December 16, 2005
Fake News in Iraq? Are you really surprised?
By Jim Babka

Hey, this is a little outside of the Downsize DC wheel house, but it's still amusing (to me at least).

I'm privileged to be a commentator for the Free Market News Network.

Each weekend, they launch a weekly "eTV" (Internet streaming) show called, "Weekly World Report" or "WWR," for short. If you want to hear me on the program (even though it's TV, my face and organization name are part of a still on the screen and I phone in my report), just go to Free Market News and look for eTV. I'm about 11 or 12 minutes into the December 13 episode.

Here was the lead-in by anchor John St. George: Not everyone is outraged at the recent reports of "fake news" being sponsored by the Pentagon in Iraq. Sen. John McCain, while being interviewed on NBC's "Meet the Press," said the Bush administration "did nothing wrong." Is that so?

And here was my response: This is Jim Babka from and it seems that for politicians like John McCain, "Honesty for thee, but not for me," is the operating concept. Remember, it was John McCain that was so incensed by so-called "sham issue ads" – these are the ads on radio and TV, distributed by citizen interest groups, that expose the voting record of incumbents during the final days of their campaigns – ...McCain was so incensed that he got a law passed making it illegal to air such ads during the final sixty days of the campaign season.

This behavior by our government shouldn't surprise us. Government is constantly engaged in propaganda. Each government department has a propaganda official, aka press secretary. And by now we ought to be able to tell when a politician is lying. Yes, his lips are moving.

We live in an upside-down world. The show that promotes itself as "fake news" is the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. But it is one of the few news outlets that really does its homework – allowing you to see in video the hypocrisy of politicians.

Frankly, I think the news we get from our own media is often fake, in that the reporters from major networks and cable outlets are frequently more stenographers than journalists. They merely write down whatever bureaucrats and politicians tell them. So in reality, Iraqi's are merely getting a taste of American culture.

Fortunately, there's the Internet and sites like that provide coverage and angles that the Big Government Stenographer Networks can't and won't touch.

[in a Cronkite voice] And that John, is the way it is, here in December, 2005.

The Cronkite voice was another attempt to be clever and funny. I only get one take. I like doing mimicry and I'm often quite good at it. But this time, I don't think it worked. What do you think? Tell me in the comments section.

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