US Needs More PR To Counter "Arrogant" Image

"The United States is doing a poor job of countering growing anti-American sentiment overseas and must revamp the way it promotes its foreign policies abroad, the Council on Foreign Relations contends," the New York Times writes. "In a report to be released this week, the council asserts that many countries, in particular predominantly Islamic ones, see the United States as 'arrogant, self-indulgent, hypocritical, inattentive and unwilling or unable to engage in cross-cultural dialogue.' ... The [report's] recommendations include: expanding the use of political campaign techniques, including polling, to shape attitudes toward the United States; establishing a White House unit to coordinate efforts, headed by a senior adviser to the president; and creating an independent Corporation for Public Diplomacy, modeled after the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, to develop programs to communicate American messages overseas." The report also recommends an "expanded role for the private sector" in the government's propaganda effort, because "independent messengers can be more fluid in their ability to target and engage varied audiences," and "private sector participation in public diplomacy adds, to some extent, a 'heat shield' that can be useful when tackling controversial issues." (This call for increased government funding of private-sector propaganda undoubtedly brings cheer to the PR, advertising, and media executives who sat on the panel that drafted the CFR's report.)