BN Government Paid USD 389,724,70 to US Partisan Hack

In what can only be described as grudging respect for the Bar­isan Nasional’s media savvy, par­tisan hack Joshua Trevino was paid USD 389,724,70 to write pos­it­ively about Bar­isan Nas­ional while denoun­cing Anwar Ibrahim in the US.

The For­eign Agents Regis­tra­tion Act requires fed­eral fil­ing of income from for­eign sources, and the list of agents in the doc­u­ment is rather damning. Sec­tion 7 reveals the prin­cipal for­eign agent pay­ing Trevino:

Gov­ern­ment of Malay­sia, its rul­ing party, or interests closely aligned with either, act­ing through one or more of APCO world­wide and the David All Group (May 2008 through Septem­ber 2008), and FBC Media (Feb­ru­ary 2009 through April 2011), with whom regis­trant had its relationship.

Item IV, 10(a) reveals the people this per­son hired for the BN government:

  1. Brad Jack­son
  2. Ben Dome­nech
  3. Claire Ber­l­in­ski
  4. Rachel Ehren­feld
  5. Seth Man­del
  6. Chuck DeVore
  7. Rachel Motte
  8. Chris­topher Badeaux
  9. David Brown
  10. Kevin Holts­berry

BuzzFeed has a com­pre­hens­ive break­down of the parties involved and sum­mar­ises the opin­ion pieces they were mak­ing. This of course must include the usual cas­tig­a­tion of Anwar Ibrahim:

Anwar, the oppos­i­tion leader, has faced pro­sec­u­tion for sod­omy, a pro­sec­u­tion widely denounced in the West, which Trevino defen­ded as more “nuanced” than Amer­ican observ­ers real­ized. The gov­ern­ment for which Trevino worked also attacked Anwar for say­ing pos­it­ive things about Israel; Trevino has argued that Anwar is not the pro-democracy fig­ure he appears.

And after attack­ing Anwar for being pro-Israel, the BN-government-hired-Trevino sub­con­tracts Seth Man­del to paint Anwar as an anti-Semite:

Man­del said, “I was blog­ging about issues relat­ing to Israel and anti-Semitism in 2010, and Josh approached me about a Malay­sian oppos­i­tion fig­ure who had made anti-Semitic com­ments and was affil­i­ated with anti-Israel organ­iz­a­tions. I had full edit­or­ial free­dom — Josh never saw any­thing I wrote until after it was pub­lished — and I had no rela­tion­ship with the Malay­sian gov­ern­ment. I was paid by Josh for what was prob­ably a hand­ful of blog posts in the fall of 2010, I believe, while work­ing as a freel­an­cer in Washington.”

The Malay­sian gov­ern­ment, unable to apply the same con­trol towards the dis­sem­in­a­tion of pro­pa­ganda in the age of media without bor­der restric­tions, has taken to pay­ing over­seas journ­al­ists with tax­payer money to cas­tig­ate a leader of a polit­ical party to shape polit­ical opinion.

This is the cent­ral issue in dis­pute for us Malay­si­ans. Tax­payer money is being used in a blatant man­ner to sup­port a single polit­ical party while under­min­ing the image of another.

Just like how BR1M money is con­stantly used to rein­force the notion that money being dis­bursed is some­how BN’s money that they are kindly giv­ing out to the needy, when it is actu­ally the people’s money being returned to them for polit­ical mileage.

Just like how Buletin Utama on TV3 uses the catch­phrase “Janji Dite­pati” at an aver­age of 30 bull­shits per minute dur­ing their pro­pa­ganda segments.

Until the gov­ern­ment is cen­sured and pre­ven­ted from using pub­lic funds to fur­ther their own polit­ical mes­sage in a man­ner that per­verts the prin­ciple of an inde­pend­ent media, this coun­try is far from the ideals of fair­ness and justice its people deserves.