While roaming around the Net I ran across the following information, that still has my head spinning.
Here are the sources for this information:
Controlling the News
In-House Memos on Television News Presentations
Note: There are many other entries dating from January, 2002. To read these, please click here
During the middle of March, 2003, tbrnews received an email from a man who claimed to be a mid-level executive with a major American television network. He stated in this, and subsequent, emails that he was in possession of "thousands" of pages of in-house memos sent from his corporate headquarters in New York City to the head of the network's television news department. He went on to say that these memos set forth directives about what material was, and was not, to be aired on the various outlets of the network.
This individual claimed he was developing serious doubts about the strict control of media events and decided that he would pass this material along to someone who might make use of it.
There was the question of his job security. If someone published his name, it would be certain he was not only fired but blackballed throughout his profession.
If tbrnews.org would agree to protect his identity, he would send us these alleged thousands of pages of notes, going back to 2001.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating so we accepted his caveats and he then sent to us by disk the pages he spoke of. All are on corporate stationary, signed or initialed by the senders and again, signed or initialed by the recipients in the news division.
It was always possible that this material consisted of a very involved hoax or was something designed for the news site to use and then have it revealed that it was not original. It would not be the first time that spurious disinformation had been sent to us in the hopes that it would be used.
There were not "thousands of pages" of memos but a total of 1,497 separate pages involved. Many of them consisted of short memos while others ran to a larger format.
Naturally, someone could easily have obtained correct in-house network letterheads, made copies of them and prepared false memoranda but the sheer size and depth of the collection was impressive.
If these memos were true, they showed with a terrible clarity that at least one part of the American mass media was strictly controlled and that the news was so doctored and spun that it might as well be official news releases from the White House and Pentagon.
The best way in which to ascertain whether or not these documents contained original information was to check the dates of issuance and compare the information with subsequent news stories.
This was a terrible, time-consuming chore but by selecting random memos and looking through the archives of various national newspapers, checking AP releases and so on, the results indicated that indeed, news was being managed.
However, it was also possible that someone else did this and was preparing these after the fact and making the memos conform to published material.
That having been said, we insisted on absolutely current memos so that we could then check these against future publications. If, for example, a corporate fiat was to show certain pictures or spin a story in a certain way, it would be relatively simple to simply read the press or watch television news to see if these suggestions were implemented.
It was both shocking and gratifying to note that this proved to be the case in a preponderance of cases and so we began to put these up, either in toto or, more often, in excerpt and watch as ordained news was created before our eyes.
When a corporate order states, for instance, that certain pictures should be shown with accompanying commentary and the memo predates a published story by a week or more, then it is more than likely that the memos are not inspired guesswork but genuine.
When tbrnews put up the first two pages, there were two basic forms of public response. One was to thank us for exposing something many people believed; that the American media was controlled and not free. (That much can easily be ascertained by reading the websites of various reputable foreign publications such as the Swiss NZZ, the British Guardian, the Canadian Toronto Globe and Mail, Reuters News Service and the Jerusalem Post. What any viewer can see on these sites is certainly not reflected in the American media.)
The second response consisted of irate, and literate, statements to the effect that all of these items were just stupid hoaxes and should not be believed. "I believe," one writer who claimed to be a Professor of Journalism at an Ivy League college said, "these are just disinformation designed to discredit American journalists whose reputation for honesty and integrity is certainly beyond question. You are performing a great disservice in repeating these politically-motivated fictions... "
This is certainly a true statement because if it became generally accepted that the American media was only a mechanical parrot for various political organization, it would no longer be either believed or watched. If viewers turned off their television sets, the networks would lose huge amounts of advertising revenue, reporters would be laid off and people would turn instead to the Internet for their news.
Tbrnews receives many emails on a daily basis but the input on this subject has been so great that we have decided to expand the articles, irate journalists and professors to the contrary.
In the final analysis, it is always up to the reader to make up their own mind as to the truth, or fiction, of what they read. The media has an opposite view of this.
It is fairly obvious that the average Americans get their news either from TV, mostly, or from the print media. If someone in East Peoria, Illinois sees something on CNN, the Voice of the White House, they have no reason to question it. And don't. The establishment does not worry about the lone man with a website that, as in our case, reaches perhaps 100,000 people at a time when they have control over NBC, CBS, ABC and CNN that can, an do, reach millions a day.
What to they care about people who email messages back and forth? Even if a Pentagon plan to nuke North Korea were up on the net, all that would happen is that some would say, "See, I told you so!" while others would say "Oh shame! You are questioning our Glorious Leader and putting our Brave Troops in danger!"
If some astronomer had absolute proof that a three mile wide asteroid was going to hit this planet in ten days, do you think any of the mass media would ever mention a word of it? This would cause mass panic and the last thing the establishment wants is a public that is out of control. They would find out the target area and keep away from it, along with their friends and members of their families. The rest of us would be either squashed or roasted alive but they don't care about us only so long as we pay our taxes without complaint.
If the honesty of the American mass media is brought into serious question, perhaps the establishment cannot jam their lies down the public's throat with such ease.
"Authoritarian government required to speak, is silent...Representative government required to speak, lies with impunity". - Napoleon
(June 15) We are going to be running into serious problems with the growing resistance movements in Iraq. GIs are being killed and wounded, convoys ambushed and worst of all scenarios are coming true: The Iraqi oil is being interdicted before it can be shipped out of the country. Casualties cannot be concealed but can be minimized. No clips of dead or injured US personnel... pipeline fires can be shown but voice over should stress that technicians (from Haliburton, of course) are putting out these as quickly as possible. Damage is to be minimal... the nature of the attackers... these are a handful of diehard Saddam supporters... who are being successfully tracked down and neutralized by ever-vigilant and prepared US troops. Show pictures of captured (not dead) Iraqis. Be careful to vet the shots so as not to include any captives that appear to have been beaten...
(June 16) ... Pentagon sources now claim that it will be impossible to bring law and order to Iraq within a year and heavy US military presence must be in place to do this. An order is being prepared to exclude all foreign media, especially British and French, from guerrilla areas. The reason given is that they might be kidnapped but in reality, foreign press might take pictures that are not advisable to be seen in the US. ... the most severe methods of interdiction are currently being indicated including setting up detention camps, curfews, the issuance of ID cards, the closing of mosques, the detention of religious leaders and the sealing of the borders with Syria and Iran...
(June 18) Now it appears that the faked (call them 'inaccurate') reports about Saddam's purchase of enriched uranium will not go away. The White House hopes that Muslim terrorists will commit some atrocity, preferably in the United States, so as to deflect rising negative attitudes on the part of the electorate... although no one has said it, such an attack(s) would not be surprising.
(June 19) ..and it now appears that SARS is taking a breather. There are still pockets of it, especially in the Pacific rim areas, but the Canadian outbreaks seem to be pretty much under control now... The CDC is very concerned about a renewed outbreak concomitant with the usual flu season this winter. If SARS combines with certain forms of pneumonia, the results could be a major epidemic. Use discretion in any mention of SARS and we have been advised to drop the entire subject.
(June 20) Continue with positive reports about the market upswings... no comment on the 10% unemployment rates. Work up a treatment that stresses the problems newly-graduated high school students have in finding work. Thus, the higher rates.
(June 21) The reaction of Congress, pushed by public opinion, to rescind the FCC rulings about multiple ownership of media entities will certainly not be welcome in the trade. The President says he will veto anything like this but Beltway sources on the inside say this will be veto-proof. Rupert will not be a happy camper!
(June 22) Keep up with the legislation about partial-birth abortion but stay neutral in reporting. This is a very volatile issue, especially with the women. No one wants armies of screaming women parading up and down in front of the White House or the Capitol...
(June 23) ... withdrawal of US troops from the Korean DMZ is to be presented as an attempt to keep GIs out of harms way and, stress this, not as a prelude of a US attack (atomic or conventional) on Pyongyang. This is a hyper-sensitive area. We are all assured that North Korea will not attack unless attacked and the media has to play this aspect down. In short, the less said the better. Iran is the new target, not North Korea. Keep that strictly in mind on coverage..
(March 22):... .it is not conducive to maintaining an overall neutrality in the Palestine uprisings to show any pictures of the American peacenik that was run over by the Israeli army bulldozer. This is only to be mentioned as a "tragic accident" for which the IDF "is truly saddened."
(Feb 10)... .It is not permitted at this point to use or refer to any film clips, stills or articles emanating from any French source whatsoever.
(Feb 26) It is expected that coverage of the forthcoming Iraqi campaign will be identical with the coverage used during Desert Storm. Shots of GIs must show a mixed racial combination... .any interviews must reflect the youthful and idealistic, not the cynical point of view... the liberation of happy, enthusiastic Iraqis can be best shown by filming crowds of cheering citizens waving American flags. Also indicated would be pictures of photogenic GIs fraternizing with Iraqi children and handing them food or other non-controversial presents... of course, pictures of dead US military personnel are not to be shown and pictures of dead Iraqi soldiers should not show examples of violent death... also indicated would be brief interviews with English-speaking Iraqi citizens praising American liberation efforts... all such interviews must be vetted by either the White House or Pentagon before public airing.
(March 12) At this point in time, reference to North Korean military threats must be played down entirely. The Iraqi Freedom campaign has to be concluded in the public mind before proceeding with the next assault on the Evil Axis... .
(March 26) US alliances with the Turkish/Iraqi Kurdish tribes should be played down. This is considered a very sensitive issue with the Turks and American arming and support of the Kurds could create a severe backlash in Ankara... .Kurds should be depicted as "Iraqi Freedom Fighters" and not identified as Kurds...
(March 2) further references to the religious views of the President are to be deleted...
(March 15) photo opportunities of the President and members of his cabinet, especially Secretary Rumsfeld, with enthusiastic GIs... .
(March 19) No mention, repeat, no mention, of Palestinian suicide bombers during the Iraqi operation... .
(March 25) ... no mention of either Wolfowitz or Pearle should be made at the present time.
(March 10)... .pro-Government rallies are to be given the fullest coverage... if anti-Government demonstrations are shown, it is desired to stress either a very small number of "eccentrics" or shots of social misfits; i.e., with beards, tattoos, physical deformities, etc. Pro-Government supporters should be seen as clean cut with as many well-groomed subjects as possible... .subjects should stress complete support for the President's programs and especially support for American military units en route to combat... also interviews with photogenic family members of participating GIs stressing loyalty and affection... American flags are always a good prop in the background...
(March 30) Friction between Secretary Rumsfeld and senior military field commanders in Iraq are to be strictly minimalized and used only when impossible to avoid... .the Secretary's point of view on all military matters is to be stressed... .important to bring out his reputation as a "man who shakes things up" and a brilliant innovator.
(March 31) ... .no discussion of high-level rumors about pre-emptive tactical nuclear strikes against North Korean missile, "hard" artillery positions opposite Seoul or key North Korean leadership or military commands is to be mentioned. It must be stressed that the North Korean situation is viewed as "serious but not critical" by unnamed "senior U.S. military leaders."
(March 31) ... .no mention of PRC strong objections to US pre-emptive actions against North Korea... .a short summary of the President's refusal to "enter into any kind of negotiations" with the North Korean government... .background report on the irrational and anti-democratic forces in North Korea... the desire of South Korea's officials to maintain a close relationship with their American military protectors... .no discussion of anti-US demonstrations in Seoul. These can be routinely dismissed as "radical students who are not supported by the new liberal and strongly pro-American President."
April 4) ... sharply rising unemployment numbers, this should be countered with official interviews stressing that the unemployment situation is now stabilizing and expected to fall soon.
(March 30) Because of the seriousness of the spread of SARS, actual figures of either the infected or of any deaths from local medical facilities must be carefully vetted via the CDC press information office in Atlanta. From the highest level, it is imperative that the American public not panic over the very rapid spread of this disease. Speculations of the actual nature of SARS is not under any circumstances to be permitted. Keep in mind the currently in- place rules following the outbreak of "Legionnaires Disease."
(April 4) ... a discussion of French desecrations of American and British war graves in France are to receive specific notice. Also, damage to the 9/11 memorial in Paris is to be included. No pictures of swastikas or other defamatory and anti-Administration graffiti are to be shown. French official apologies are permitted... ..no comments equating the President with Hitler will be made... .and the invasion of Iraq may not be compared with Hitler's invasion of Poland, and such allegations now being made extensively in offshore media coverage are not to receive any attention. The Iraqi campaign is officially a campaign by a democratic United States against ruthless cruelty and oppression.
(April 5)... . comments appearing in the left-wing British Guardian about the occupation and administration of a conquered Iraq by American military personnel are to be ignored. Pacification, liberation, freedom and gratitude towards US forces, and the President are to be stressed.
(March 29) The President's goal, to achieve oil autarchy by the United States, is suggested as a future series. Congressional denial of drilling in various environmentally "sensitive" areas may be derided as foolish misunderstanding of America's vital oil needs. The interdiction of oil shipments to the United States from Venezuela and Nigeria are not to be commented upon. The attitude of Chavez towards the United States is also considered a non-topic. He was removed from power once and it can happen a second time. File footage of large crowds of distressed and unhappy Venezuelans should be prepared against the time he is removed from power again...
(April 4) If possible, pictures of the President with a book or, better, actually reading, are suggested. Commentary about his extensive reading habits... stress important historical and economic works...
(April 5) Presidential visits to military units in the United States are to receive full coverage and to extend past the usual slot time... spots of especially warm receptions are considered very important...
(April 7) Please arrange for photo ops of President visiting wounded GIs... .Use photogenic subjects w/good racial mix. Also try for pix of First Lady handing wounded subject a gift... President decorating wounded (in hospital bed) w medal(s) Make sure subject smiles at P. Warm handshakes (if possible.)
(April 7 ) ... no shots of GIs looting in Baghdad. Iraqi looters should be described as "joyful" at being liberated by US. Looting to be described as a "deprived people getting food for families"... all pictures from forbidden French press sources of a US General's staff car being filled with paintings and carpets to be blacklisted at Pentagon request. If such pixs show up on other networks, comment be made that General is "rescuing art treasures to preserve them for the Iraqi people." Also Iraqi rioters could be shown waving in friendly way to GIs.
( April 4 ) Alliance casualties to be played down. The massive Iraqi civilian casualties also played down. Use the phrase, "most civilian casualties caused by vindictive Saddam supporters." Again, no pixs of dead women and children.
(April 6 ) Artillery targeting of several mosques to be deleted... ..
(April 2) ... prepare a piece on the withdrawal of all US troops from S. Korea. Main theme: US pulling out to prevent N. Korea from attacking. Stress the pro-US stance of Noh and his firm support of the President and his goal of preventing N. Korean military adventurism... no mention of ongoing S. Korean anti-US riots. They are to be called "radical student demonstrations" but do not show clips unless it can be determined that the numbers shown are very small.
(Jan 21, 2002 )... in any article on Enron collapse, it is not considered advisable to discuss role of K. Lay. Charges against lesser Enron executives to be stressed. Lay's extensive gifts to President to be limited to "small campaign contributions" and shift emphasis to large gifts to Ashcroft for his presidential campaign. Mention A's recusal from Enron investigations...
(April 9 ) ... play down the Moscow meetings w. Schroeder, Putin and French. Please, no mention of NATO problems...
(April 9 ) ... concerning Moscow meetings, say Russia, Germany and France are willing to forgive their huge Iraqi debts at the direct request of President. Stress the need for Iraq to rebuild after years of repression and need to keep her funds "to help her people."
(April 8 ) ... develop possible linkage between Iraqi mobs and US need to police the country for a "brief time" to prevent any attempt to stifle emerging democracy. Do not mention probability of continued large US military presence. Stress the words "restoring law and order" and "helping to make the transition to true democracy."
(April 11) US attack on Russian Ambassador's convoy either to be ignored or blamed on "unknown Arab terrorists" who support Hussein. Considered expedient that if mention is made of attack, not to identify the country involved. This incident, officially termed a misunderstanding, is being cleared up with Russia now.
( April 7)... attacks on foreign media, often unfriendly to US, to be explained as a "tragic error" and use the rationale of "pro-Saddam last ditch fanatics sniping at liberating US troops." from areas attacked by US armor.
(April 13 ) SARS is now officially "under control" in the US. Air travel, in the US, has been cleared by CDC and other groups as "entirely safe." Officially, there are no deaths from SARS in the United States. Use feed clips from CBC on "complete control" of disease in Canada... also mention lack of responsible reporting on subject by China.
(April 9 ) ... in coverage of rebuilding of Iraq's infrastructure, mention that American firms have expressed willingness to "assist Iraq people to build a new, democratic nation." No mention, by name, of Halliburton or Bechtel.
(April 10 ) show mention of restoration of Moscow statue of KGB founder... (linkage here) mention Putin's former membership in KGB and very brief discussion of "growing pro-Stalinist" feelings in Russia. Consider this background for future series on same subject.
(April 16) ... .a pending lawsuit against the FBI concerning its 'no fly list' should be treated as a 'lack of comprehension' by the American public. Negative comments are that this new regulation is designed to prevent elements hostile to the Administration from involvement in so-called "Peace" meetings, rallies and protests. Official view, to be stressed, is that this new regulation is to prevent suspected terrorists or persons having possibly dangerous views, i.e., militant Muslims etc. from using another commercial aircraft as in the 9/11 terrorist strike. We are advised that the list will be maintained as before... .
(April 18) The President's generous and statesmanlike offer to North Korea to open "substantive" negotiations should be linked with commentary about the "absolute support" in the PRC for the President's peace moves and their willingness to help reign in a terrorist and communistic leadership needs special attention... .
(April 19) Regarding North Korea, it is urgently requested by the White House that any reference to the President's determination to remove the existing leadership of that country by downplayed. It should be mentioned as an "option" rather than the intention of the President.
(April 19) ... in liberated Iraq, the apparent rejection by "dissident elements" of the country to continued US military and business presence is to be shown to be "against the will of the newly-liberated Iraqi people..." The on-going killings of pro-US Iraqis and occasional US military personal are to be downplayed and attributed to "rogue, pro-Saddam" persons. It is to be stressed, with photos and feature articles, that the Iraqi people "warmly greet their American liberators... " ... any discussion about the CIA connections of US-sponsored new Iraqi leadership cadres is to be curtailed.
(April 19)... the portions of the Administration's plan to lift Iraqi sanctions that deal with the humanitarian aspect of the rebuilding of Iraq are to be stressed. Subsequent US de facto control of the oil there, if mentioned, will concentrate on the fact that oil revenues from liberated Iraq will initially be utilized to pay for the costs of the campaign and later to support the military and administrative systems now being implemented.
(April 20) ... the new Budget should be summarized as a plan to revitalize the economy, which began its decline as the result of certain actions within the previous administration, and the tax cuts are not designed to assist the wealthy but the entire American public.
(April 21) There needs to be a cohesive attitude towards SARS. We cannot hide that this disease is now rampant throughout Asia and has a growing death toll. It is considered very important not to mention the spread of the disease in the US or to acknowledge any fatalities. The latter are now ascribed as due to pneumonia... if the spread of SARS continues as predicted, mass quarantine is considered by the CDC and the Surgeon General's office as almost mandatory... .Canadian officials, very concerned with the high concentration of SARS-infected persons in Toronto are informing US officials that a general quarantine in that country may be mandatory. This should be a subject for comment, mentioning that Canadian health officials see mass quarantining as the "best and easiest" solution to the rapid spread of the disease... 'We are working on a new vaccine that will stop this Asian (stress this here) disease and protect the American public.' No mention of the fact that such a vaccine is months away if it happens at all... .and it is considered imperative that no, repeat no, panic develop in the US. In sum, this is an Asian disease that mostly affects Asians.
(April 21) Stories planted in the South Korean press about North Korean 'missile parts' found in Alaska are not to be repeated in the media unless and until it is considered necessary as groundwork for projected military action... .
(April 22) ... the lower gas prices at the pump should be ascribed to an "overproduction" by our Middle Eastern allies. When the controls are lifted, the resulting rise is to be attributed to "lack of cooperation" by possibly hostile Arab oil producing nations that the President is seriously concerned about.
(April 22) Please continue the present blackout on Israeli military activity on the Iraqi borders... Iranian activity with the Sunni elements in Iraq are to be highlighted as "unwarranted interference" in the American plans for the reconstruction of a new and democratic Iraq. Possible US military and security countermeasures are to be highlighted as "anti-militant Islamic" in nature.
(April 23) Russian attitudes about repayments of past Iraqi oil debts are on blackout...
(April 27) ... ongoing wave of failures, or projected failures, of major US corporations should be played down and covered only if the corporation in question actually files for bankruptcy. The expressed fear is that a constant drumfire of woeful economic news will hardly encourage a badly needed recovery. The usual practice is to prosecute minor level employees involved in various fiscal manipulations while ignoring the very top people. The Enron case is an example... .
(April 29) The SARS problem should again be stressed as an Asian problem and the actual death rates (now believed to be approaching 20%) are not to be publicized. It is certain that political pressure from both the Canadian and American governments will result in the Toronto case being officially downgraded.
(May 1) ... and concerning the serious SARS epidemic, plans are now in train to test all incoming travelers from infected areas and quarantine anyone even remotely suspected of being ill with symptoms that even remotely resemble the disease. It is the privately stated intention of the highest authority to use physical force to enforce the quarantine if it proves necessary...
(May 3) US Treasury officials are now investigating the enormous amounts of US currency uncovered in Iraq. Mention of this can be made and it is considered expedient to state that this is part of Saddam Hussein's personal booty. Under no circumstances, it has to be stressed, should any mention of amounts in excess of the publically stated $600 million be made. And absolutely no mention of the possibility of these $100 bills being counterfeit
(May 6) VP Dick Cheney will announce in a few days that he will be on the Presidential ticket in 2004. Stress that his contributions to the President's energy plans have made him indispensable. Please limit mention of Cheney's connections with Halliburton and the problems with the inflated stock...
(May 6) ... at the present time, it is anticipated that proof of Iraqs possession of WMD will be uncovered by US specialists. This proof is necessary to offset the growing criticism that Iraq had no such weapons and that the Administration had fabricated reports that it did to justify the invasion. Still photos and film clips will be supplied...
(May 7) ... it now appears that the President's religious charities bill will not be passed in the current session. There is considerable concern in Congress over this and the religious issues here are obvious. It is felt that the President has overreached himself and in light of the rising public opposition to some of his more extreme religious views, this bill will be reintroduced later but in a different form... remarks by Rev. Graham about Islam are causing the White House considerable discomfiture not only in US Muslim circles but in Arab countries (especially Saudi Arabia) as well. Graham has been instructed to issue a statement to the effect that his words were "taken out of context" and that he has great respect for all faiths...
(May 8) Although the dollar's continuing drop against the euro can be seen on most financial pages, this is to be addressed as "temporary" and articles from economists can be quoted to the effect that the victory in Iraq will soon result in a surging dollar on the international marketplace.
(May 9) It is obviously going to be a long time before peace and civil order is restored in Iraq... there are serious religious issues involved here. The Administration's intentions of allowing specific Christian missionaries into Iraq to effect widespread conversions of the Muslim population is now on hold. DOS claims that this might set off major rioting... White House officials, speaking off the record, say that this missionary activity is "close to the President's heart" but will be put on temporary hold "until we have a stronger military presence" in Iraq. Prepare some backup material on this...
(May 10) Play down the story on the mobile germ labs. This is generating too much heat in the foreign press and with the left wing hippie elements in the US. We are assured that "major discoveries" will be made that will "fully support" the mobile labs.
(May 12) ... discovery of counterfeit US bills worldwide is to be offset with stories about entirely new, colored bills now in preparation stages. These bills will be more difficult to counterfeit... flood of counterfeit $20 bills in the US... the $100 bills will not be reworked at the present time. Loss of confidence in this bill could result in its rejection by the world currency markets and this would have a disastrous effect on the economy... be sure to stress this in coverage...
(May 13) ... a series of presentations about why the decline of the dollar against the euro, the Canadian and Mexican currency, is actually a good thing for American business. Stress that US production can now increase because American goods are cheaper, and stress, more easily available to the foreign markets.
(May 15) Kill the projected stories on the privatization of the Social Security programs. A test run on this indicates that AARP will fight it. Also, kill further comments about denying "extraordinary life-saving" regimens to the very elderly. This will be viewed as state-sponsored euthanasia... work up something on the escalating costs of long term hospitalization to the public sector...
(May 16) Suggested that the treatment of economics keeps away from the dropping dollar. We need to get a reputable and recognized authority to give a bite on how the current lower value of the dollar overseas is actually a benefit to US economy because it stimulates American productivity...
(May 16) Chaos in Iraq is given as the reason why a massive continued US military presence in that country is to be anticipated. Stories in foreign media about GIs shooting young children for throwing rocks are not to be repeated. No pictures...
(May 17) The President's new tax plan should be shown as being beneficial to most American households. Democratic criticism is to be minimized and trivialized. The Laci Peterson case and the bad weather in the mid-west (tornados) are good subjects for diversion from less than helpful political partisanship.
(May 19) SARS out of control in China and now Taiwan. Press releases from official sources stressing the "drying up" of SARS are to be given a run. Mention that the Toronto infections are now "fully cured" and make a note of the lifting of the WHO quarantine...
(May 21) The White House is releasing working drawings of the mobile WMD trailers in Iraq. Commentary by approved network specialists about the death-dealing capacity of these trailers is to be presented. Stress the "apparent failure" of the UN inspection teams to locate these deadly labs... The UN is needed in Iraq to feed the population but not, the White House stresses, to interfere in the internal control of either Iraq or the oil production.
(May 22) For Memorial Day, prepare pieces on heroic GIs around the world. The President will make a speech on the contribution of the military services to the freedom of the world. Give this good coverage... Play down the anger with the French. "They are coming around now" is the best theme to take.
(May 24) The mad-cow problem in Canada is causing serious economic problems in both the US and Canada. It is considered very important to stress that none of the contaminated beef ever was sent to the US. Only one cow and a few calves, all of whom have been destroyed... . If this gets any credence, it could wreak havoc with the US cattle industry, not to mention the fast food and restaurant business. Mad-cow has been in the US before and kept very quiet. Let's see if we can't repeat this now.
(May 25) The decision to proceed against Iran has been taken... ..using file footage about the Embassy hostage crisis... brutality of the anti-Shah takeover... a series of articles about the presence of alAquida units "being trained" in Iraq. Shiites are to be depicted as "ruthless fanatics" and, most especially, as "haters of the Great Satan... the United States." Also something on a Sunday program about Iranian support of the Taliban and the suggestion that they might be giving refuge to Taliban leaders... .for the time being, no reference here to overt Pakistani support of fundamentalism. If the current head of Pakistan is removed and replaced by a fundamentalist government, support will be given to India to remove Pakistan from the playing field... atomic threats on the part of the Pakis a probability...
(May 26) SARS outbreak in Toronto... there is no way to hide this one so keep it brief and keep it simple. Vital to avoid any talk of SARS in the US. A puff piece on development of a SARS vaccine... stress very soon. Get the usual medical people and give them the usual script... Remember, SARS is stressed as an Asian disease that is "coming under control.
(May 26) comment that the raging war between Powell and Rumsfeld is "complete nonsense." We will try to get brief interviews with both men denying these rumors and saying that "all America is now united against international terrorism." This is the watchword from the White House. Putin wants a free hand with his Muslim terrorists and after the conference, may have it. He will then have to support US drives against the Philippine muslims projected for July. Projected heavy loss of life there is to be offset with stories of torture and killing of Christian tourists and missionaries...
(May 27) Prepare a human interest story about Christian "educators" going to Iraq to "assist the population in its desire for religious and cultural diversity." A number of Pentecostal people are refusing to go to Iraq because they are afraid they will be killed by militant Muslims. Discuss how they will be protected by friendly American troops
(May 29) "It's the economy, stupid!" and let's keep in mind that drumfire about bad economy is not good kids, for all of us. Do a nice bit on how the market is now rising (slowly) and full recovery is projected to be around the corner. Get the usual bites from our economists. The deflation word is not to be used and keep strictly away from the rising euro. If this gets over $1.20, talk about the "great benefits" to US home productions. "Who needs fancy, overpriced French luxury goods when we can make it better and cheaper right at home?"
(May 30) You will be getting two packets of info on the St.Petersburg business. One is to be used if we score big but the second if we have problems. Putin will be our new "best friend" instead of Blair (who has about shot his bolt at home and will soon be toast) as long as he supports official US policy about Iran and... agrees to lighten up on the Iraqi debts...
(June 1) Pacification in Iraq is proving more difficult that had been anticipated by the Pentagon. The President's advisors are debating whether or not to lay this one off on the military or simply ignore it. Massive countermeasures are now being planned against anyone daring to either directly attack US units or even in unlawful assemblage, especially in mosques...
(June 2) Some elements of the media are beginning to bring up certain religious issues, mostly via letters to the editors of unreliable papers. We must be careful to counteract these attacks with puff pieces on the rising tide of Christian fundamentalist support of the President and especially human interest stories about ad hoc Christian groups operating in the US in support of the President.
(June 3) The President is privately expressing annoyance with Sharon over his refusal to accept the Roadmap for Peace. Some concessions on the part of the Israelis will have to be made. Arafat will absolutely have to go... if these programs are to succeed. The President needs peace in Palestine, especially as the election planning goes forward.
(June 5) ... the economy is still stagnant and it is important to put a good and positive face on its recovery. Prepare a series of stories about the rising market trends and the return of the small investor...
(June 7)... the Martha Stewart business has to be presented in the light of dedicated prosecution by Justice of even the most prominent offenders. Better that the smaller fry get cooked than the really important ones. Campaign funding? Hah, hah!
(June 10)... growing unrest, even in the media, over the lack of WMD in Iraq. The President's people want it stressed that both the CIA and military intelligence gave him faulty information. It is felt that this will run its course, especially in light of the "new revelations" The public's interest is short-lived on such things and a good, lasting distraction with plenty of commentary will keep them excited until the issue fades away. The Demos are too timid to make much use of this anyway... .
(June 11) It will not do anyone good to go on about the Iraq uranium business. The issue served well to introduce the need for immediate action and it should be stressed over and over again that Saddam was evil and so what if a few "inaccuracies" crept in? Our leaders are shown to be ever vigilant in their goals of making America safe from terrorists..
(June 12) Rumsfeld's stern warning to both NATO and Belgium should get a good play. It needs to be seen that the US punishes those who oppose it and rewards those who support it. Give the Polacks a good press.
(June 12) It seems that guerrilla warfare is a real thing. Too much looting, assaulting Iraqi women, too much Muslim-bashing. No discipline in the US forces and the commanders have a hard time in controlling their men. Protestors are to be shown to be "die-hard Baathist supporters of the evil Saddam" and show pictures of a "commando" camp with pictures of Saddam and anti-US slogans. And don't show these in Arabic. English is the language of our viewers, don't forget... There is a blackout on guerrilla attacks in Afghanistan. The fear is that these are part of a coordinated movement in the Arab world. Do an investigative bite on "Arab fanatics" going to Iraq (for the time being, cool it with Afghanistan) going to Iraq to help kill Americans. This can lay the background for additional "anti-guerrilla" actions against other Arab states that do not cooperate. In Iran, student agitations against the religious leaders is to be given prominent space. There will be more of this in the future. It is believed to be a much safer course to topple the Iranian leadership by local groups rather than by US military and economic direct action. Large numbers of students in the streets costs money but not as much as a military action. The public will grow restive if there are too many US dead...
(June 13) The Administration has gotten burnt by attacking Sharon. It won't happen again. Human interest stories about Israeli families mourning their dead is always a good thing. The Hamas people are slated for utter destruction by a possible joint US/IDF action in the near future so point out repeatedly how they are sabotaging the sincere efforts of both the President and Sharon to achieve a real and lasting peace... .
(June 10)The ongoing flap about WMD will eventually fade away. If it weren't for the peaceniks in America and the envious foreign press, this non-issue would soon evaporate. In support of this, we need more material out on the mass graves in Iraq...
(June 11) ... and in Iran, the leaders there have been sending Shiite guerrillas into southern Iraq to foment revolution. The CIA has begun to stir up the Iranian students and it is hoped by the White House that the Iranian government will topple without the necessity of American military intervention... this has been placed on hold awaiting the outcome of the revolutionary movement now activated in Tehran and other cities...
(June 11) In California, the recall against Gov. Davis is getting up quite a head of steam. The Republicans want him out... too liberal and there... and a good conservative in his place. Iron Arnold has panache but is not reliable. If he gets in when Davis is put out, he could be a loose cannon. The White House is hand-picking their own candidate and in the meantime, the President is publically objecting to the recall while privately rejoicing... The idea here is to keep Kenneth Lay and Enron out of the news on the California mess...
(June 12) Hillary Clinton is flexing her muscle again after a long silence. She wants to use her new book as a springboard to the White House next year. It is time now to go after her. Sarcasm is the best weapon here... keep away from the feminist angle... it could backfire.
(June 13) North Korea is a back issue for now. We are pulling troops away from the DMZ in case we have to nuke Pyongyang...
(June 14) SARS is officially dead. Monkeypox is replacing it. We have beaten SARS to death so it is best to keep the file footage for when it comes back with a bang this winter. With no vaccine in sight, buy masks, kids! If SARS combines with something else, watch out on this one...
(June 15) The market is up again but just equal to last year. Not good but make a strong case for serious recovery under the President's new tax refunds. Unemployment is soaring but let's keep this minor key unless some trouble breaks out over it. Justice has evidence of serious labor unrest, especially among ghetto minorities. They never had a crack at the brass ring before and now, none at all. This in seen as potential disaster by the AG and his people... Job corps are out of the question. Subject of a universal draft for all 18 year olds on the drawing board. Keep them out of trouble before the election and boosts up the military "just in case" there is more military action.