POMED’s David DeBartolo criticizes American propaganda efforts in Iraq for undermining initiatives to create professional and respected media in the Arab world. 

On the heels of the news that a Pentagon contractor pays Iraqi journalists to write and print articles sympathetic to America, The New York Times reported last week that the same contractor has been paying Sunni clerics in Iraq for propaganda assistance. This recent news is, in many ways, similarly troubling: it threatens to undermine moderate Iraqis and other Arabs who genuinely call for democracy in the Middle East.

Last November, The Los Angeles Times reported that the Pentagon pays to place both news reports and opinion pieces in the Iraqi media. Some articles are ghost-written by American soldiers and then planted in the Iraqi press; other payments are made to Iraqi journalists who write their own copy but toe the American line.

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