Blaming the Messenger

Clarence Page has an interesting editorial up at the Chicago Tribune:

"Credibility is everything in our business."

That's what I told the latest batch of military public-affairs specialists to graduate from the Pentagon's 12-week course for enlisted men and women in journalism, photojournalism and public affairs.


If Iraq's fledgling democracy has a new enemy, in my view, it is the Bush administration's casual attitude toward secret payments that the Lincoln Group, a U.S. public relations contractor, made to Iraqi editors to publish pro-U.S. news stories as if they had come from ordinary journalists, not American flacks.

Of course, the problem with the Lincoln Group story, first reported in December by the Los Angeles Times, is that the existence of possible bribes undermines the credibility of any pro-U.S. story by Iraqi journalists, including the legitimate ones published by journalists who have not taken bribes.
Page, an Army public-affairs officer in Vietnam, basically says that while blaming the media may feel good, it won't win the War in Iraq. Read the whole thing. It doesn't summarize well and the picking out selections doesn't give a good indication of what it's about.

No comments: