Northern Valley Beacon

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Saturday, December 03, 2005


O, Big Brother, what a big pen you have

The U. S. military admitted today that it paid to have advertisements and opinion pieces in Iraqi newspapers, but it also indicated that it paid to have news stories run in the news columns. Here is the pertinent paragraph from the Washington Post story:

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.

When government agencies control the news, whether through payment or coercion, the press is not free, but is merely an instrument of government. The Bush administration ventures further and further into state-controlled media in every effort it makes to force its agenda at home and abroad.

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