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FOX News' Propaganda About The Propaganda

Reported by Ellen - December 1, 2005

During a news break in the middle of last night's Hannity & Colmes, Uma Pemmaraju and Steve Centanni reported on the recent revelation that the U.S. military is paying Iraqi newspapers to run pro-American stories disguised as news. They're a perfect example of propaganda but Pemmaraju described them as "positive articles about progress" in Iraq while Centanni called them "favorable articles."

The LA Times, in a lengthy piece, provided the following details:

As part of an information offensive in Iraq, the U.S. military is secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to publish stories written by American troops in an effort to burnish the image of the U.S. mission in Iraq.

The articles, written by U.S. military "information operations" troops, are translated into Arabic and placed in Baghdad newspapers with the help of a defense contractor, according to U.S. military officials and documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

Many of the articles are presented in the Iraqi press as unbiased news accounts written and reported by independent journalists. The stories trumpet the work of U.S. and Iraqi troops, denounce insurgents and tout U.S.-led efforts to rebuild the country.

Though the articles are basically factual, they present only one side of events and omit information that might reflect poorly on the U.S. or Iraqi governments, officials said.

That might raise concerns in those of us who thought we were supposed to be spreading democracy in Iraq but FOX News seemed to bend over backwards to gloss over the controversy. Centanni sugarcoated the operation by reporting it as "a way to counter the misinformation put out by the insurgency." What misinformation is being put out and how? He didn't say. Instead, he quoted a military spokesperson as saying, "There is a group of Americans that writes articles for Iraqi papers" as if they were simply a bunch of freelance journalists rather than paid disseminators.

Reinforcing that impression, the chyron at the bottom of the screen read, "U.S. Military providing news stories to Iraqi media."

Also not mentioned was the fact that FOX News Contributor Bill Cowan is an advisor to the aforementioned contractor involved in the operation.

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