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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

CNN targeting US Military

This memo was obtained from a confidential source in CNN:

From: Office of the Chief News Executive
To: All CNN Personnel
Monday, Jan 31, 2005

Dear Comrades in Journalism:

It has been reported that some of you have been targeting the US Military in your reports. At least twelve dishonorable discharges have been handed out due to CNN deliberately targeting the US Military in negative reports. We should continue to target the US Military for negative stories. In our zeal to report the truth, we must remember that as journalists, it is our duty to fight imperialism wherever we may find it.

With that end in mind, we must always remember to report the truth about any imperialistic power wishing to push around the less powerful. Whether they are fighting for the influence of powerful global corporations, or fighting to impose their values on the local populace, we must document each occurrence and bring it to light.

With that in mind, we have produced the following guidelines:

  1. Embed yourself with freedom fighters. This way we can tell their story from right up front.
  2. Give the freedom fighters a break. Since they are usually underfunded, freedom fighters cannot be expected to wear uniforms, or keep themselves separate from the populace, or restrict themselves to military targets. These instances you need not bother to report, since we assume they are happening and no one needs to hear about them.
  3. Do not expect the freedom fighters to protect you. Freedom fighters are notoriously bad at protection duty. In fact, some may accidentally behead you, thinking you are a terrorist. This is not their fault, as it is due to a lack of funding.
  4. Whenever possible, find out where the freedom fighters will attack and arrive first. This is particularly true for any assissinations of collaborators, so that images may be captured at the exact moment the bullets strike.
  5. Do not warn collaborators they may be about to be killed by the freedom fighters. We are there to document, not to interfere. This will jeopardize our status as neutral observers, and may result in beheading.
  6. Target any terrorists with your cameras. Terrorists include anyone trying to strike fear into the local populace. For instance, the threat of dying if one joins the freedom fighters is a form of terror.
  7. Target any imperial shock troops with your cameras, especially when they are around civilians. These troops may be identified by doing things such as conducting unreasonable searches, performing interrogations on civilians, and shooting at freedom fighters, who are the populace.
  8. When speaking to imperial troops or terrorists, do not fall for the "Al Capone Smokescreen," named after Al Capone who kept his popularity high by feeding the poor, etc. Do not report on good deeds supposedly done, since that would be playing into their hands. These "good deeds" are only to cover up what their real purpose is. Remember, we are there to report the truth, not propaganda.
  9. Make sure to let every imperial trooper know all the bad information you can on the war and on the state of support back home. They are adults and can handle the truth. In fact, it is our duty to report this truth. And since they are part of the public, they have a right to know how their leaders are using them and how their deaths mean nothing.
  10. Finally, make sure you realize the difference between a foreign country helping the populace, and an imperial force or terrorists. Sometimes, like France in the Sudan or the Ivory Coast, or Syria and Iran in Palestine, the foreign country is there to help put down a terrorist uprising. Other times foreign powers fund and send terrorists over to another country to cause trouble, pretending to be fighting for the local populace.

Thank you for taking the time to read these guidelines. We hope this will clarify your position and purpose. When in doubt over what to do in any situation, consult these guidelines.

Eason Jordan

We tracked down Mr. Jordan to explain some of the finer points. He told us the following:

"First of all, I cannot vouch for the authenticity of this memo. You should know that using anonymous sources is not good journalism. How do you know this is not just a disgruntled employee looking to make trouble? However, it is a monospaced font ... and since this is just a copy there's no way to know for sure, so I guess I must have said these things.

"When I said we were deliberately targeting the US Military for negative stories, I did not mean 'targeting' the way you think I did. I just meant we are mistaking Marines for terrorists and imperial shock troops.

"Obviously it is difficult to decide who is a terrorist and who is not. When we see someone shooting a gun at someone who is not even wearing a uniform, we just assume it must be a terrorist. Or if we see people kidnap others with zipper strips and throw them in the back of humvees, well kidnapping is a terrorist activity is it not?

"So you see, some people think we are deliberately reporting only negative information, and making the US Military look like terrorists and imperial occupiers. But that is only because we keep mistaking them for the terrorists. So when we deliberately target the military, we are really trying to target the terrorists. See the mixup?

"We still haven't found any terrorists, the wiley rascals. But when we do, we want to be the first to report it."