Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared before the U.S. Foreign Policy Priorities Committee yesterday, stating that counter to our history, we are are now “losing an information war” to other countries.
Clinton also told the committee that private media isn’t up to the task of fighting the information war:
“Our private media cannot fill that gap. In fact our private media, particularly cultural programming often works at counter purposes to what we truly are as Americans and what our values are. I remember having an Afghan general tell me that the only thing he thought about Americans is that all the men wrestled and the women walked around in bikinis because the only TV he ever saw was Baywatch and World Wide Wrestling.”
She also mentioned that while the U.S. did a great job in getting America’s message out during the Cold War, after the Berlin Wall fell we stopped and we are paying a price for that.
As a result, the emphasis on cultural programming has led to other countries beating us at our own game.
Clinton further told the committee:
“Al Jazeera is winning. The Chinese have opened up a global English language and multi-language television network, the Russians have opened up an English language network. I’ve seen it in a couple of countries and it’s quite instructive.”
Even though Clinton didn’t name names, she was placing the blame for “ceding what we are most expert in to somebody else” on every administration since Reagan, including that of her own husband.
If Clinton wants the U.S. to really get back in the game, then she and others in the Obama administration need to muster up the courage to send real information, real (dare I say) propaganda overseas to counter misinformation from Al Jazeera, China amd Russia etc… We can’t rely on fluff programming to do the job for us.