In a case of winning the battle and losing the war…
A report by the defense department warning that using pay-to-play techniques in the Iraqi war and paying journalists for positive coverage could damage US credibility was released this week.
Here is my article about the Lincoln Group the pay-to-play incident last November.
The military apparently created the Baghdad Press Club in 2004 and paid Iraqi journalists to cover stories about American reconstruction efforts.
There is a long history of using propaganda operations during times of war. The review, ordered by Rear Adm. Scott Van Buskirk, showed a blur in the lines between factual public affairs work and what is called “information operations.”
A quote from the report:
[The military’s] direct oversight of an apparently independent news organization and remuneration for articles that are published will undoubtedly raise questions focused on ‘truth and credibility,' that will be difficult to deflect, regardless of the intensions and purpose of the remuneration.”
In the end, perception is reality.