Monday, January 8, 2007

Do I get results, or what?

About a year ago, I wondered why the Bush administration wasn’t doing more to fight the war on terror using the levers of popular culture (propaganda, in a word):

“During World War II, the Office of War Information served as in important propaganda agency. During the Cold War, the Central Intelligence Agency aggressively, if covertly, supported dissident writes and publications in Europe.

“Today the CIA employs a semi-retired field ageny, Chase Brandon, to consult on pulpy movies such as ‘The Recruit’ and TV shows such as ‘Alias’ that deal with espionage but bear no relation to current realities.

“Moreover, when I contacted the Pentagon to inquire about the resources available to filmmakers or writers in search of prospective stories of military heroism, I found myself quickly lost in the maze of overlapping public affairs offices for each service branch. If it’s my job as a reporter to navigatee bureaucratic byways, imagine how much less patience a Hollywood caller might have with such a process.”

Looks like the Pentagon is finally getting its act together: It’s directly funding a screenwriting program to address one of the direst threats of our time — a shortage of scientists and engineers!

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