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Propaganda is Something That Only Happens in Other Countries

Uh, except for those five or six dozen times…

FEDERAL authorities are actively investigating dozens of American television stations for broadcasting items produced by the Bush administration and major corporations, and passing them off as normal news. Some of the fake news segments talked up success in the war in Iraq, or promoted the companies’ products.

Investigators from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are seeking information about stations across the country after a report produced by a campaign group detailed the extraordinary extent of the use of such items.

The report, by the non-profit group Centre for Media and Democracy, found that over a 10-month period at least 77 television stations were making use of the faux news broadcasts, known as Video News Releases (VNRs). Not one told viewers who had produced the items.

Choke on this, Sean Hannity:

Among items provided by the Bush administration to news stations was one in which an Iraqi-American in Kansas City was seen saying, “Thank you Bush. Thank you USA,” in response to the 2003 fall of Baghdad. The footage was actually produced by the State Department, one of 20 federal agencies that have produced and distributed such items.

Of course, this doesn’t change the fact that the winds of freedom are blowing across the Middle East, eh, Sean? The wind they call “sharia” — as in “sharia law”, which means that Hindus, Jews, and Christians in Iraq–oh yeah, and women, too–are pretty much toast?

I grind my teeth in frustration. Ah, well. The pendulum is going to swing the Republicans out of the White House, which means Hannity’s smug mug probably only has another two or three years on the Faux News Channel before he’s replaced by a useful idiot parroting the official DNC line.

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