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[IAC] A.N.S.W.E.R. Fact Sheet on the Media

A.N.S.W.E.R. FACT SHEET – The Media and the Government The State Of The "Free Press" After October 7 —
ALL PROPAGANDA, ALL THE TIME!
A.N.S.W.E.R. FACT SHEET The Media and the Government





The State Of The "Free Press" After October 7


ALL PROPAGANDA, ALL THE TIME!





In the past weeks, images have been seen around the world of


bombings of villages, hospitals, mosques, Red Cross


facilities and more. What has been the response of those


dropping the bombs? The U.S. and England are opening what


they call Coalition Information Centers a plan for


24-hour-a-day domination of the news to manipulate and


refute these images.





In the last weeks, the Bush administration, the Pentagon and


the CIA have been battening down all of the hatches to


deprive the people of the United States of any independent


source of information. Why is the government so afraid that


people in the United States will have the opportunity to


receive uncensored news and information? It is because the


Bush administration, having learned a crucial lesson in


Vietnam, knows that if the people actually learn the truth


about the war, they may become its most vocal and effective


opponents.





In some countries, governments have waged violent and


repressive wars against journalists. Reporters have been


arrested and even killed, fear has been installed in those


who seek to go against the government. But that is not the


case in the U.S. Reporters here dont have to be arrested


or shot or even threatened. These big capitalist media


realize that their real function is to be the public


relations arm of the Pentagon. They are engaging in


self-censorship.





U.S. textbooks teach of a U.S. media that is distinguished


from the media in vast parts of the globe because it is a


free press not a state-run media, but an independent


media, free from government supervision and dictates.





But since September 11, 2001, and especially since the


bombing of Afghanistan began on October 7, it would be very


hard to assert that there is a free or independent press in


the United States. (Those who have studied the


corporate-dominated media know that there wasnt much of a


free press in the U.S. prior to September 11 either,


though there is a growing progressive media independent from


corporate domination.)





Did you know that ...





On October 7 the day the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan


the National Imagery and Mapping Agency signed a contract


for exclusive rights to all commercial satellite imagery of


Afghanistan and other countries in the region. The U.S.


governments National Imagery and Mapping Agency is a


top-secret Defense Department intelligence agency, and it


is currently in negotiations to renew its contract, which


expires November 5. It paid $1.91 million for the first 30


days of the contract. (Reuters, 10/30/01, US in talks to


keep rights to satellite images)





On October 10, White House national security adviser


Condoleezza Rice met with major U.S. television networks and


asked them not to show videotaped messages issued by Osama


bin Laden live and unedited. They agreed to this request.


MSNBC and Fox News did not air at all the next statement


issued by bin Laden, and CNN showed only brief excerpts.





On October 11, the Bush administration asked newspapers not


to print statements issued by Osama bin Laden. They agreed.





On October 17, a closed-door meeting was held between


network heads and studio chiefs in Hollywood and members of


the Bush administration. Deputy Assistant to the President


Chris Henick and Associate Director of the Office of Public


Liaison Adam Goldman represented the Bush administration in


the meeting, where Hollywood heads committed themselves to


new initiatives in support of the war on terrorism. These


initiatives would stress efforts to enhance the perception


of America around the world, to get out the message on the


fight against terrorism and to mobilize existing resources,


such as satellites and cable, to foster better global


understanding. (Variety, 10/18/01, White House enlists


Hollywood for war effort, By Peter Bart)





On October 30, the chairman of CNN and its head of standards


and practices sent memos to the CNN staff relating to their


coverage of the war. In the first memo, Walter Isaacson,


the chairman of CNN, said it seems perverse to focus too


much on the casualties or hardship in Afghanistan. The


memo sent by Rick Davis, the head of standards and


practices, continued, it may be hard for the correspondent


in these dangerous areas to make the points clearly. Davis


actually suggested language for anchors to use while footage


of civilian casualties was being shown: (1) We must keep in


mind, after seeing reports like this from Taliban-controlled


areas, that these U.S. military actions are in response to a


terrorist attack that killed close to 5,000 innocent people


in the U.S. or (2) We must keep in mind, after seeing


reports like this, that the Taliban regime in Afghanistan


continues to harbor terrorists who have praised the


September 11 attacks that killed close to 5,000 innocent


people in the U.S. or (3) The Pentagon has repeatedly


stressed that it is trying to minimize civilian casualties


in Afghanistan, even as the Taliban regime continues to


harbor terrorists who are connected to the September 11


attacks that claimed thousands of innocent lives in the


U.S. He concludes, Even though it may start sounding


rote, it is important that we make this point each time.


(CNN Chief Orders Balance in War News by Howard Kurtz,


Washington Post 10/31/01)





On October 30, British Defense Minister Geoff Hoon met with


U.S. Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld, to stress Englands


concern about the fact that public opinion in Britain and


the rest of Western Europe has been turning against the war,


largely because of the increasing reports of civilian


casualties from the bombing. A Western diplomat quoted in


the New York Times said, the collateral damage doesnt make


nice pictures in the newspapers. The Times also reported


that The European public appears more concerned about


civilian casualties than ending the war swiftly. Senior


Blair adviser Alstair Campbell met with U.S. Presidential


Counselor Karen Hughes about concerns about public opinion


in Europe and the Middle East. (U.S. Campaign on 2nd Front:


Public Opinion by Michael R. Gordon and Eric Schmitt, New


York Times, 10/31/01)





On October 31, Taliban representatives held a press


conference in Pakistan to announce that over 1,500 people


had been killed in the first 24 days of bombing, mainly


civilians.





On October 31, at a joint press conference with British


Prime Minister Tony Blair, Syrian President Bashar Assad


said We cannot accept what we see on the [television]


screen every day hundreds of civilians dying.





On November 1, the U.S. and Britain jointly opened


Coalition Information Centers in Washington DC, London and


Islamabad, Pakistan. These centers will allow for


24-hour-a-day efforts to dominate news coverage of the U.S.


and British bombing of Afghanistan. Their focus will be on


rebutting reports of civilian casualties. It will include


press conferences, speeches and Internet reports staggered


to target morning and evening coverage in the U.S., Europe


and the Middle East and South/Central Asia. The State


Department is planning its own effort to circulate


information on the Internet and providing downloadable


information sheets to be used by U.S. embassies worldwide.


(U.S., Britain Step Up War for Public Opinion, by Karen


DeYoung, 11/1/01 Washington Post)





On November 2, New York Times Op-Ed writer Thomas Friedman


wrote, A month into the war in Afghanistan, the


hand-wringing has already begun over how long this might


last. Let's all take a deep breath and repeat after me: Give


war a chance. This is Afghanistan we're talking about. Check


the map. It's far away. (One War, Two Fronts, by Thomas


L. Friedman, NY Times, 11/2/01)





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