Rove: ‘Radio Free Europe’ Needed for Arabs

By: Mark Fitzgerald

When the Iraq war is concluded, the United States must devote itself to winning the hearts and minds of the Islamic world just as America in the Cold War contended against Communism with propaganda outlets such as Radio Free Europe, White House senior advisor Karl Rove told the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) at its concluding convention session in New Orleans Friday.

“Just as we did after World War II with Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, we must make a similar long-term commitment to sharing our values with the Islamic world,” Rove said.

In a speech largely devoted to praising President Bush’s leadership and economic policies, Rove both complemented and criticized the news media for its coverage of the Iraq war. The policy of embedding reporters with military units, he said, has given the public a true picture of the war: “The public has been helped to see the reality of things in a way they never have before.” Embedding has also helped the military and journalists understand each other better, he added.

Rove was critical, however, of what he called the “media’s mood swings” from euphoria to despair and back again while commenting on battleground developments. “The sheer intensity of the coverage … made it difficult to maintain perspective,” he added.

Rove also criticized the “explosion of polling,” which he said had led to media stories that were “opinion masquerading as pseudo-science.”

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