Information Warfare: Iran and the Ratings Race

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April 15, 2006: Recent articles in media like the "New Yorker" about Iran, and American options, managed to get the choice of options wrong, but not the options that are being considered. Some options on the table are pretty obvious, but not likely to lead to immediate results, like sending aid to separatist Azeri, Khuzestan, and Baluch tribesmen, as well as anti-regime Iranian insurgents. Other options, like using nuclear weapons, are there simply because they exist. Media stories like this appear more intent on attacking the U.S. government, than in providing a clear overview of the decision making process regarding Iran. This has been the trend since Iraq was invaded. This was somewhat expected, as the American media has always been dubious of foreign military operations. These undertakings are very risky, and the media loves risk. That means some things are likely to go wrong, and that means eye grabbing headlines. Unfortunately, the media also likes to project the illusion that it is explaining what is going on over there. That is rarely the case, when the main priority is attracting eyeballs for advertisers. This is a competitive business, and soon degenerates into a "can you top this" contest. Any serious attempts at describing and explaining events is overwhelmed by the rush to exploit them.

 


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