Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Iraq Imitates U.S.?

It's been widely reported that the Bush Administration paid commentator Armstrong Williams to promote No Child Left Behind. In Iraq, it's easier for reporters to make an extra buck, all they have to do is show up.

Ayad Allawi, the Iraqi prime minister, yesterday admitted that officials from his political alliance had paid journalists for attending press conferences.

At a meeting in Baghdad on Monday hosted by a cleric who is an ally of the prime minister, several Iraqi and Arab journalists were given sealed envelopes containing $100 notes (£53) simply for turning up.
This is similar to Saddam Hussein's policy of rewarding loyal journalists with gifts.

Now did the Iraqis learn this from us or did we learn it from them?


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