Hmmm. Rob at Arabic Source offers a suggestion.
I want to second Abu Muqawama's Kill_Your_TV post. American tv coverage of the events in Gaza is beyond bad - its horrible. CNN. NBC. All of them are garbage. Who gives a crap about Rod Bagloyavic? Who cares whether Sarah Palin is now a grandmother. Maybe that's news if there was nothing whatsoever going on. But how 'bout this thing called Gaza? Isn't it a national security issue when the American people are getting such poor quality information about events that are critical to US security in the Middle East. Might not the American people have a need to know about them?
If I was US National Security Adviser or Secretary of State, here's what I would do to critically improve US National Security: The first thing I would do is have the US government fully subsidize a new network, next to CBS, NBC and ABC, that broadcasts only quality news and documentaries on world affairs and current events. Nothing but serious programs on all of the important issues that people need to know about. American Idol, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton would never, ever get a mention on this new TV station. Anyone who mentioned even one time, any of of these three, would immediately be fired.
People need to know what's going on. Dumb voters elect dumb politicians. And dumb politicians make dumb policies. So what's $50-100 million to run a 4th network featuring only serious world news?
This is spot on with my three reasons why the domestic dissemination prohibition of the transformed Smith-Mundt Act must be repealed. As the media has retreated from reported what goes on overseas out of a combination of budgets and interest, the American public are increasingly subjected to a combination of no information and half-truths from foreign sources without challenge (including the now widely read Russian psychological warrior Panarin - and here, reality check is here).
Introducing a new source of information, based on journalistic standards and public diplomacy standards to tell the truth, inform, and explain would, hopefully, raise the bar and challenge American media who no longer view informing the American public as a public service or a profit center. The purpose of the prohibition on domestic dissemination came not from the fear the Government would unduly influence the public, but that the State Department, full of Communists and Socialists, would undermine the Government. This was held by Congress, the FBI, and academics who questioned State's loyalty of ability to manage both the information services and the exchange of persons programs.
What was done overseas in America's name and with America's money was intended to be shared within our borders by the media, Congress and academia. This created the necessary transparency and accountability of not just the programs but of the Government itself. At the time, holding the media accountable was not the issue. Today, it is as revenue streams shape content and headlines more than the need to now.
After the passing of "Deepthroat", Mark Felt, someone observed that Watergate would probably not happen again because the major news organizations won't fund such long investigations. This would have to come from "new" and independent organizations.
This is a good subject for the upcoming Smith-Mundt Symposium.