November 01, 2006

Am I the only person in the blogosphere who thinks many of my fellow bloggers are paid US PsyOps agents?

Rumsfeld's Pentagon is beefing up their online PR:
In a memo obtained by the Associated Press, Dorrance Smith, assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, said new teams of people will “develop messages” for the 24-hour news cycle and “correct the record.”

The memo describes an operation modeled after a political campaign — such as that made famous by Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential race war room — calling for a “Rapid Response” section that quickly answers opponents’ assertions.

Another branch would coordinate “surrogates.” In political campaigns, surrogates are usually high-level politicians or key interest groups who speak or travel on behalf of a candidate or an issue.

The plan would focus more resources on so-called new media, such as the Internet and Web logs. It also would include new workers to book civilian and military guests on television and radio shows.

Despite repeated requests for details on the cost and scope of the program, which has been in the works for months, Pentagon press secretary Eric Ruff would not provide the exact number of people to be hired, how many would be transferred from other Pentagon jobs, or how many would be political appointees or contractors.
From the comments at MSNBC:
Why the hell are we paying tax money to finance "public relations" campaigns that are designed to convince us that "everything is all right, just trust us"?!?! It wouldn't be needed if everything was indeed all right. So we pay taxes to be lied to?
And check out this wierd report from the BBC:
The Pentagon's new effort to influence media coverage of the war in Iraq is an example of how governments react when a war is not going too well.

They begin to think it is not the war that is the problem, but the presentation of it.

The media, being the messengers, get the blame, not the message itself.
So far, so good. But then:
It is on the internet that blogs and other sites rapidly spread information, sometimes as fact and sometimes as rumour, and build up pressure points of opinion. These are then reflected in the mainstream media.
Say what? If this is the way the media works today, we are all in a lot of trouble! Oh, wait a minute... we are already in a lot of trouble, aren't we? Maybe the lazy journos are just trawling the wrong blogs? Or maybe the author of this article is just lazily presenting the Rumsfeld view without bothering to parse or temper it? I mean, just look at this para:
The insurgents in Iraq are brilliant at using the media, especially the internet, and it will not be easy for the Pentagon to counter the impact these videos can have.
Scratch the surface and I think you will find the Iraqi insurgents are a lot less "brilliant" on the Net than Rummy always says. It's a convenient myth that merges rampant technophobia with media-hyped xenophobia. To be fair, the reporter cites an example. But let's be honest: the real battle is on the streets. No amount of insurgent cyber-hacking is going to match the endless horror we read about every day, and see on our own TV sets month after month.

Reality is a bitch, Donald.


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