- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 18, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

They convened earlier this week in a swank office with gold painted walls, lavender seating and a giant “Phantom of the Opera” poster on the wall. That would be Secretary of State John Kerry and a dozen major Hollywood studio heavyweights. The elite group assembled to talk ”perspectives and ideas of how to counter Daesh narrative” Mr. Kerry revealed in a minimal tweet on Wednesday, using the lesser known acronym for Islamic State, or ISIS.

The militants have used aggressive social media, videos, internet sources and other media tools to recruit new followers and craft their public message for many months.

Attendees included DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenburg, 20th Century Fox chairman Jim Gianopulus, Motion Picture Assoc. of America chairman Chris Dodd and Universal Entertainment chairman Jeff Shell — also happens a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the quiet federal agency that oversees the Voice of America and coordinates an enormous global broadcast outreach. Through its many TV and radio products, the agency reaches 226 million people a week.

“The attendees discussed a variety of issues, including perceptions of America’s image around the world,” an unnamed source told The Los Angeles Times. The British Daily Mail had a more forceful take, noting, “Hollywood takes on ISIS: John Kerry meets with studio execs to plot counter-attack to fanatics’ propaganda machine.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Kerry had time for some late night TV during his West Coast visit, and revealed a little something about a certain GOP presidential front-runner during an appearance on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Show.

“People who say, ‘What’s going on with this Donald Trump? Is he really going to ban Muslims from coming into the country? Do you hear about that stuff from people?” Mr. Kimmel asked Mr. Kerry.

“I hear about it everywhere,” he replied.

“You do?”

“I do,” Mr. Kerry repeated.


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