In the 1970's Senator William Fulbright wrote a book entitled The Pentagon Propaganda Machine in which he stated that, even at that time, the Pentagon was by far the largest producer of motion pictures in the entire world.
Mrs. Deni Gross, Director
You may have chuckled over the antics of Dustin Hoffman and Robert de
as a top Hollywood producer and notorious White House public relations
in the fictional comedy "Wag the Dog." In the movie, these two men were
hired by a White House administration to bolster the President's
deteriorating image, and direct attention away from his involvement in
scandal. They accomplished their goal by "creating" on American
screens a war which, unknown to the viewing public, really did not
The President handled the "war situation" brilliantly, thanks to
staging and detailed coaching by Hoffman and de Niro; and in an
of patriotism and solidarity, the public bought the entire scam,
the President's ratings through the roof! The plot may have seemed a
far-fetched at the time, but if the American television network ABC has
way this summer, "art" may once again mimick reality -- just a bit too
ABC plans to air a 13-part, weekly prime time reality show called
From the Front Line," which will focus on the stories of
and women on the front lines of wars around the world. The Defense
Department claims that it is giving this project "unparalleled support
cooperation." In fact, the Pentagon will have pre-screening rights over
show, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has already signed off on
The show's producers include Jerry Bruckheimer, who did such
movies as "Black Hawk Down" and "Top Gun." Bruckheimer claims that the
is not a propaganda vehicle for the military; but critics feel
saying the show will (according to Lorraine Demi of the Committee
to Militarism and the Draft) "further blur the line between
and news and serve as a military info-mercial."
Critics question the motivation of government involvement in this
particularly since those same officials are limiting news journalists'
access to the war in
executives from movie studios and TV networks have been meeting with
House officials since the September 11th tragedy to form a special
charge of crafting "a new global image for the
its message about the current war on terrorism via the media." Does
sound surprisingly similar to the scenario of the movie Wag the Dog?"
just a bit unnerving to wonder how much of what we see in the media
be fabricated to suit one person's or group's agenda?
If you are concerned about these developments, you may want to express
feelings to ABC and/or the other networks. All the major networks have
websites where you can send e-mail comments. Note that CBS has already
aired "American Fighter Pilots," a similar type of show, pre-screened
the Air Force; and the VH1 music channel plans to show a Summer series
video diaries from military personnel, pre-screened by the Pentagon.
The most important action is that you send a regular postal message to
concerning their Summer show, "Profiles From the Front Line," pointing
that Pentagon pre-screening of shows and airing biased, edited versions
real war situations sounds dangerously close to government censorship
For this action, you may send messages from any country of the world,
international viewpoints on this issue could be quite helpful. In fact,
similar types of "entertainment" are being offered in your country
appreciate receiving copies of any replies you receive from letters you
send on this or any other actions.
Please feel free to contact us any time with questions or comments
this alert or with suggestions for future actions.
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