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Iran's discredited Press TV Celebrates "Anniversary of Propaganda"

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According to reports, Iran's state-run media known as "PressTV" is celebrating its anniversary.  Though most people around the world find the media almost synonymous with propaganda, the Iran government continues to pay more than 27 million dollars to run it.

The Iranian regime's media has remained state-controlled as its reports mirrored the "Israel must be wiped off the map" government rhetoric and served as a propaganda tool against most pro-WEST governments around the world. Recently labelled as "amateurish" by the Daily Telegraph's David Blair,  Iran's Press TV has often been the subject of jokes from bloggers, observers and writers around the world.

At first seen as a threat for negatively influencing public opinion against Israel and the West, the media's "clumsy" operations and openly bias nature has left it only as much viewed as a suburban US small newspaper and as much infuential as a network of cults. Since Iran's President increased his anti-Israel statements, Press TV focused on displaying anti-Israel sentiments in other countries while vilifying Israel's responses and magnifying marginalized Aryan cults to sanitize and complement Iran's own positions. In some cases it made-up news in some of its international coverage while locally staying away from any form of criticism against its financers. Some of the fabricatons included broadcast news taped in places different from what were stated and news created against Iran's oponents, including made-up news of nonexistent anti-Israel demonstrations in Bangladesh.

While the obvious and usual target areas of Press TV's propaganda were regions like Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan, it diversified to target other areas of Western intervention, like those in the Horn of Africa. According to African Path media,  Iran's Press TV has been the leading media supporter of the violent Islamist insurgents in Somalia who waged Jihad against Ethiopia and reportedly seeked to annex other states, including Djibouti and Kenya, to create whats known as "Greater Somalia." Similar to the issue with Israel and Iraq, Press TV replicated Iran's official policy here as well, since the UN Security Council labeled the regime as a leading financer of the anti-Ethiopia Islamic Courts Union (ICU) extremists: alongside Qatar, Eritrea and Egypt financers. Recent propaganda included making up one-sided stories of islamic insurgents winning hearts and the Somali government killing Somali civilians last month, not to be overshadowed by a fabricated story of Somali government helicopters flying over Mogadishu and killing people. The only problem was the bankrupt Somali government didn't even have helicopters and Press TV propaganda used a completely different and old photo of American helicopters passing over Somalia more than 15 years ago.

A similar kind of Press TV propaganda was the case of photoshopped pro-Israel demonstrators in Iran. In order to say an evil Israel means bad for Iran while Iran "loves" Israel, in one of its rare articles, Press TV used a photoshopped image of Iranian demonstrators who held posters in favor of Israel while the real and original photo displayed anti-Israel gangs in Iran. The Press TV website quickly changed the picture when it was exposed but observers already saved a snapshot image of Press TV's propaganda.  

The media's attempt to appear independent and its reputation kept falling hard as its propaganda got exposed even at its highest level. Recently, a shocking revelation was made when Press TV producer let out rage for failing to organize a panel. The producer became angry when Press TV's offer to a UK writer to appear on its program was rejected. The producer then suddenly started attacking the UK writer and praising the Iranian regime, leaving no room to dispute the media's service for the regime.

While Press TV's openly bias work has left no room to guess, experts have also agreed that in an internationally isolated country where "freedom of information is suppressed," Iran state-funded broadcast media was naturally useful for propaganda purposes. 

With one-sided documentaries and interviews, Press TV has reportedly displayed government propaganda in all sections and departments of its government funded agency. Some critics calling this an "anniversary of propaganda," the media has, at best, appeared like a 24-hours news agency of government press releases, a more extensive alternative for Iran's Ministry of Information.

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Paul Martin is a political analyst, writer, historian, educator on the MIDDLE EAST, North AFRICA and Horn of African politics and general events
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Iran's discredited Press TV Celebrates "Anniversary of Propaganda"

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