no bull Well, the propaganda war has begun, and, fellow bloggers, you may have already been co-opted. For the next while, we are the media and it behoves us to be very skeptical about what we report in our journals. I’m going to put everything I hear from now on into one of three categories:

  1. Likely Propaganda: Test: Unverified or unverifiable, would be advantageous to Bush if it were true
  2. Plausible: Test: Direct corroboration from an unbiased source, no advantage to anyone to lie about it
  3. Conspiracy Theory: Test: Unverified or unverifiable, would be very damaging to Bush or advantageous to Saddam if it were true

The “smell test” also applies here. Journalists used to be very good at it, and scrupulous about not reporting anything that failed it, but now, well, don’t get me started.  Here are some examples of what’s in each of my three lists so far (it may change quickly):

Question to Ask / Reason
1 Massive defections from Iraq army already Would you surrender to the U.S. military if you were in their place, or would you simply go into hiding?
1 Saddam planning to use bio-chem weapons to defend Iraq Why would he do this? He’s a despot, not an idiot.
1 Saddam planning to blow up oil wells Why would he do this? He’s a great propagandist and this would just make his own people angry.
2 Saddam will direct Iraq defense from outside Iraq Makes sense. Why not? Lesson from Osama: Americans hate not being able to find the leader.
2 CIA torturing hundreds in Kabul and Guantanamo Terrible, but makes sense. Motive and opportunity.
3 US will blow up oil wells to help oil companies raise prices, and blame Saddam Why would they do this? It’s all about the oil isn’t it?
3 US will test anthrax in Iraq during war, and blame Saddam Too dangerous.
3 CIA actually runs blogs allegedly written by Iraqi citizens, will use them for propaganda once war starts Too far-fetched. Read this blog for example. CIA isn’t that smart or talented.

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1 Response to WE ARE THE MEDIA

  1. Good points – and very important to keep in mind these days. Thanks!

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