Propaganda vs. Journalism


My favorite part of the ONDCP fake-news story is the office's complaint that the GAO is "making a mountain out of a molehill" because "it would be difficult for 'a reasonable broadcaster' to mistake the videos for independent news reports." The claim is dubious, or at least irrelevant. In the case of the Medicaid drug benefit, several TV stations, knowingly or not, did pass off the government's video press releases as real news stories. The important question is whether viewers are given enough clues to distinguish between government propaganda and independent journalism. And when the topic is the war on drugs, even people who follow the issue closely have trouble telling the difference.