Bushs Medien- und Propagandakrieger
--- Die New York Times am Sonntag wirft einen Blick auf die zunehmenden Enttarnungen von "Journalisten", die eigentlich von der Bush-Regierung bezahlt werden für dreiste Propaganda. Konkreter Anlass ist der Fall eines "Reporters", der bei den Pressebriefings des Weißen Hauses durch besonders handzahme Fragen auffiel: "Jeff Gannon's" real name is James D. Guckert. His employer was a Web site called Talon News, staffed mostly by volunteer Republican activists. Media Matters for America, the liberal press monitor that has done the most exhaustive research into the case, discovered that Talon's "news" often consists of recycled Republican National Committee and White House press releases, and its content frequently overlaps with another partisan site, GOPUSA, with which it shares its owner, a Texas delegate to the 2000 Republican convention. Nonetheless, for nearly two years the White House press office had credentialed Mr. Guckert, even though, as Dana Milbank of The Washington Post explained on Mr. Olbermann's show, he "was representing a phony media company that doesn't really have any such thing as circulation or readership." ... By my count, "Jeff Gannon" is now at least the sixth "journalist" (four of whom have been unmasked so far this year) to have been a propagandist on the payroll of either the Bush administration or a barely arms-length ally like Talon News while simultaneously appearing in print or broadcast forums that purport to be real news. Of these six, two have been syndicated newspaper columnists paid by the Department of Health and Human Services to promote the administration's "marriage" initiatives. The other four have played real newsmen on TV. Before Mr. Guckert and Armstrong Williams, the talking head paid $240,000 by the Department of Education, there were Karen Ryan and Alberto Garcia. Let us not forget these pioneers - the Woodward and Bernstein of fake news. They starred in bogus reports ("In Washington, I'm Karen Ryan reporting," went the script) pretending to "sort through the details" of the administration's Medicare prescription-drug plan in 2004. Such "reports," some of which found their way into news packages distributed to local stations by CNN, appeared in more than 50 news broadcasts around the country and have now been deemed illegal "covert propaganda" by the Government Accountability Office. Vermutlich ist das alles erst die Spitze eines Eisbergs. Die Spindoktoreien und die Demagogie der Bush-Regierung haben anscheinend längst ein Ausmaß angenommen, mit dem bisher keiner wirklich gerechnet hat.
Update: Mehr zum Thema "Jeff Gannon" heute und der Washington Post, wo es vor allem um dessen Doppelspiel mit dem Thema Homosexualität geht. Siehe dazu auch das Americablog und Crooks & Liars
Update 2: "Jeff Gannon" versucht sich inzwischen auch als Blogger.