Monday, April 03, 2006

Press and Propaganda: Together at Last

Journalism and Propaganda: Together at Last
"Today Show" anchor in waiting Campbell Brown exchanged vows Sunday with Fox News analyst Dan Senor.

A marriage between journalists, right? Well, sort of. Senor's pedigree suggests that their's is a union of a different order.

Before winning Campbell's heart and mind, Senor was busy doing the same with the American public.

His position at Fox began in early 2005. Before that -- during Operation Iraqi Freedom -- he was Director of the Coalition Information Center, based at Centcom Headquarters in Qatar. Under Senor, Centcom daily press briefings gave new meaning to the phrase "theater of war." For more, read Michael Wolff.

Senor then moved on to serve as the White House's senior spokesperson for U.S. Presidential Envoy Paul Bremmer in Iraq, where among other things he defended the Coalition Provisional Authority's closure and censorship of Iraqi papers.

After six months in Baghdad, Senor returned to Washington where the White House placed him at the front lines of their domestic information war.

Here are some of Senor's responses to questions put to him during an "Ask the White House" session in October 2003.

To a question from "Erica" about the fate of Iraqi children:
". . . The good news is that the overwhelming majority of Iraqi people have embraced the liberation and are grateful for all we are doing to reconstruct their country. This is critical not only for the freedom of the Iraqi people but also for our overall success in the war on terror."
To questions from "Jared" about negative media reports from Iraq:
"This new Iraqi army will not be engaged in repression of the Iraqi people and posing a threat to America and the international community. It will be focused on protecting Iraq’s borders and helping us and assisting American forces in the war on terror. In addition, today all of Iraq’s 240 hospitals are open, 90 percent of (Iraq's health clinics are open). When Ambassador Bremer arrived, he said that we would meet pre-war electricity levels within a few months -- just a few days ago, we exceeded pre-war electricity generation levels."
To questions from "Jared" about negative media reports from Iraq:
"Iraq is now a central front in the war on terror. Saddam Hussein's government was a state sponsor of terrorism. His government used weapons of mass destruction on his own people. There are terrorists in Iraq today engaging US forces because they know that if we are successful in building a free government in Iraq at peace with its own citizens, with its neighbors and serves as a model for the region and is no longer a threat to the United States, then the terrorists’ days are numbered. If we choose to ignore terrorists in Iraq we will wind up hearing from them on our own soil."
That last sentence sounds awfully familiar. I wonder if that's the line that won Campbell's heart.

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