[Marxism] Re: Reorted Khamenei endorsement of Iraq constitution

Tony Lawless lifesunquietdream at msn.com
Tue Oct 25 18:21:57 MDT 2005


Nick wrote:

"One problem with the AFP piece is it has mostly the same language as the AP 
one. Do they plagiarize each other all the time and change the fake author's 
name? Or do they simply quote verbatim from either US psych-ops pieces or 
Iranian official sources (for one, Khamenei would
have spoken in Farsi and  Arabized clerical Farsi, so are they all working 
from the same translation, and whose ?)"

Actually, the common language thing is pretty easy to explain: it happens 
quite regularly with news stories. What happens is that someone in a 
position of power (for example, the State Dept) does a mass mailing to all 
the various news agencies. The editor gives this one page statement, which 
comes complete with select quotes from the spokespeople involved, to some 
journalist in the office and he or she then writes up a column. The same 
thing happens up and down the country. Since each journalist is working from 
the same basic copy, a good deal of the original language will be 
maintained, together with the key spokesperson quotes.

Now, of course, if the journalist had any integrity, he or she would do some 
additional research, make a few more phone calls and so on and produce 
something that wasn't so obviously tilted in favour of, say, the State 
Dept's perspective on whatever the issue happens to be. But people being 
what they are, you can bet that in 9 cases out of 10, that doesn't happen.

And probably on issues as sensitive as this, the journalist knows that the 
language SHOULD NOT BE CHANGED. Otherwise, next time, he or she might be 
forgotten when it comes time for the next helpful State Dept mass mailing.

This understanding comes from working in some local community groups, trying 
to attract the attention of the mass media for a progressive agenda, but I 
think it's essentially accurate.

Nicks's question of the ultimate source is still an open one, of course.

Tony

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