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slant

Being “Economical with the Truth”

THE PUBLIC FACE OF the war in Britain and the United States seems, as far as one can tell from this side of the Atlantic, to have been nearly the same. The best proof of this came in an interview on BBC radio with three American foreign editors. The British interviewer expressed the general opinion among his colleagues that American military spokesmen were more forthcoming than their British counterparts; the Americans countered with their belief that the reverse was true. An unfamiliar accent produces the illusion of more information and more sense, when the product is exactly the same.

The shift between accents, and the prominent role given British information officers in the daily briefing spectacle, also contributed to the desired image of international consensus behind war aims and strategies that went on being determined by Washington. It helped the British to accept the questionable

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