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Empire crosses line with conservative propaganda

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, August 26, 2004

Firstly, let me say that when it comes time to find out what is happening in the world at large - i.e. nationally and internationally - the Empire is not where I turn. It carries a thin selection of superficial analysis on the problems of the world, and only chooses to consider issues that would be defined as "problems" by a centrist conservative (with occasional leftist editorials and, more frequently, slides to the extreme right). It is useful, but only as a monitor of the currents of mainstream debate on those issues which the media at large have collectively held up as worthy of consideration.

That said, I was nonetheless infuriated when I opened Wednesday's Empire to the opinion page and found an article by none other than the current handler-in-chief of U.S. foreign policy about the virtues of the military-industrial complex and the glory of global U.S. hegemony. I am referring to Condoleezza Rice's article, "A 21st century strategy for troops abroad." The publication of this article simply crossed a very important journalistic line. The media is supposed to act as a voice by and for the general public. It is supposed to give us a complete analysis of what our politicians are up to so that we might praise or rail against them as we see fit. Fundamentally, it is supposed to tell us what is going on and why. Sure, it's never really going to be able to do that, but it's at least supposed to give the appearance of making the attempt.

So what then is our paper doing acting as a mouthpiece for those very politicians whose actions it is supposed to monitor? What the heck was an article written by and for our national security adviser doing within an entity that is supposed to tell us the real motives behind the actions of our national security adviser? Perhaps it is best to just dispense with the pretext of a free and open media and just take it all straight from the horse's mouth. No more messy conflicting viewpoints. No more "unpatriotic" dissent. No more free speech.

Condoleezza Rice gets her share of free speech in her press conferences and in her implementation of U.S. foreign policy. In fact, she gets so much freedom of speech that her speech gets to decide what our country does next and how the U.S. is perceived internationally. Let's make sure we have something to say back. Let's start publishing articles responding to her version of reality rather than simply promoting it. Just say no to Pravda.

Josh Finley

Juneau



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