From Time to State PR: A Big Jump?

The latest media-politics revolving door news is that Time managing editor Richard Stengel is leaving the magazine and heading over to the State Department to be the new undersecretary of State for public diplomacy and public affairs. That’s PR–or maybe propaganda, if you prefer that term.


The Iraq War Still Won’t End Despite ‘Pullout’

Four months ago, Steve Rendall wrote here (9/10/10) about the militarization of the State Department and its role in the continuing occupation of Iraq–developments that were getting little attention amidst all the talk of the “end” of thewar. Now Aaron Davis of the Washington Post (1/14/11) fills in some of those details,writing that “the contours of a large and lasting American presence here are starting to take shape.” Davis adds that: Planning is underway to turn over to the State Department some of the most prominent symbols of the U.S. role in the war–including several major bases and a significant […]


Scandalous Behavior? It’s All Relative

They don’t show–at least in any significant way, with the caveat that thousands of e-mails still remain to be released–the U.S. government seriously misleading its allies. They don’t show unauthorized war, fraudulent procurement practices or unexpected assassination. They don’t show America forming significant alliances with sworn enemies or visiting unexpected deceit on friends. –James Rainey on the “dearth of scandalous behavior” in the WikiLeaks material (L.A. Times, 12/1/10) How good do you have to be to qualify as good? I haven’t killed anybody. See, that’s good, right? I haven’t committed any felonies. I didn’t start any wars. I don’t practice […]


WikiLeaks on Public TV: Defending the ‘Interests of the West’

Last night’s broadcast of the PBS NewsHour (11/29/10) offered a discussion of the WikiLeaks documents. Who were the guests? As Judy Woodruff announced: “We turn to two former national security advisers with extensive experience in making and carrying out U.S. foreign policy. “ That would be Carter’s Zbigniew Brzezinski and George W. Bush’s Stephen Hadley. The discussion was about as illuminating as one might expect. Hours later on the Charlie Rose show, guest host Jon Meacham featured a typical Charlie Rose discussion: two reporters from the New York Times and former Clinton State Department aide Jamie Rubin. The Times reporters […]