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Perception Management: US Rep. Seeks to Ban PressTV

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Gus Bilirakis (R) sponsored House Resolution 1308 to ban Iran’s PressTV and al-Alam as terrorist organizations.  PressTV has the story:

US Rep. seeks to blacklist Press TV
Tue, 22 Jul 2008 20:50:22

A US lawmaker is seeking to extend a previously-proposed resolution which labels several TV channels as terrorist and include Press TV.

The US House Resolution 1308 sponsored by Republican US Representative Gus Bilirakis would blacklist several TV channels, including the Tehran-based Arabic language satellite channel al-Alam, as ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’ (SDGT) organizations.

The bill, introduced on June 26, aims to condemn what the lawmaker calls the broadcast of ‘incitement to violence’ against Americans in Middle Eastern media.

Bilirakis claimed that as Iranian state-run TV channels broadcast ‘the coverage of rallies and speeches in which Iranian leaders, clerics, children, and mass audience have declared ‘Death to America!” they are broadcasting incitement of violence against Americans.

He then reasoned that if the broadcast of the designated networks is not brought to a halt, it ‘may increase the risk of radicalization and recruitment of Americans’ into terrorist organizations.

In the year since Press TV’s launch, the channel has gained a reputation as a satellite channel which, in its news coverage and talk shows, including Four Corners, Middle East Today, and Fine Print, gives voice to people with viewpoints differing from that of the Iranian government.

Guests on live Press TV shows include pro-US figures and those against the Tehran government.

The move is expected to spark controversy as many human rights groups and advocates view the resolution as a blatant example of censorship and an infringement of freedom of speech.

The resolution will also compel the president to ‘take into consideration state sponsorship of anti-American incitement to violence when determining the level of assistance to, and frequency and nature of relations with, regional states’.

The H.R. 1308 is currently in the first step of legislative process, pending investigation and revision by House committees before general debate on Congress floor. 

Irancove @ July 23, 2008

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