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June 19, 2006

Let's All Chip In And Buy Eleana Benador A Copy Of My Favorite Book

How does the world look from inside the mind of propagandists? I.e., how do they justify it to themselves when they tell lies?

Take Amir Taheri, the exiled Iranian royalist who made up the crap about the Iranian government forcing Jewish Iranians to wear yellow badges. (Supposedly Christians and Zoroastrians were going to get badges too.)

Sadly, Taheri has since kept quiet, except of course for his visit to the White House to advise Bush. However, we can get a glimpse into the propagandist perspective from Eleana Benador, head of the PR firm Benador Associates. They represent Taheri as well as all the other A-list lunatics, such as James Woolsey, Richard Perle, etc. Here's what the Nation reports:

Benador, who said her client was "traveling in the Middle East," was impatient with dissections of his work. Terming accuracy with regard to Iran "a luxury," she said, "My major concern is the large picture. Is Taheri writing one or two details that are not accurate? This is a guy who is putting his life at stake." She noted that "the Iranian government has killed its opponents." Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "says he wants to destroy Israel. He says the Holocaust never happened.... As much as being accurate is important, in the end it's important to side with what's right. What's wrong is siding with the terrorists."

This is admirably honest, and if rewritten slightly could stand for all time as the Propagandist's Creed. It's exactly what the editor of Pravda thought. It's exactly what the general manager of Iraq's state-owned TV thought under Saddam. (And in fact, Taheri was an editor at Iran's largest paper under the Shah.)

So now we know: accuracy is a luxury. The important thing is "the large picture." If you have tell a few lies along that way, that's just a regrettable consequence of having such vicious enemies. They're the ones responsible. In fact, when you think about it, didn't Iran essentially hold a gun to Taheri's head and force him to tell lies? Yes they did. THOSE BASTARDS!

Anyway, Benador walked right out of the pages of my favorite book, Life and How to Survive It by John Cleese and Robin Skynner. Specifically, pages 256-7. Read the excerpt below and you'll see they'll have to include a picture of her in the next edition:

Posted at June 19, 2006 09:40 AM | TrackBack

I like this book very much as well.

Those that most need to read it won't, of course.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at June 19, 2006 01:19 PM

Another great post Jonathan. I recall my fourth grade teacher telling us little ones that when reading the newspaper we should do so with a few grains of salt but these days it calls for more like a few tons of salt, and don't forget to throw a pinch over your shoulder for good luck!

But really how true it is that the news likes to indulge in reality shaping, megaphones for the phony claims from our leadership. There are many forms of propaganda but this has to be among the worse.

I love John Cleese, I remember him from the British program Faulty Towers, it had me laughing so hard, that guy is a genius so thanks for the heads up on his book.

Posted by: rob payne at June 19, 2006 06:49 PM