Possible 'Improprieties' to Be Investigated
By Josh White and Bradley Graham, Washington Post
The U.S. military command in Baghdad acknowledged for the first time yesterday that it has paid Iraqi newspapers to carry positive news about U.S. efforts in Iraq, but officials characterized the payments as part of a legitimate campaign to counter insurgents' misinformation.
In a statement, the command said the program included efforts, "customary in Iraq," to purchase advertising and place clearly labeled opinion pieces in Iraqi newspapers. But the statement suggested that the "information operations" program may have veered into a gray area where government contractors paid to have articles placed in Iraqi newspapers without explaining that the material came from the U.S. military and that Iraqi journalists were paid to write positive accounts.
"But the statement suggested..." Is this another one of those omnipotent journalistic interpretations that they pass off as truth and news?? Hummm... this is not unlike the MSM interpretation of Bush's speeches, suggesting he linked Saddam to the 911 attacks.
I confess. This whole bit the past few days has had me roaring with laughter. At least these opinion pieces - whether sourced from the government or elsewhere - are labeled opinion pieces.
Now let's compare the western MSM, who consistantly oozes "news" that reeks of op-ed qualities. Talk about the pot talking to the kettle!
I get it. These two journalists are just beside themselves being indignant. Is it the "pay" bit that bothers them?
Then I must ask this... if corrupt journalistic practices involve "payment", is "payment" only cash? Could compensation also be carrots dangled? Exclusives, insider info, trips, future scoops? What does al Jazeera get for their exclusive terrorist tapes of beheadings and bombings?
When it comes to compensation, the possibilities are endless.
Personally, I suggest that the majority of today's MSM... anywhere... are corrupt. It starts with poor education of just what constitutes "journalism" and "unbiased". It is compounded by the favors and compensation they receive in exchange for the power of the pen. Look today at the abuse of power, rewriting history to advance their own (or party) perspectives. Do we know all the perks that lie behind today's news stories?
Of course not. For the most part, how could we? The press themselves would have to report it in some sort of sensationalist scoop. And, since they are the benefactors, the chances of that happening are slim to none at best. Like the judicial system, comprised of the good ol' boy/girl attitudes, the press is just as fiercely protective of their brethen and sisters.
Personally this paid news bit bothers me not a whit. At least it's disclosed for a change. And all we have is allegations that that has been abused. In fact, taking that another step further.... it is a sign that a free press exists. Afterall, the libs are telling us that the "majority of Iraqis" hate us, and want us gone. The fact they will take cash to advance an alternative view has got to be better than it was in the past, right?
Oh NO! More "knickers over the heads of terrorists" scandals. PAID NEWS! SCANDALS EVERYWHERE! Iraq is a cesspool under American occupation! LOL
Now, let's leap to another related subject. Like the Iraqi police torture issues, this will be used as a catalyst to suggest that the Iraqi liberation produced a country with no more morality than it had under Saddam.
This nonsense is obvious to anyone with a lick of common sense. But just in case you happen to be missing that gene, let me help. Having a freely elected gov't, free press and free speech does not eliminate the existance of scum humans and corruption.
THE difference is between then and now is, under Saddam, this sort of BS would never been allowed to be reported at all. If so, the offending journalist would be missing their head, or realtives *may* have found them in a mass grave somewhere.
Oh wait... no one would find those mass graves under Saddam's regime either. DOH
Addressing the same issue from a different angle, and from the same liberal publication, Murray Seeger admits that the increase of media scandals does warrant some oversight.
Congratulations for recognizing the problem, Murray.
The flaw in Murray's cure is that it must be the press that regulates themselves. Uh right... and how about we put the kid who steals cookies out of the jar in charge of watching the jar!
I have long said the MSM scares me even more than Congress and the White House because they answer to absolutely no one. Only those that have the financial means to drag them into the court system can find relief from the power of the press.
Then again, dragging them into the courts - who also answer to no one - doesn't appear to be much of an option either.
Hell and a hand basket. Yup.... there we go if holding true to our current course. But it isn't because of Iraq.