Monday, September 25, 2006

CBS: flogging books again (the Bush-bashing variety, of course)

On Sunday, the television news show 60 Minutes featured a segment on the president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf.

In the interview, Musharraf revealed a post-9/11 threat made by a Bush administration official. Richard Armitage, also noteworthy for his alleged involvement in the Plamegate fiasco, reportedly told Musharraf that if cooperation was not forthcoming, Pakistan should, "prepare to be bombed back to the Stone Age."

On the show, Musharraf noted, "...I took this as a threat..."

At this moment, Musharraf is also aggressively hawking his new book, entitled "In the Line of Fire."

The book is published by Free Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, which in turn is owned by Viacom. The publisher arranged for 60 Minutes' exclusive interview with Musharraf.

In 2004, 60 Minutes featured an interview with former security adviser Richard Clarke, who served the Clinton and Bush administrations.

Clarke's interview revolved around his new book, Against All Enemies , which laid much of the blame for 9/11 on the Bush administration.

Critics, however, pointed out that the book painted the Clinton administration and Clarke himself in an overly favorable light.

In fact, Clarke's book and interview ran counter to documents released in 2002, in which Clarke praised the Bush administration's counter-terrorism efforts.

Clarke's book was also published by Simon & Schuster, which -- along with CBS -- was owned by Viacom. The interview with Clarke failed to mention the corporate relationship between Simon & Schuster, Viacom, and CBS.

CBS and Viacom were once intertwined in the same corporate structure. Only recently have they separated into distinct business entities.

In both cases, however, their book publishing and television broadcasting arms have been unified to present an anti-administration message designed to simultaneously gain viewership, hawk books, and -- seemingly -- tilt elections.

Musharraf and Clarke appear to be the beneficiaries of integrated, sophisticated marketing campaigns in which anti-Republican themes are promoted just prior to an election.

And CBS' 60 Minutes has been deployed -- once again -- as a promotional vehicle for an agenda that is as transparent as freshly Windexed glass.

Update: Attentive reader EJW notes, "...Simon & Schuster is owned by CBS, not Viacom, the network's former parent. After the splitup Viacom ended up with the cable assets and production studios. CBS got the publishing companies. At least, that's according to Who Owns What at" Thanks!

Oven hot good readin', just like Mama used to make:
Byron York (NRO): Bill Clinton's excuses
Counterterrorism Blog: Is Musharraf buying his survival?
STACLU: Learning from the past
Sweetness & Light: 'The US threatened us...'
Wizbang: Fighting terrorists makes 'em mad

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