The Most Trusted Name in Propaganda
Via Atrios, I see that CNN has given Laura Ingraham a week to get America clapping louder.
I guess we can expect the kind of hard-hitting war coverage we've already heard from Ingraham on her radio show:
INGRAHAM: Secretary Rumsfeld, I've got to tell you, when I read some of the very small stories about the Afghan elections I thought to myself, here we have about a 50 percent turnout rate in a country where we were promised unending violence, unending chaos, and yet women and young people brave the threats and they made it to the polls and you don't get any coverage of it.
INGRAHAM: One of the things that I think of course is responsible for this, the reason for this refusal to pay attention to the story, is because they'd rather focus on whatever they think is perceived problems in Katrina response, or they'll focus on the difficulty we're facing in Iraq, and on that note, I have to ask you, given everything that you know about the region, what's happening in Iraq, what do you do at the Pentagon to affect public opinion? Because these polls, one after the other, are showing ebbing support for the war. I support the war, I'm think it's worth it, and I'm frustrated that more Americans don't think it's worth it at this juncture.
INGRAHAM: Do we think, Mr. Secretary, that having a military spokesperson on the ground day in and day out, ticking off three positive pieces of news out of Iraq every day, someone that every American knows, comes to know whether it's General Casey or someone else, do you think that's something that would affect the public opinion at this point? Because I'm concerned if these numbers keep going the way they are, it's going to do damage to the President's war on terror overall and obviously his standing on other issues at home.
SECRETARY RUMSFELD: ... Obviously you're quite right, all of that effort has not overcome the negative press that is --
INGRAHAM: Something's got to change.
INGRAHAM: North Korea, I've got to say everyone thinking it was such a positive development, North Korea's commitment in the six-party talks to refrain from further pursuit of nuclear materials and nuclear processing and now they say well, we want a white water reactor, otherwise we're not going to move forward on our commitment.
What are the American people supposed to think about this?
INGRAHAM: The mistake made in 1994 not to look back, but to use it as a way of learning, a mistake of hoping for the best from North Korea just ended up kicking the can down the road, to use the line from one of your former colleagues.
INGRAHAM: Back on Iraq for a second, Mr. Secretary, the major problem outside of Iraq that would affect the future, our future success in Iraq, would it be Iran for you? I know that you talk about the people streaming across the border still, and the foreign fighters we found in Telafar a few weeks ago. But would it be Iran, and what Iran's role in all this is and would be?
SECRETARY RUMSFELD: In what sense? Would it be what?
INGRAHAM: A further danger to the situation in Iraq as it is today. What outside forces other than what we're seeing developing on the ground inside of Iraq would you point to as a problem?
INGRAHAM: And your commanders in the field now in Iraq, there are reports back to you about the progress being made. Of course Americans are greeted by headlines every day, 1900 dead, thousands more wounded, roadside bombs. But the commanders were working with the security forces. I've had a chance to talk to some of them. I hear a very different account of what is happening, very positive stories, again, and yet I don't see the stuff reported. It's frustrating to me. I can't imagine how frustrating to you it must be.
INGRAHAM: Two more questions, Mr. Secretary, I know you're on a tight schedule. Are you confident that a year from now or six months from now public opinion will move toward embracing progress in Iraq and the fact that Iraq was worth it?
INGRAHAM: You've got a press corps against you and you've got an international media who's oftentimes against you so it's very difficult.
Before I let you go, the AmericaSupportsYou.Mil charity. We continue to link it and promote it on our web site, Mr. Secretary, at a time when everyone's opening their wallets to Katrina I need to remember and remind everyone to support that web site which helps our troops, their families, and continues to just be a huge outpouring to the benefit of our men and women in uniform.
That's the entirety of her exclusive interview with the Secretary of Defense in the middle of two wars. Other than a dig at Clinton's North Korea policy, the only question was essentially "How bad is Iran?"
Everything else out of her mouth was an attack on the media for ignoring how fantastic the war is. CNN has reacted to her by giving her a prime slot... A woman who asked Rumsfeld "What are the American people supposed to think about this?"
Well done, CNN. In case her willingness to catapult the propaganda isn't obvious enough, here's how the interview ended:
INGRAHAM: Fantastic. If you need someone to be that military spokesperson over in Iraq, I'm happy to give up my microphone any time, Mr. Secretary. Any time you call I'll be happy to jump over there.
SECRETARY RUMSFELD: You're terrific, Laura. Thanks so much.
Yes, terrific is the word I'd choose, too:
Main Entry: ter·rif·ic
Etymology: Latin terrificus, from terrEre to frighten
1 a : very bad : FRIGHTFUL
You're terrific, too, CNN.