"Today, the broadcast media announced that the long-awaited superpower assault on Fallujah - a city of 300,000 people, of whom some 30,000 are said to remain - had begun.
Remarkably, the courageous ITV News reporter, Julian Manyon, did not fall into line. On today's 12:30 Lunchtime News, Manyon said:
"We've had now, this morning, the formality - some would call it, I'm afraid, the fiction - that Iyad Allawi, the prime minister of Iraq, has given the official order to commence the operation against Fallujah. Of course in reality it is an American operation." (Manyon, ITV News, 12:30pm, November 8, 2004)
This is not the hymn sheet from which the media is supposed to be singing. Fortunately, the post-Hutton BBC is on hand to channel official propaganda with the power to reassure and bamboozle the viewing public. The BBC's lunchtime news anchor, Anna Ford, opened today's news with this solemn announcement:
"Iraq's prime minister, Iyad Allawi, has said he has given American and Iraqi forces the authority to clear Fallujah of terrorists." (Ford, BBC 1, 13:00 News, November 8, 2004)"