Friday, May 30, 2008

McClellan Tell-All Exposes Media's Propaganda Problem

The country is buzzing today over a tell-all book by former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. In his explosive memoir, McClellan reveals that the Bush administration ran a "political propaganda campaign" to mislead the American public on the war in Iraq.

But he takes it one step further, implicating the mainstream media for its role in "enabling" this propaganda: "The national press corps was probably too deferential to the White House" in spreading the president's case for the war, McClellan writes. The mainstream media didn't live up to its watchdog reputation. "If it had, the country would have been better served."

This should be a shock to everyone. The president's own spokesman lays a large share of the blame for Bush's pro-war propaganda on the media's "deferential" treatment of White House spin.

Please become part of a growing people-powered campaign to investigate this scandal and make media more accountable to the public:

Make Mainstream Media Answer for Spreading Pro-War Propaganda

Click on the link above and sign a letter that urges House Committee Chairs Ike Skelton, John Tierney and Henry Waxman to convene full congressional hearings about propaganda in the news.

The media's complicity in promoting this war was confirmed Wednesday night by CNN correspondent Jessica Yellin who said that network executives had pushed her not to do hard-hitting pieces on the Bush administration as the nation readied for war.

"The press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation," Yellin told CNN's Anderson Cooper. (Watch the video).

More than 100,000 Free Press activists and allies have already urged their members of Congress to launch an investigation into the media's role in spreading pro-war propaganda. By joining their call, you will be part of a massive coalition of citizens, bloggers and independent media who refuse to let Big Media off the hook:

Expose the Propaganda 'Enablers' and End Fake News

McClellan's memoir comes on the heels of an April 20 New York Times exposé, which revealed an extensive -- and likely illegal -- Pentagon program to recruit and place pro-war military pundits on nearly every major news outlet in America. Congress has promised to investigate the Pentagon’s role in the scandal, but it shouldn't end there.

Our democracy is in peril when mainstream media fail to question the official view and put the interests of ordinary Americans first. This watchdog role is especially critical during a time of war.

Sign the letter and then tell your friends to help send a loud message to Congress: We're not backing down until the truth comes out.


Timothy Karr
Campaign Director
Free Press Action Fund

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