NY Times: The World Still Loves American Media
December 1, 2008 at 6:25 AM (PT)
Shortly after the attacks on 9/11, a delegation of high-level media executives, including the heads of every major studio, met several times with WHITE HOUSE officials, including at least once with President BUSH’s former top strategist, KARL ROVE, to discuss ways that the entertainment industry could play a part in improving the image of the UNITED STATES overseas, writes THE NEW YORK TIMES.
One of the central ideas was using "soft power" by spreading AMERICAN television, movies and music to foreign audiences, especially in the Muslim world, to help sway public opinion. In the last eight years, AMERICAN pop culture, already popular, has boomed around the globe while opinions of AMERICA itself have soured.
HILARY ROSEN, the former chairwoman of the RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, who was also present at the post-9/11 meetings, said that ROVE and other WHITE HOUSE officials were looking for the kind of support HOLLYWOOD gave the UNITED STATES during World War II. "They wanted the music industry, the movie industry, the TV industry to produce propaganda," she said. "ROVE was putting a lot of pressure on us."
AMERICAN culture is blossoming even in the MIDDLE EAST, where polls consistently show starkly negative views of the UNITED STATES. VIACOM started MTV ARABIA last FALL and introduced NICKELODEON ARABIA in JULY on satellite services.