dominate, restrain, or control forcibly
    3. To bring about by force or threat
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  14.    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by gfunkmagic
    What the hell is wrong with that?

    There a war going on over there. Lets just freaking finish it asap and worry about your sactamonious free press gripes after we leave... sheesh...
    It's just stupid to do stuff like this because eventually it will come out then you've done damage to the whole hearts and minds goal.

    Just stupid.
  15. #15  
    I read papers everyday and I'm told how the Republicans are falling apart and the Iraq war is a failure.

    I was reading this a year ago leading up to the election, you know the one where few were giving President Bush a shot at.

    If the info reported to Iraqi's is dis-information, give them credit that they are no so stupid to realize this. I know I wasn't, I realized the CNN's, the msnbc's, cbs' of the world were trying to snow me. Nice try it didn't work. When will these 'mainstream' media giants realize they just need to report the news and not add their 'spin'.

    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    It's just stupid to do stuff like this because eventually it will come out then you've done damage to the whole hearts and minds goal.

    Just stupid.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    It's just stupid to do stuff like this because eventually it will come out then you've done damage to the whole hearts and minds goal.

    Just stupid.
    I'll agree that when done in such an apparently amateurish fashion this is pretty stupid. We do have a need to get our story out, but paying papers to do it wasn't wise.
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  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by NRG
    Sanctimonious BS my ***. This is a way that the democratic government is applied, it is a staple. You would not live in a democracy if the government applies pressure to the press.
    Control and pressure are two totally different things. We do not have a State run Media, but I would think it is untrue (or maybe a little niave or at the very least optimistic) in the working world as we have it today to say that they do not add pressure and influence to the press.

    You know that there is pressure on the MSM by politicians, political groups, lobbying organizations, etc.... Do you really doubt that politicians don't make deals with reporters that if they publish this or don't publish that yet they will give them something else (another story, better info on someone else, the first question at the next news conference, et...). That a multimillion dollar share in a news org from a single person or org would not have any leaning influence if there was something they wanted looked into or not looked into. The personal political leanings of those in charge of editing rooms, new orgs, etc... don't have a play in what is reported and what is frowned on reporting. That the truth that "bad news sales" does have a play in deciding to continually report good side of major events vs the bad (Soldier efforts and successes in Iraq vs Soldier challenges in Iraq is a classic example for maybe more one of these points on all sides of the fence).

    Is any reporter free to report what he or she finds out with confirmation? Only if it is approved by their editor, who is influenced by his boss or corp who are influenced by profit and political leaning, right or left, of the news org.

    Good or bad, our MSM has tremendous pressure on what to report and what not to report.
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    #18  
    "Holy Crap! What hypocrisy!

    Excerpts:

    Faced with suicide bombings, claims of Iraqi death squads, and kidnappings, the Pentagon has come up with an innovative solution to solving the problems in Iraq: buying good news. Using defence contractors or intermediaries posing as freelance reporters, the military has been paying Iraqi newspapers to publish stories written by a military propaganda unit lauding the US mission"

    - dathomas


    its reprehensible for anyone to hire a story to suit their needs. no doubt there.

    but oh, wait. not that the LA times, Washington post, or NY times SELECTIVELY choose opinions or stories that suit their agenda in undermining the war either though, right? my god, stop the press!!!

    it would be one thing if they fairly presented BOTH the good and the bad thoroughly, giving more objective snapshots rather than slanted views of the REAL situation in iraq. if they did that, then we could actually take them seriously.

    but 60% of the media today is bound and determined to present ONLY the stories which undercut the progress of their own military's progress in iraq.

    THAT'S hypocrisy. be fair. represent the whole story over there. not just the ones you want emphasized. this goes for both sides. otherwise, the papers you tout are no different from those you criticize.
    I gotta have more cowbell
  19.    #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by vw2002
    "Holy Crap! What hypocrisy!

    Excerpts:

    Faced with suicide bombings, claims of Iraqi death squads, and kidnappings, the Pentagon has come up with an innovative solution to solving the problems in Iraq: buying good news. Using defence contractors or intermediaries posing as freelance reporters, the military has been paying Iraqi newspapers to publish stories written by a military propaganda unit lauding the US mission"

    - dathomas


    its reprehensible for anyone to hire a story to suit their needs. no doubt there.

    but oh, wait. not that the LA times, Washington post, or NY times SELECTIVELY choose opinions or stories that suit their agenda in undermining the war either though, right? my god, stop the press!!!

    it would be one thing if they fairly presented BOTH the good and the bad thoroughly, giving more objective snapshots rather than slanted views of the REAL situation in iraq. if they did that, then we could actually take them seriously.

    but 60% of the media today is bound and determined to present ONLY the stories which undercut the progress of their own military's progress in iraq.

    THAT'S hypocrisy. be fair. represent the whole story over there. not just the ones you want emphasized. this goes for both sides. otherwise, the papers you tout are no different from those you criticize.
    Reality is what is supposed to be represented by by the media, and in a democracy, a free media is supposed to watchdog the gov't for corruption.

    You can call that slanted and liberal all you want.
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    Reality is what is supposed to be represented by by the media, and in a democracy, a free media is supposed to watchdog the gov't for corruption.

    You can call that slanted and liberal all you want.
    And that doesn't make it any less slanted and liberal.

    The NYT and LAT are upset about this whole thing. Imagine, a newspaper actually making money! Maybe they'll learn a lesson and start charging the DNC for publishing its talking points?
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