Is Rush Limbaugh’s fear of a state-run media coming to fruition?
Hillary Clinton spent the morning on C-Span defending the State Department’s need for funding, because she feels private media in the U.S. has fallen woefully behind the likes of Al-Jazeera, the Chinese, and Russia.
Via Business Insider, Clinton said:
"Al Jazeera is winning. The Chinese have opened up a global English language and multi-language television network, the Russians have opened up an English language network. I've seen it in a couple of countries and it's quite instructive."
Has she watched MSNBC or CNN lately? The coupon book in the local newspaper is far more informative than the American media.
More perplexing is that Clinton seems to be blurring the line between popular media and the need to disseminate information via her State Department. Essentially, because the Republicans want to slash the State Department budget in half, efforts to spread U.S. propaganda through new media will suffer. Without money, her department cannot spread information to Arabic and Farsi language audiences. This apparently, is the fault of Republicans cutting spending, and a private American media that can no longer compete. Enter the state-run media.
(Video below the fold)
She says a major reason the State Department needs money is because "we are in an information war and we are losing that war."
Continuing, Clinton stated that private media simply isn’t up to the task:
"Our private media cannot fill that gap. Our private media, particularly cultural programming often works at counter purposes to what we truly are as Americans. I remember having an Afghan general tell me that the only thing he thought about Americans is that all the men wrestled and the women walked around in bikinis because the only TV he ever saw was Baywatch and World Wide Wrestling."
The bikinis and wrestling argument has been made before. Not by an Afghan general, but by Clinton herself. In an interview on Australian Radio she said, "If you look at American TV as much of the rest of the world does, you would think we all went around wrestling and wearing bikinis.” And do we really want the world to think that America consists of this?
Clinton heaped further praise on the Al-Jazeera network:
“Al Jazeera has been the leader in that are literally changing people’s minds and attitudes. And like it or hate it, it is really effective,” she said.
“In fact viewership of al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it’s real news. You may not agree with it, but you feel like you’re getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news which, you know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners,” she added.
Apparently, ‘real news’ consists of material with a strongly biased message against the U.S. As reported in 2008, an award-winning reporter quit the organization because of a ‘stereotypical’ and ‘reflexive’ anti-American bias.
If Al-Jazeera is the model organization for media in the eyes of the State Department, should there be any doubt that cutting funding is the right thing to do?
Cross-posted at The Mental Recession