US Planting Stories? Not News...

The media continues its "If it's negative against the US it leads" campaign on the farsical story of "Paid stories" in Iraq. What makes this story so farsical is that you have to get the whole story to find out that:

1. The stories are reported to be true.

2. This has been, and is an accepted practice in wartime. We have been doing it since at least WWII and beyond.

From the Washington Post:

"The U.S. military command in Baghdad acknowledged for the first time yesterday that it has paid Iraqi newspapers to carry positive news about U.S. efforts in Iraq, but officials characterized the payments as part of a legitimate campaign to counter insurgents' misinformation.

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.

The only possible problem is that the stories should have had a "disclosure".

However, what the Washington Post and other MSM outlets aren't saying is that they do precisely the same things. For those of us who have worked in the businesss, you are contacted all the time by companies, PR firms, organizations that want you to cover and print stories about them and what they do. Of course in order to keep your journalistic integrity you have to "Check the story out". Which according recent history isn't exactly something they "practice what they preach".

Again, there is no evidence that Iraqi journalists in question didn't check the stories out, or even that they weren't true. Moreover, I think on this subject much of the MSM should be disqualified from even reporting a story such as this. At the least their editors should be embarrased to even consider pursuing this, as the eneviatable comparisons between this and their gafts over the last fews years will come back to the front.

Yet aside from slaming the MSM, the truth is that this story of "propaganda" or planting stories isn't even news, again - it's been done for years. During the Cold War for instance, the CIA was actively involved in planting stories. So were the Brits, the French, Russians, ect. In fact, the CIA would actively recruit journalists during this time to cover and report such stories in order to have a desired result. In one such case, the annual planting of false notices in Muslim country's newspapers, annoucing "Invasion Day Celebrations", reference to the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. You know, "just to stir things up".

Let's not forget Carl Bernstein's 1977 work showing the long running connection between the MSM and the CIA which continues to this day despite the so-called Church Committee's work to break it up.

In fact, if I could embarrass a well known journalist or two who still front for the CIA - and they know who they are. But more than that, consider all the times the MSM leads with stories from such propaganda outlets as Al-Jazeerra,

The fact is that in any conflict there is a disinformation war from both sides, the MSM in this country knows this. The question is: Which side are they on? I think they answer the question daily.

UPDATE: Ulimate in hypocrisy is where Johnathan Alter-Liberal-Reality from Newsweak weighs in (yeah, about that "colossal failure" of a story urine soaked Qurans?). Hey, at least our stories don't get people killed Johathan.

For balance and insight into the "faked" outrage of the MSM, see this Newsmax story.