Monday, April 9, 2012
The White House is pushing back against the media for what it sees as oversaturated coverage of this week’s forthcoming North Korean missile test.
“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know this is a propaganda exercise,” National Security Council spokesperson Tommy Vietor told me. “Reporters have to be careful not to get co-opted.”
The long-range missile test — which the country is touting as a peaceful satellite launch — has given networks, newspapers, and wires a rare opportunity to report from within the country. NBC’s Richard Engel, ABC’s Bob Woodruff, and CNN’s Stan Grant are among those who have already produced curtain-raising segments on the days ahead. The Associated Press is turning out blow-by-blow coverage, and reporters are tweeting and filing frequently.
But Vietor fears that by flooding the zone in North Korea, U.S. media outlets are providing the country’s leadership with propaganda tools that will only embolden their efforts to enhance its intercontinental ballistic missile capability.