FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Isikoff Comes Clean

by JOSHUA FRANK

Decades ago we were told how consent is manufactured in these great – United States of America. Yet our government since then has become even more up-front about its motives for employing propaganda.

Recently, George W. Bush was in Rochester, N.Y., promoting his social security shtick, when suddenly a flicker of truth gleamed through. “See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in – to kind of catapult the propaganda.”

Inundate the masses with the same monotonous oratory, and eventually they’ll buy it. They’ll have to. They’ll have no choice. Really, as even Bush surely knows, it doesn’t matter how truthful the rhetoric is, it’s how many times you’ve shoved it down Americans’ throats that counts. Eventually they’ll believe the lie, no matter how grandiose it may be.

Well, the Bush administration isn’t alone when it comes to dispersing misinformation; they’ve got their trusted mainstream media allies aiding and abetting every step of the way.

Case in point: One of the journalists behind the retracted Newsweek article alleging that US interrogators desecrated the Koran recently came clean about the corporate media’s role in disseminating the government-line. During the May 23 episode of the Charlie Rose Show, veteran Newsweek investigative reporter Michael Isikoff explained how senior reporters ran their Koran abuse story by a senior Defense Department official. The official, Isikoff claimed, told them to go-ahead with the report. It was solid.

It was only later, when the story allegedly sparked violent protests in Afghanistan and elsewhere, that Bush administration officials paid the slightest bit of attention to Newsweek’s claims. But rather than take responsibility for the American military’s illegal actions at Guantanamo, it was easier for the Bush bullies to blame the weekly publication for the deaths and chaos that ensued.

As Isikoff told Charlie Rose, “Nobody in the United States had said a word about it [before the violent protests]. Nobody picked up on it, nobody asked any questions about it, nobody followed up on it.”

After enormous pressure from the Bush administration following the Koran episode, editors at Newsweek have made it harder than ever for reporters to do their job. No longer will Newsweek writers be allowed to rely on anonymous sources for sensitive stories. Instead, the magazine’s editors are going to be forcing journalists to get the majority of their material from sources that are willing to go on record.

“I got to tell you, as somebody who has reported for a long time on the intelligence and law enforcement field, that’s going to be tough,” Isikoff told Rose about the new crackdown. “Some of the best stories that I’ve gotten, that others have written about this administration, about the previous administration, you have to rely on anonymous sources.”

JOSHUA FRANK is the author of the forthcoming book, Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, to be published by Common Courage Press. You can pre-order a copy at discounted rate at www.BrickBurner.org. Josh can be reached at: Joshua@BrickBurner.org.

 

 

JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, co-edited with Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press. He can be reached at brickburner@gmail.com. You can follow him on Twitter @joshua__frank

More articles by:
July 27, 2016
Chris Zinda
Snakes of Deseret
July 26, 2016
Andrew Levine
Pillory Hillary Now
Kshama Sawant
A Call to Action: Walk Out from the Democratic National Convention!
Russell Mokhiber
The Rabble Rise Together Against Bernie, Barney, Elizabeth and Hillary
Jeffrey St. Clair
Don’t Cry For Me, DNC: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Angie Beeman
Why Doesn’t Middle America Trust Hillary? She Thinks She’s Better Than Us and We Know It
Paul Street
An Update on the Hate…
Fran Shor
Beyond Trump vs Clinton
Ellen Brown
Japan’s “Helicopter Money” Play: Road to Hyperinflation or Cure for Debt Deflation?
Richard W. Behan
The Banana Republic of America: Democracy Be Damned
Binoy Kampmark
Undermining Bernie Sanders: the DNC Campaign, WikiLeaks and Russia
Arun Gupta
Trickledown Revenge: the Racial Politics of Donald Trump
Sen. Bernard Sanders
What This Election is About: Speech to DNC Convention
David Swanson
DNC Now Less Popular Than Atheism
Linn Washington Jr.
‘Clintonville’ Reflects True Horror of Poverty in US
Deepak Tripathi
Britain in the Doldrums After the Brexit Vote
Louisa Willcox
Grizzly Threats: Arbitrary Lines on Political Maps
Robert J. Gould
Proactive Philanthropy: Don’t Wait, Reach Out!
Victor Grossman
Horror and Sorrow in Germany
Nyla Ali Khan
Regionalism, Ethnicity, and Trifurcation: All in the Name of National Integration
Andrew Feinberg
The Good TPP
400 US Academics
Letter to US Government Officials Concerning Recent Events in Turkey
July 25, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
As the Election Turns: Trump the Anti-Neocon, Hillary the New Darling of the Neocons
Ted Rall
Hillary’s Strategy: Snub Liberal Democrats, Move Right to Nab Anti-Trump Republicans
William K. Black
Doubling Down on Wall Street: Hillary and Tim Kaine
Russell Mokhiber
Bernie Delegates Take on Bernie Sanders
Quincy Saul
Resurgent Mexico
Andy Thayer
Letter to a Bernie Activist
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan is Strengthened by the Failed Coup, But Turkey is the Loser
Robert Fisk
The Hypocrisies of Terror Talk
Lee Hall
Purloined Platitudes and Bipartisan Bunk: An Adjunct’s View
Binoy Kampmark
The Futility of Collective Punishment: Russia, Doping and WADA
Nozomi Hayase
Cryptography as Democratic Weapon Against Demagoguery
Cesar Chelala
The Real Donald Trump
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Propaganda Machinery and State Surveillance of Muslim Children
Denis Conroy
Australia: Election Time Blues for Clones
Marjorie Cohn
Killing With Robots Increases Militarization of Police
David Swanson
RNC War Party, DNC War Makers
Eugene Schulman
The US Role in the Israeli-Palestine Conflict
Nauman Sadiq
Imran Khan’s Faustian Bargain
Peter Breschard
Kaine the Weepy Executioner
Weekend Edition
July 22, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Good as Goldman: Hillary and Wall Street
Joseph E. Lowndes
From Silent Majority to White-Hot Rage: Observations from Cleveland
Paul Street
Political Correctness: Handle with Care
Richard Moser
Actions Express Priorities: 40 Years of Failed Lesser Evil Voting
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail