Sunday, December 04, 2005

CNN throws rocks in its glass house

Among the news organizations putting a negative spin on the story that the military secretly sponsored positive news stories in Iraqi papers, CNN sounded especially scandalized.

The Pentagon, correspondent Barbara Starr reported, may be deeply involved in influencing the Iraqi press.

Starr then played out what looks like a reprise of the Department of Defense public affairs bureaucrats' sabotage of the Office of Strategic Influence (OSI) in 2002, where disloyal civilian officials and uniformed officers anonymously exposed the effort against the terrorists.

Starr cited "two military officials" as anonymous sources, then quoted a talking head who lectured that Iraq cannot have a democracy without a free press, followed by another anonymous official, apparently from the Pentagon, calling the influence effort a "dumb idea." That was the last word of the story.

Not a peep about CNN's own track record of secretly skewing its own Iraq coverage in hopes of winning government favors. But unlike the Iraqi journalists of today, CNN wasn't collaborating with the United States. For details, see below.


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