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:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 24, 2016
John Pilger
Provoking Nuclear War by Media
Jonathan Cook
The Birth of Agro-Resistance in Palestine
Eric Draitser
Ajamu Baraka, “Uncle Tom,” and the Pathology of White Liberal Racism
Jack Rasmus
Greek Debt and the New Financial Imperialism
Robert Fisk
The Sultan’s Hit List Grows, as Turkey Prepares to Enter Syria
Abubakar N. Kasim
What Did the Olympics Really Do for Humanity?
Renee Parsons
Obamacare Supporters Oppose ColoradoCare
Alycee Lane
The Trump Campaign: a White Revolt Against ‘Neoliberal Multiculturalism’
Edward Hunt
Maintaining U.S. Dominance in the Pacific
George Wuerthner
The Big Fish Kill on the Yellowstone
Jesse Jackson
Democrats Shouldn’t Get a Blank Check From Black Voters
Kent Paterson
Saving Southern New Mexico from the Next Big Flood
Arnold August
RIP Jean-Guy Allard: A Model for Progressive Journalists Working in the Capitalist System
August 23, 2016
Diana Johnstone
Hillary and the Glass Ceilings Illusion
Bill Quigley
Race and Class Gap Widening: Katrina Pain Index 2016 by the Numbers
Ted Rall
Trump vs. Clinton: It’s All About the Debates
Eoin Higgins
Will Progressive Democrats Ever Support a Third Party Candidate?
Kenneth J. Saltman
Wall Street’s Latest Public Sector Rip-Off: Five Myths About Pay for Success
Binoy Kampmark
Labouring Hours: Sweden’s Six-Hour Working Day
John Feffer
The Globalization of Trump
Gwendolyn Mink – Felicia Kornbluh
Time to End “Welfare as We Know It”
Medea Benjamin
Congress Must Take Action to Block Weapon Sales to Saudi Arabia
Halyna Mokrushyna
Political Writer, Daughter of Ukrainian Dissident, Detained and Charged in Ukraine
Manuel E. Yepe
Tourism and Religion Go Hand-in-Hand in the Caribbean
ED ADELMAN
Belted by Trump
Thomas Knapp
War: The Islamic State and Western Politicians Against the Rest of Us
Nauman Sadiq
Shifting Alliances: Turkey, Russia and the Kurds
Rivera Sun
Active Peace: Restoring Relationships While Making Change
August 22, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton: The Anti-Woman ‘Feminist’
Robert Hunziker
Arctic Death Rattle
Norman Solomon
Clinton’s Transition Team: a Corporate Presidency Foretold
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Hubris: Only Tell the Rich for $5000 a Minute!
Russell Mokhiber
Save the Patients, Cut Off the Dick!
Steven M. Druker
The Deceptions of the GE Food Venture
Elliot Sperber
Clean, Green, Class War: Bill McKibben’s Shortsighted ‘War on Climate Change’
Binoy Kampmark
Claims of Exoneration: The Case of Slobodan Milošević
Walter Brasch
The Contradictions of Donald Trump
Michael Donnelly
Body Shaming Trump: Statue of Limitations
Weekend Edition
August 19, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Hillary and the War Party
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Prime Time Green
Andrew Levine
Hillary Goes With the Flow
Dave Lindorff
New York Times Shames Itself by Attacking Wikileaks’ Assange
Gary Leupp
Could a Russian-Led Coalition Defeat Hillary’s War Plans?
Conn Hallinan
Dangerous Seas: China and the USA
Joshua Frank
Richard Holbrooke and the Obama Doctrine
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail