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February 23, 2006



"Alberto Fernandez (State Department) argued that Rumsfeld's remarks should be understood as primarily for local consumption, and as directed more towards the Defense Department's efforts than towards America's overall media efforts. Jumana al-Namour, the host, was skeptical: isn't it a bit strange, she asked, that a speech for local consumption would mainly be about efforts directed towards the Arab and Islamic media? Fernandez tried to argue that it was really about the image of the American armed services, pointing to how the Abu Ghraib scandal had undermined American military missions in Iraq."

It says something about the impressive political savvy of al-Jazeera's audience when an American diplomat is justifying the statements of U.S. officials by claiming that they are merely propaganda directed at a local American audience.

A mainstream American audience would be incapable of dissecting a media campaign in that context.


I remember at the time of Katrina that many of the top White House staffers were e-mail challenged ( didn't use it ). Rummy's expertise may well be second hand. Spin assessment sounds right.


You say you are disappointed that the discussion didn't take a "fresh look at America's media efforts". What, in a nutshell, might that entail?

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