Authoritarian regimes dream through propaganda and so, to see what they're fantasizing about, we regularly check in on what state-controlled media outlets have been churning out.
Kim Jong Il's never-ending 'field guidance'
The Korean Central News Agency's favorite phrase may very well be "field guidance." The words seem to be shorthand for North Korean leader Kim Jong Il touring relatively mundane places with an entourage and offering quirky praise and advice. Already this month Kim has extolled the virtues of a wading pool in raising children to be "pillars of the country" and exclaimed that a meat shop enabled customers to "ask for different kinds of meat they like" (no mention of the country's desperate need for food aid). Most recently, Kim bestowed his field guidance on a newly built DVD factory (see photo above). According to KCNA's report, Kim expressed "great expectation and belief that the officials, workers and technicians of the company would perform fresh miracles and feats in the production and distribution of cultural media." But Kim made it clear that he was mainly interested in the power of DVDs to broadcast the regime's message. "He underlined the need to have DVDs recorded not only with literary and art works but with reminiscences of President
Zimbabwe asks if homosexuality is African
One characteristic of state-run news outlets is tackling an issue with the pretense of objectivity only to ultimately take the regime's side. That trait is on display in the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation's exploration of whether homosexuality is "African." ZBC begins by noting that while Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe has described homosexuality as "sub-animal behaviour" and called for the arrest of lesbians and gays, "Western sponsored" NGOs deem homosexuality a human right. But the news outlet ultimately concludes that African cultural and religious practices frown on homosexuality and that "homosexuality remains an aberration in many African communities" (the article includes several pictures, including the bizarre one on the right--we're not quite sure how it relates). ZBC also takes a stab at the hypocritical West:
Some critics have said it is naive for Africans to accept same sex marriages as constitutional when the demand is made by Westerners and yet those same Westerners abhor polygamy and call Africans backward for recognising it. If they cannot accept our culture, why should we accept theirs?
Syria cites 9/11 conspiracy theorist
You'll never see the Syrian Arab News Agency quote Western journalists who are critical of the Syrian regime, but you will see the state-run news outlet fashion whole articles around foreign reporters who say something that supports the government's talking points. A case in point is an article yesterday citing the contention of a British journalist named James Corbett at the website GlobalResearch.ca that the U.S. is intervening in Syria through an Islamic group as part of a larger effort to seize "political, economic and military control of the world." We can't find Corbett's original article but we can report that the mission of GlobalResearch is to uncover the "unspoken truth" that the media ignores and that Corbett's own site--the Corbett Report--focuses on "issues from 9/11 Truth and false flag terror to the Big Brother police state, eugenics, geopolitics, the central banking fraud and more." Corbett, who is based in Japan, has recently penned posts on his conspiracy theory regarding 9/11 and on how an impending NATO intervention in Syria could provoke a third world war.
Iran Says Western Media Has Its Syria Stance All Wrong
Last week, we highlighted a New York Times article suggesting that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had stepped up his rhetoric against longtime ally Syria by calling for an end to Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on protesters. The Times and other outlets like the AP based their conclusion on a translation of Ahmadinejad's remarks by a Portuguese broadcaster that had the Iranian leader saying, "A military solution is never the right solution."
Whether or not Ahmadinejad actually said the line, Iran's state-run media is making it absolutely clear today that the Western media is deliberately distorting Iran's stance on the Syrian uprising and that Iran opposes Western intervention in Syria. "Media outlets backed by the global arrogance and the international Zionism, in a coordinated and hostile measure, distorted the Iranian president's remarks on Syria in order to weaken the Islamic resistance front," Press TV declares. For Iran's state-run media, almost any affront has its roots in Zionism.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.