Filling Every Information Void

"Once the war starts, the [Bush] administration plans to fill every information void in the 24-hour worldwide news cycle, leaving little to chance or interpretation," writes the Washington Post's Karen DeYoung. In a detailed article, DeYoung outlines a media strategy, involving conference calls with TV networks and wire services, top US and UK spokespeople setting "thematic story lines for the day," supper-time television news fed by the Pentagon's "video images from targeted bombs," and the White House Office of Global Communication's "Global Messenger." The daily email of "talking points and key quotes from Bush and senior officials" goes out to U.S. government workers and officials in Washington and around the world. "More useful than any political experience, the official said, are the lessons they learned in communicating about the war in Afghanistan. U.S. and British officials were initially taken aback by the flood of quotable rhetoric that flowed from the Taliban's diplomatic office in Pakistan. Once the Pakistanis closed it down, new stories emerged from Afghanistan itself, as reporters crisscrossing the country on their own heard stories of bombs gone astray, friendly Afghans killed by mistake and military missions that looked different on the ground from the way they were described at the Pentagon," DeYoung writes.