Sunday, December 04, 2005

Iraqi Paper Payola: Don't Let This Story Die

We should all be familiar with this story by now, but we can't let it die in the main stream media. Last week, a whistleblower alerted the press to the fact that the Pentagon had awarded a $100+ million dollar contract to an interesting, dubbed The Lincoln Group, to pay Iraqi papers to print pro-american stories.

Administration officials and republican lap dogs are quick to defend this as typical and justifiable war time propaganda. We must pause to consider the strange state of affairs when GOP loyalists shrug off the serious nature of corrupting an emerging free press as being nothing but a propaganda tool.

Perhaps the catalyst for the leak to the LA Times (who broke the story) was this statement by Donald Rumsfeld the day before the article appeared:
"[Iraq] is -- has a free media, and they can -- it's a relief valve. They could have hundred-plus papers. There's 72 radio stations. There's 44 television stations. And they're debating things and talking and arguing and discussing."
Keith Olbermann has already commited to reporting on this issue further on his show for Monday. With Jack Warner at the helm of 'investigating' this issue, it's almost assured to die off quickly from an oversight perspective. But as long as bloggers and the press keep up the heat, we can keep the word out there.

Click here for a Google News search result page for this issue and read, read, read.