February 5, 2005


It's pretty ironic to see CNN complaining about "propaganda." This article is about Pentagon-sponsored Internet news sites. [link to one of the sites English version]

Pentagon sites: Journalism or propaganda?
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Department of Defense plans to add more sites on the Internet to provide information to a global audience -- but critics question whether the Pentagon is violating President Bush's pledge not to pay journalists to promote his policies.

The Defense Department runs two Web sites overseas, one aimed at people in the Balkan region in Europe, the other for the Maghreb area of North Africa. It is preparing another site, even as the Pentagon inspector general investigates whether the sites are appropriate.

The Web sites carry stories on subjects such as politics, sports and entertainment. The sites are run by U.S. military troops trained in "information warfare," a specialty that can include battlefield deception. Pentagon officials say the goal is to counter "misinformation" about the United States in overseas media.

At first glance, the Web pages appear to be independent news sites. To find out who is actually behind the content, a visitor would have to click on a small link -- at the bottom of the page -- to a disclaimer, which says, in part, that the site is "sponsored by" the U.S. Department of Defense...(Thanks to

I don't think this should be compared with the flap about paid journalists. These sites are for overseas consumption, and are comparable to Voice of America, or Radio Free Europe. And, much more importantly, they are not promoting President Bush's policies, they are promoting America's policies!

The Pentagon leads America's military, and the source of its authority is Congress, and ultimately the people. The attitude CNN displays here is a prime example of the loathsome way our Democrats and our news media hold themselves aloof from their country and its current war. They stand apart and sneer.

The other thing to remember is that the news media are a battleground in the War on Terror. Most of the horrific things the terrorists do are aimed at getting media coverage. I've heard from milbloggers that most of the bombings in Iraq are in the mornings, to catch the daily news cycle in the US.

And if outfits like CNN were even neutral in the War, then Pentagon news sites would probably not be necessary. But CNN or AP are on the other side. They never give this kind of scrutiny to terrorist web sites. In fact they hurry to rebroadcast whatever propaganda the terrorists put out, without any scrutiny....as we saw recently with the hostage GI Joe doll story.

Posted by John Weidner at February 5, 2005 9:37 AM
Weblog by John Weidner