Rumsfeld blames media messengers

The U.S. publication Editor and Publisher ran a report on April 18, 2006, under the headline “Rumsfeld Suggests bin Laden, Zarqawi Manipulating U.S. Press.”

The first two paragraphs said:

NEW YORK When Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld appeared on Rush Limbaugh's talk radio show on Monday, his remarks defending himself from calls for his resignation drew wide attention. Generally overlooked were a couple of questions and answers on the subject of press coverage in Iraq.

For one thing, Rumsfeld said it was important to “recognize that the terrorists, Zarqawi and bin Laden and Zawahiri, those people have media committees. They are actively out there trying to manipulate the press in the United States. They are very good at it. They're much better at (laughing) managing those kinds of things than we are.”

It goes without saying that Limbaugh is a PR flack for the American right wing and the owners of the radio stations who broadcast his crap don’t give a damn that their news operations are being slandered by the flack and his pals in power who have their own media committees. Talk about hypocrisy.

Most owners are in the advertising business only. The costs of their newsrooms are unfortunate and must be minimized, most will admit when pressured.

Stephen Harper, the new Canadian prime minister, is likely from the same Bush-bash-the-messenger mould. His “PMO chill” of the Parliamentary Press Gallery is saluted down south by the Limbaugh Gangs.

If you get a telegram saying your uncle is dead – blame Western Union, not his cancer. Rumsfeld, more or less, implied American journalists were providing aid and comfort to the U.S. enemies.

If working journalists – someday soon – don’t get their act together and start speaking out publicly, as a group, to defend the value and integrity of their service to the public, they will continue to lose the PR battle of media bashing. Yes, the all-too-pure journalists must stoop to PR. The news-media owners will not do it for them. They’re in the advertising business.

The owners’ spin about quality journalism is lip service