What if There Were Lies in the Media?

This USA Today headline (6/16/10) seemed like the kind of thing one might stop to read:

Top Officer Sees Military Caution as Backfiring

The lead:

Commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan have been reluctant to launch more secret operations because of an excess of caution about violating military rules and international law, a top Army officer says.

While one might not associate the military with an “excess of caution,” the main source in the article is mainly concerned about the underutilization of “deception operations,” tricks that can be used tofool the enemy.Since this is all about, well,lying, “military officials declined to detail specific deception operations.”

But then USA Today added:

The military is barred from launching operations that could be picked up by U.S. media. That is a particularly difficult line to walk in an age of the Internet and continuous news–a lie aimed at the enemy could inadvertently wind up portrayed as truth on American television or in newspapers.

Now, wait right there…. There’s a chance there could byLIES printedinour media? Portrayed as the truth??

This completely hypothetical threat sounds serious.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.