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Hillary Clinton: Al Jazeera shaming US Media

In a defense of the State Department budget, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says “we are in an information war and we’re losing that war”.

Further, Clinton claimed that the private media isn’t up to the task of winning it saying, “Our private media cannot fill that gap”.

The message – we need more money for government propaganda and media.

Interestingly she then goes on to cite a private media network as “winning”:

"Al Jazeera is winning. The Chinese have opened up a global English language and multi-language television network, the Russians have opened up an English language network. I’ve seen it in a couple of countries and it’s quite instructive."

There is a place (and need) for government propaganda and it isn’t on a private media network (although in some cases you’d be hard pressed to believe that given that some of our private news networks seem to be entities dedicated to the unquestioning republishing of government press releases).  So propaganda operations should be conducted via government means – many of which are in place today.

Clinton seems to be calling for a government news network to compete with other government news networks (Russian and Chinese).  Yet she uses Al Jazeera as the example of who is winning the information war.

Al Jazeera is kicking butt in the coverage of the Middle East and N. Africa.   If you haven’t checked out their live blogs, you’re missing the inside scoop.  For instance did you know that Hugo Chavez has offered to mediate the crisis in Libya and Gadhafi has accepted (I’m not sure what that means, since there is no mention of the other side in this mediation, but still).

But Clinton is doing a little bait and switch – Al Jazeera (private) is kicking the US (private) media’s rear when it comes to ME coverage, the US media (private) is not up to the job, therefore we need more money to set up a government outlet (what?). 

Yeah, nothing could go wrong with that, could it?  

And again, more government (and more spending) is the answer to a perceived private sector deficit (Al Jazeera is located in the ME – that’s their beat).

Of course all of this sort of depends on how you define the function of a news organization, doesn’t it?   Sounds to me that Ms. Clinton thinks they should be “aiding and abetting” government in the functions it deems important – like propaganda.  And they should be covering the stories she deems important.  She’s not at all pleased with how the media here has covered the news in the Middle East apparently.

And then there was this little nugget:

“Our private media, particularly cultural programming often works at counter purposes to what we truly are as Americans. I remember having an Afghan general tell me that the only thing he thought about Americans is that all the men wrestled and the women walked around in bikinis because the only TV he ever saw was Baywatch and World Wide Wrestling."

So because some Afghan general prefers to see grown men wrestle and beautiful women prance around in bikinis, our private media is deficient and presents a picture that is at "counter purposes to what we truly are as Americans". Sounds like someone really, really, really wants a government propaganda channel set up so we can present what we "truly are as Americans". My bet, though, is that Afghan general will still be watching wrestling and bikinis when all is said and done … and spent.



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23 Responses to Hillary Clinton: Al Jazeera shaming US Media

  • Hillary makes a hack like Madeline Albright look like John Quincy Adams.

    Ghastly ignorance like hers eventually crosses the line into rank stupidity, and I think that line is already disappearing from her rear-view mirror.

    • I wanted to say something funny about Hillary and then I read Martin’s line and realized it could never be topped.

  • The US used to have a government sponsored media outlet…Voice of America.  Is that entity no longer functioning?  And what about the cancellation by the Obama’s Department of State in 2009 of government funding for the media operation focused on collecting information regarding human rights violations in Iran?  I believe it was headquartered in Connecticut.

  • Hillary Clinton: Al Jazeera shaming US Media

    My immediate reaction to this title was, “What, CBS, AP, CNN, NYT, etc. don’t spout the government line ENOUGH???”

    HilldabeastOur private media, particularly cultural programming often works at counter purposes to what we truly are as Americans.

    I find myself in some agreement here: American TV programs and movies are generally drivel and so divorced from reality that it is impossible to get an idea of what “real” Americans are like from watching them.  I have foreign coworkers who had the idea when they came over that all Americans constantly pack heat and routinely shoot it out with each other in the streets.  The idea that furriners get their ideas about America from “Desperate Housewives”, “Cops” and “Survivor” is rather embarrassing.*

    But what would the Hilldabeast have?  For all American networks to turn into PBS?

    At any rate, we have (or have had) government-run entities to broadcast American news and entertainment into furrin’ lands: VOA leaps to mind.  Instead of grousing that private US news and entertainment should be “better”, maybe she needs to do what she can to improve these services.  I doubt that she will, though.  For one thing, it’s pretty clear that SecState Rodham Clinton is nothing more than a messenger boy for her boss in the White House.  Further, “improving” USIS, VOA, etc. might mean ruffling too many feathers at home and abroad.  Better just to b*tch about private media so as to leave them holding the bag for any failings to tell “our side of the story” (which usually changes between The Dear Golfer’s lunch and his afternoon round of golf) and also to give Uncle Sugar another excuse to “regulate” them more heavily.


    (*) On the other hand, I don’t think that reality would really be all that entertaining:

    “On the next exciting episode of Housewives of Charlotte, Jeanie takes her kids to school, goes to Pilates, complains to her girlfriends at lunch that she’s put on weight, goes to the grocery store, cleans the downstairs bathroom, picks the kids up, cooks supper, watches TV with her family, and goes to bed, while Anne helps her teenage son fill out his college applications and talks with her daughter about whether she should break up with her boyfriend.  Then, stay tuned for Cops in Goldsboro, when we’ll see real Goldsboro PD officers at the scene of a minor traffic accident, issuing speeding tickets, speaking to middle school students about the dangers of drug use, and booking a drunk driver.”

    Can you imagine the democrats’ dream network line-up?

    “Captain Planet” – a live-action reprise of the cartoon, in which mild-mannered EPA scientist Kent Clark fights evil oil industries that try to pollute the environment and cause global warming.

    “Union Mom” – a situation comedy about Mary Griffin, a factory worker and union shop steward who juggles the demands of her lesbian marriage with her battles against her dimwitted boss and his ongoing efforts to reduce pay, eliminate benefits, and lay off workers.

    “Phoenix Blue” – police drama about courageous internal affairs officer Manuel “Manny” Garcia who fights bigotry at all levels in the Phoenix, AZ police department.

    “The West Wing” – drama about a liberal president Jed Bartlett and his struggles to prevent wicked corporate lobbyists and Republican members of Congress destroying the United States.

    Oh, wait…

    • My reaction re the cultural programming was… hasn’t she seen PBS?  Isn’t that a publicly funder cultural station?

      • Our private media, particularly cultural programming often works at counter purposes to what we truly are as Americans. I remember having an Afghan general tell me that the only thing he thought about Americans is all the men sound English and have stupid wives names Hyacinth, and all the women talk to furry puppets and huge yellow birds.

      • Funder, as far as I know it, isn’t a word.  I obviously made a typo.  Sorry.

    • You have to admit with a steady diet of NCIS, CSI and Law & Order (and their offspring), it isn’t hard to wonder what image the US is projecting … but there is also “American Idol” (a name that must go down well with cultures that rebukes idols and statues), “Two and a Half Men” (maybe not anymore), “Lost,” “The Event” and “Survivor”

  • While there is some truth in the Hildabeast’s observation (duh) that our U.S. news is light on international events (you can get supplemented with the CBC or BBC)…
    what she is saying appears to be a plug for PBS and NPR.  Rather transparently.  A plug.
    But it is ALSO the elitist, Collectivist meme d’jour…there is too much information ouat dare…so much of it is “poor” or “dangerous”…and somebody needs to control it.

  • It’s so good the see that all that “Smart Diplomacy” has made an impact in the Arab World.

    “Bring Bush! Make a no fly zone, bomb the planes,” shouted soldier-turned-rebel Nasr Ali, referring to a no-fly zone imposed on Iraq in 1991 by then U.S. President George Bush.

    Action talks, BS walks

    • Who knew that they had racist teabagger reichwing rethuglikkkans in Libya???  Or is this guy just in the pay of Big Oil?  Probably a global warming denier, too…

    • Who says the world hates American Cowboys?

  • That’s strange i just went to Al Jazeera and only found 2 articles covering the protest in Wisconsin and they were a week old.

    • She’s not talking about the articles, she’s talking about real fair and balanced news…a true voice of the people as it should be! Not corporate biased New World Order news! Give it a chance for a couple weeks and see for yourself…it’s real and honest news, unlike the American media:

      • So honest but limited coverage?  Perhaps the lack of coverage is intentional to avoid covering something they don’t want people to know about.

  • I wouldn’t assume that her little anecdote is 100% true. Both Clintons have been known to lie from time to time.

  • Ofcourse non-American and non-western establishment media is winning! LOL That was bound to happen! As soon as critical mass was reached, and people started to realize that the American and western establishment media was a total brainwashing scam that aims to control the minds of the people and steer their reality to appease, entertain, misinform, and sell corporate interests to the public…instead of the bald truth, people start watching other news outlets that prove they are trustworthy! I haven’t watched the American establishment media for a couple years now, and I completely understand what she’s saying! It’s OBVIOUS! She’s right! But I guarantee what she’s saying is code for “shut them up somehow…they’re exposing our lies, corruption, and true agenda!” Believe her, and just watch Al Jazeera English for a couple weeks…give them a chance and see what real fair and balanced and honest news looks like! TruthTV right here:

  • “…he thought about Americans is that all the men wrestled and the women walked around in bikinis because the only TV he ever saw was Baywatch and World Wide Wrestling.”

    He really needs to get a better cable package.