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Armed with Twitter, Clinton seeks new information war

Published time: March 03, 2011 21:47
Edited time: March 04, 2011 01:31

While appearing before a congressional committee, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared the US is losing the global information war and requires extra funds to compete with others in a global propaganda war.

During the Cold War we did a great job in getting America’s message out. After the Berlin Wall fell we said, ‘Okay, fine, enough of that, we are done,’ and unfortunately we are paying a big price for it,” she said. “Our private media cannot fill that gap.”

Clinton directly referenced the success of Al Jazeera, China's CCTV and RT as reasons the US needs to step-up and increase funding to its media machine.

We are in an information war and we are losing that war. Al Jazeera is winning, the Chinese have opened a global multi-language television network, the Russians have opened up an English-language network. I’ve seen it in a few countries, and it is quite instructive,” Clinton remarked.

In her testimony, Clinton also admitted one man in Afghanistan she encountered was so unfamiliar with US culture; he thought everything operated like Baywatch.

As globalization spread, so did the diversity of information and its dissemination. Western media, such as CNN, no longer leads the pack in an increasing competitive market.

Clinton has called on Congress to increase funding so that the US may continue into a new age of information warfare, taking to new technologies and new media tools such as Twitter, where the State Department has recently begun Tweeting in Arabic, Farsi, Hindi and a number of other languages.

Radio host Alex Jones said American media has lied and issued fake information for political gain, in addition to doing the bidding of global elites as opposed to providing proper information.

So called US television and print media, The Washington Post, The New York Times have lied about WMDs that didn’t exist, have lied about terror threats, “ Jones argued. “They would issues fake terror alerts for Political gain. The American people realize that our media doesn’t speak for us and is being used basically to propagandize not just us, but the world.”

He argued the US media is falling behind and no one trusts the many longer. They have lost their control on the people of the US and rest of the world.

Jones argued Clinton does not speak for America either. All she is doing is hitting a “panic button” to demand more money.

I would tell the State Department, stop lying, stop engaging in disinformation, stop attacking freedom, stop attacking other sovereign nations, stop being propaganda,” Jones said. “You guys [State Department] used the public faith and abused it to the point of; if you even tell the truth, no one believes you.”

He added, “No one believes this Orwellian propaganda system anymore.”

Chris Chambers, a professor at Georgetown University said corporatization of media has led to sensationalism in America and a lack of reporting. US television has evolved to mainly consist of reality and other sensationalized television which is then sent abroad and undercuts the true American message.

That’s the downfall right there,” he said.

He explained that US networks are not on the ground abroad and thus have little understanding of the local people. They are unable to communicate effectively because they are too wrapped up in reality TV and talking heads as opposed to facts.

Clinton is seeking funding to become a propaganda arm, he said, as opposed to becoming a government news arm. Unlike Al-Jazeera and RT, the propaganda arm will not report and inform, it will be a message creation campaign.

She [Clinton] wants millions and billions for PR, not for news. RT is providing news and that’s what they have to understand. There is a difference. That’s why we are losing this war,” Chambers commented.