We Are So Proud Of Our Free Press

Writing about the first foreign tour by US Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen P. Hughes (dubbed US Minister for Propaganda by no less an authority than the Financial Times), New York Times reporter Steven R. Weisman breaks from the party line about the wonderful free press in the US, and the benighted press in the third world:

On Mideast ‘Listening Tour,’ the Question Is Who’s Hearing: She [Hughes] addressed several policies, but in concise sound bites rather than sustained arguments. In American campaigns, such messages repeated over and over can have an effect because a presidential candidate dominates the news with every statement he makes, and if that fails to work, money can be poured into saturation advertising.

By contrast, in the lively and percussive environment of this region, Ms. Hughes came nowhere near the commanding heights of the media.

Got that? In the US, during elections — the time it matters most — government propaganda is parroted reflexively by the media, and if for some reason they don’t toe the line, say a young white woman is missing, people with enough money can nonetheless drum it into the public by endless repetition on TV.

Strangely, that doesn’t work in Egypt, in Turkey, in Qatar, or even in … Saudi Arabia.

Update: Could be because they don’t have real elections there?

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3 Responses to We Are So Proud Of Our Free Press

  1. Very perceptive, but not so surprising — there isn’t a nation on the planet that’s been as saturated with marketing and advertising for as long as this one has, and I doubt there is an educational system on the planet that turns out as high a proportion of MBA’s as this one.

    And speaking as a systems analyst and (mostly) self-educated polymath, frankly, I don’t even regard an MBA as education — it’s more like programmed ignorance and depravity. Provide the least product for the most profit, regardless of the consequences to the society or even yourself. It’s like thinking that the purpose of human life is to be a cow hooked up to a milking machine.

    Witness the war criminal and relentlessly ignorant hypocrite who currently inhabits the White House.

    Charly

  2. Very perceptive, but not so surprising — there isn’t a nation on the planet that’s been as saturated with marketing and advertising for as long as this one has, and I doubt there is an educational system on the planet that turns out as high a proportion of MBA’s as this one.

    And speaking as a systems analyst and (mostly) self-educated polymath, frankly, I don’t even regard an MBA as an education — it’s more like brainwashed depravity. Provide the least product for the most profit, regardless of the consequences to the society or even yourself. Witness the war criminal and relentlessly ignorant hypocrite who currently inhabits the White House.

    It’s like thinking the purpose of human life is to be a cow hooked up to a milking machine or a steer led to the slaughter house.

    Charly

  3. In dreams begin responsibilities.

    Americans think freedom is free. I think it doesn’t exist, nor has it ever (and libertarian culture is an oxymoron) but that’s a discussion for another day
    You’ll find a better political chat in a teahouse in Tehran or Beijing than you’ll find in this country.

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