Congress Told $595 Million Needed For Propaganda

U.S. Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs chief Charlotte Beers told a House subcommittee she needs $595 million to "improve and magnify the ways in which we are addressing people of the world--not necessarily other world governments--but people," O'Dwyer's PR Daily reports. Her request represents a five percent increase for the public diplomacy budget. "That outreach is especially targeted at 'disaffected populations' in the Middle East and South Asia, where a poor perception of the U.S. 'leads to unrest, an unrest that has proven to be a threat to our national and international security,' she said during her April 24 testimony," O'Dwyer's writes. Beers is proposing increased polling, opinion research, and focus groups on various topics from democracy to the economy to anti-American sentiment not only in Muslim and Arab countries, but in sub-Sahara Africa, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, the Caribbean, Russia, the former Soviet states and Europe. Beers also says her office will work with foreign broadcasters to produce and distribute "documentaries that highlight positive aspects of American life, culture or community."