Desert Deceit Part II

Given the responses to today's earlier posting -- "Operation Desert Deceit" -- on Media Log, some folks don't see what's so wrong about paying for phony journalism to be placed in the Iraqi media. (By the way, it doesn't matter if the facts presented in these "stories" are fundamentally accurate if they are presented strictly to provide a propagandistic perspective of events and other important facts are omitted. That's not journalism.)

So maybe this response, emailed by John Schulz, the dean of the Boston University College of Communication and former VOA executive and correspondent, will help clarify the situation:


"In Political Science 101, every student learns that one of the three core elements necessary for a viable democracy is a free and effective press, coupled with freedom of speech and the other core freedoms. The Bush administration, and some elements within the Defense Department do not seem to grasp the irony that, in their efforts to create, impose or inspire democratic society in Iraq, they are subverting the very core of what democracy means and are instead, by example, undercutting the very thing they are attempting to instill in Iraq.

"Given the recently revealed efforts by this administration to corrupt our system domestically by planting government sponsored 'news from Washington' at various local TV stations around our country, and given this latest practice in Iraq, one can only conclude that the current leaders of our democracy don't understand democracy at all, or don't like this "messy process" that is a vital component in our system. This newest development would be sad, if it were not so scary."
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