December 22, 2005


Karen Hughes, in charge of US diplomacy in the Middle East, abandoned the publication of hi mgazine, a slick Arabic-English magazine designed to put a friendly face on the US to largely hostile Arabs. The $4.5 million ANNUAL publication cost for the free mag was not deemed worth it in terms of effective pr.

Duh! Drop a bomb on Arab nations with one hand and hand out a free propaganda rag with the other. No one's gonna buy that shit. I resent that my tax dollars would ever be considered for such a pointless plan! The last month's issue actually featured a story on "state of the month", Texas--ie, birthplace of the man Arabs know as Satan.


The slick Arabic-English magazine, hi, focused on American culture and life. About 55,000 copies of hi were distributed per month in 18 countries; most copies were given away.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Karen Hughes, the former Bush White House adviser who is now in charge of public diplomacy in the Middle East and elsewhere, wanted to evaluate whether the $4.5 million annual publication cost was well spent.

Like U.S.-funded radio and television broadcasts intended for the Muslim world, hi was criticized as propaganda. Features this month included one on Texas, the state of the month, and one on multigenerational American households.

"Part of what she wants to do is see if we are actually being effective in getting our message across to the intended audience," McCormack said. "So part of this assessment is to take a look at different feedback ... take into account these kinds of critiques of the magazine and see what the next steps are."

Rami G. Khouri, executive editor of Lebanon's The Daily Star, last year called hi and other U.S.-funded media outlets in the Arab world "entertaining, expensive, and irrelevant."

"Where do they get this stuff from? Why do they keep insulting us like this?" he wrote.

There are no plans either to scrap the project entirely or to resume publication, McCormack said. hi first appeared in July 2003.

The magazine's Web site, which had a wider audience than the printed version, will remain active, McCormack said.


On the Net:

"Hi" magazine site


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um...maybe just drop the bombs and then hand out Bunnies DVD?......maybe it would go something like....ayyyyyyyikesssazowwwieeee!!!!!!!......ooooohhhhhoooohumumoooooh.

2:53 PM  
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