The State Department's, uh, War Room

Karen Hughes VNR"The U.S. State Department has set up a rapid-response office dedicated to countering international news reports about the U.S. in the Middle East and the Muslim world that diverse from the ideas and values the Bush administration is seeking to export." The office, under PR czar Karen Hughes, "monitors global news stories and distributes a one-page report each morning to administration officials and policy makers in Washington." Hughes is also expanding the State Department's speaker's bureau and encouraging ambassadors and public affairs officers "to become more vocal on major issues and do more speeches and TV interviews." "Regional Arab speakers" are being recruited, "to speak on behalf of U.S. interests on the Al-Jazeera TV network," an outlet previously shunned by the Bush administration. Lastly, the department's new technology initiative uses "web chats, streaming video, and text messaging to amplify the government's message and make it relevant to younger audiences."