I will be on Howard Kurtz’ Reliable Sources today at 10 am ET, talking about the so-called propaganda scandal that already seems to have lost steam this weekend and coverage of George Bush’s speech on Iraq. I may have given the wrong time yesterday, so be sure to re-check your times. I’ll be on with John from Americablog, so we should have some fun with each other.
Also, it looks like my trackbacks might be working again, so give it a shot.
UPDATE: Just got home and watched my segment on the TiVo. Not too bad, I think, and the people at CNN treated me very well. Howard Kurtz gave me plenty of time to talk. As it turned out, John Aravosis and I didn’t really disagree that much on the topics involved (I thought John did a good job as well, although I didn’t know he was in studio with Howard until later — I thought he was also connected remotely). We still had a lively conversation, and I hope I can do it again sometime soon. Let me know what you think, if you caught it.
If the Political Teen didn’t catch the video, I may try to copy and post it myself.
UPDATE II: The White House apparently agrees with me, according to Stephen Hadley:
President Bush is disturbed by the U.S. military’s practice of paying Iraqi papers to run articles emphasizing positive developments in the country and will end the program if it violates the principles of a free media, a senior aide said Sunday.
“He’s very troubled by it” and has asked Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to look into the pay-to-print program, national security adviser
Stephen Hadley said.
“If it is inconsistent with the policy guidance it will be shut down,” Hadley said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Hadley acknowledged there is a need to counter the disinformation campaigns of U.S. enemies in
Iraq. “But the message we need to get out has to be truth and facts,” Hadley told “Fox News Sunday.”
Even if the stories are factual, “it’s got to be done in a way that reinforces a free media, not undermines it,” Hadley said.
I think that the program doesn’t represent a huge moral or ethical problem the way some bloggers have pushed it. However, I think it will prove detrimental to our long-term strategy of creating a model democracy to change the dynamic of the Middle East. Part of that mission means supporting the establishment of an independent media. The Middle East is filled with news outlets that wind up as mouthpieces for different hidden powers — we don’t need to create more of the same. If we need to create more opportunities to get our message out, we have the resources to do it properly and above-board.
UPDATE III: I will be on the air with the guys at Pundit Review tonight at 8:20 ET, so I have the opportunity to do two classy shows in one day. Be sure to tune in over the Internet and call your questions into the show!
UPDATE IV: I had a blast on Pundit Review tonight — I hope plenty of CQ readers got a chance to listen to the show. Let’s hope that bloggers all over make this a regular Sunday night download! Also, the Political Teen did get the CNN video, and CNN has the transcript up at its site (h/t: Newsbeat1).