Monday, August 18, 2008
In covering the story of Iran's role in Iraq, far too many reporters have passed on blatant propaganda without the slightest effort to point out its inconsistency with documented facts, much less to try to uncover the truth. But a story by Pamela Hess of Associated Press distributed Aug. 15 sets a new standard for abetting official disinformation.
In the story, she acts as an enthusiastic megaphone for a patently phony story from an anonymous "senior intelligence officer."
Hess' hit-squad training story should be assigned to journalism classes for the next generation to open a discussion about what went wrong with American journalism before and during America's overtly imperial war in the Middle East. And Hess should be seen as a stunningly clear illustration of what happens when a reporter gives up any pretense of independence from the national-security state.