Why the media loves to hate Iraq


Jan Slakov

From: "andrew loucks" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Fw: [ADC-ITF] Why the Media loves to hate Iraq...
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 23:39:54 -0500

...I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
                           - Robert Frost
-----Original Message-----
From: •••@••.••• <•••@••.•••>
Date: February 3, 1999 5:29 PM
Subject: [ADC-ITF] Why the Media loves to hate Iraq...

>Attention Iraq activists and researchers:
>The article below is an interesting look into the world of Public Relations
>(PR), the mainstream media, and the manufacture of America's blood lust for
>Iraq.  The article is taken from the 3 feb. 99 issue of Eat the State!
>(Vol. 3, Issue #20), a Seattle-based forum for anti-authoritarian political
>opinion & humor.  If you are interested in contacting Eat the State, they
>can be reached at •••@••.•••
>Yours in the struggle, Erik Gustafson, EPIC
>Quote of the week:
>"Every time (the president) talks about trust it makes chills
>run up & down my spine. The very idea that the word `trust'
>could ever come out of his mouth after...the way he has
>trampled on the truth is a travesty of the American political
>system." -- Bill Clinton, speaking of Pres. George Bush in 1992
>Directors' Fees
>Ever wonder what's behind the mainstream media's bloodlust over Iraq? Okay,
>some obvious explanations leap to mind. War sells papers and boosts
>ratings. Journalists often don't know much about foreign countries or
>economics. Reporters want "access" to the policymakers, who aren't so
>accessible when their policies are criticized. It makes the job easier.
>Even so, the endless columns calling for war, the near blackout of news
>about protests and the polls showing overwhelming support for the bombing
>(I can just picture the question: "Do you agree that we should nuke Baghdad
>or are you some kind of unpatriotic scum?") seem like more than mere
>knuckling under to the government. Just like any other business, in
>journalism the bosses tell the employees what to do. In the 1998 edition of
>Project Censored, Peter Phillips looked at who sits on the boards of
>directors of 11 of the U.S.'s largest media companies and found that
>(surprise) they sit on the boards of other corporations. So the bosses from
>companies ranging from hospital chain Columbia/HCA to hospital supplier
>Phillip Morris (seriously) sit in positions to choose the editors who
>decide how the news is presented.
>Phillips lists the corporations that have ties to the boardrooms of the
>fourth estate and they include many companies that stand to profit from
>U.S. policy in Iraq. The most obvious profiteers are the defense
>contractors, two of whom own TV networks: General Electric (NBC) and
>Westinghouse (CBS). Among CBS's directors is Frank C. Carlucci III, who
>happens to have been a deputy director of the CIA under President Carter
>and was Secretary of Defense from 1987-89, when Saddam Hussein was a valued
>U.S. asset. (Now that's cashing in on the D.C. revolving door from
>government to industry!) Both companies share directors with other defense
>contractors: Allied Signal and Textron for NBC; General Dynamics for CBS.
>GE doesn't just own NBC and sponsor news shows on PBS, it also provides a
>member of the board of directors at the Washington Post, as does Textron.
>The Post, by the way, owns Newsweek and the Everett Herald, and is the
>former employer of the Seattle P-I's editorial page editor.
>No company got better PR out of the 1991 Gulf War than Raytheon, whose
>Patriot missiles looked far more effective on TV than they were in reality.
>Raytheon happens to have two directors on the board of Knight-Ridder, which
>owns the Philadelphia Inquirer, Miami Herald, San Jose Mercury-News, and
>49.5 percent of the stock in the Seattle Times.
>In last month's bombing, the Navy unloaded several hundred "obsolete"
>cruise missiles on Iraq at $1 million a pop, coincidentally making room for
>orders for new ones. The missiles were made in Kent by Boeing, which
>provides a member of the board at Times Mirror, owner of the Los Angeles
>Times, Long Island Newsday, and the Baltimore Sun.
>The obvious reasons the U.S. wants to crush Iraq is to control the flow of
>oil. Does the oil industry influence news coverage of Iraq (or for that
>matter any other oil producing country like, say, Nigeria, which we're now
>told is becoming more open to dissent)? They might if they had a pipeline
>to the boardrooms--and as it turns out, they do. The New York Times has a
>director who also sits on the board at Texaco. At Times Mirror you can find
>a director from Amoco. Ashland is represented at the Washington Post.
>Phillips Petroleum has a director at Knight-Ridder. Meanwhile Gannett, the
>nation's largest newspaper chain and owner of USA Today, has a director
>from du Pont, which technically isn't an oil company, but you'd be hard
>pressed to find many of their products that aren't made from petroleum.
>The same holds true on the broadcast side. Mobil and Chevron
>representatives sit on the board at Time Warner, which owns CNN and Time
>Magazine. CBS has directors from Ashland and Sunoco. Exxon has someone on
>the board at NBC, as does Goodyear, whose tires are made of synthetic
>rubber which is made from oil.
>The banking industry also benefits from the U.S.'s Iraq policy, as it has
>from every American military action. The investment banks underwrite U.S.
>debt to pay for the bombing, which has the added benefit of letting other
>nations know that they may be next if they try to stand up to western
>capital. That may come in handy as debt is destroying economies from
>Indonesia to Venezuela (and, hey, there's oil in those places, too).
>The banks and Wall Street firms are well-positioned to have their voices
>heard in America's newsrooms. J.P. Morgan & Co. has people on the boards of
>Knight-Ridder, the Washington Post and NBC. That's the same J.P. Morgan
>that played a major role in getting the United States into World War I
>because it was Britain's biggest creditor and its loans would have been
>worthless if Germany had won. Bet you didn't learn that in your high school
>history class.
>Bank of America provides a director for Gannett and Walt Disney, which owns
>ABC. Chase Manhattan has directors at CBS and NBC. Citicorp has directors
>at Time Warner and NBC. Banc One is represented at CBS. Lehman Brothers has
>a director at the New York Times. Salomon and Wells Fargo have directors at
>the Washington Post. Bankers Trust New York has a director at Fox, and
>American Express directors can be found at Gannett, the Washington Post,
>and Time Warner.
>Other companies that can profit from the bombing are also represented in
>the mainstream news outlets, but you get the idea. When you look at who's
>calling the shots and how they make money, a lot of corporate news coverage
>makes sense. Don't expect the press to take universal health care seriously
>when the industry has people in major media boardrooms. Preventing cancer
>and other diseases rather than treating them with expensive drugs? Lots of
>polluters (including the dioxin-spewing publishers themselves) and drug
>companies are positioned to keep that perspective from the public (see also
>this week's Media Watch). How about some honest coverage of global warming
>solar power? Yeah, right.
>By controlling how the news is presented, Boeing, Exxon, and the rest get
>plenty of advertising for their war. And the beauty of it is, the networks
>and newspapers pick up the tab, because when you're on a corporation's
>board, the corporation pays you. Sweet.
><I>--Eric Spiegler</I>