Beers' Pro-US PR Offensive Employs Writers & TV Show

"The Bush administration has recruited prominent American
writers ... in a campaign started after
9/11 to use culture to further American diplomatic
interests. ... The Smith-Mundt Act ... bars the domestic dissemination of official American
information aimed at foreign audiences. The
essays can, however, be read on a government Web site
intended for foreigners... ." The anthology is "complementing efforts by Charlotte Beers, a former Madison Avenue advertising executive who is now
under secretary of state for public diplomacy, to sell the
United States to often hostile Muslim populations. Her campaign includes Next Chapter, a television show
broadcast by the Voice of America in Iran, a worldwide
traveling exhibition of photographs of the ravaged World
Trade Center site by Joel Meyerowitz, the distribution of
videos spotlighting tolerance for American Muslims and a
pamphlet showing Muslims as part of mainstream American
life." The article on Next Chapter calls it part of "a new spin on old-fashioned American propaganda ... a multimillion-dollar public diplomacy campaign ... to soften anti-American feelings."