Richard Moore


From: "Global Network" <•••@••.•••>
To: "Global Network" <•••@••.•••>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003 12:51:24 -0400

Grace News

By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

The U.S. government this week launched its Arabic
language satellite TV news station for Muslim Iraq.

It is being produced in a studio -- Grace Digital Media
-- controlled by fundamentalist Christians who are
rabidly pro-Israel.

That's Grace as in "by the Grace of God."

Grace Digital Media is controlled by a fundamentalist
Christian millionaire, Cheryl Reagan, who last year
wrested control of Federal News Service, a
transcription news service, from its former owner,
Cortes Randell.

Randell says he met Reagan at a prayer meeting, brought
her in as an investor in Federal News Service, and then
she forced him out of his own company.

Grace Digital Media and Federal News Service are housed
in a downtown Washington, D.C. office building, along
with Grace News Network.

When you call the number for Grace News Network, you
get a person answering "Grace Digital Media/Federal
News Service."

According to its web site, Grace News Network is
"dedicated to transmitting the evidence of God's
presence in the world today."

"Grace News Network will be reporting the current
secular news, along with aggressive proclamations that
will 'change the news' to reflect the Kingdom of God
and its purposes," GNN proclaims.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the U.S.
government agency producing the television news
broadcasts for Iraq, likes to say it is the BBC of the

BBG runs Radio Free Europe, Voice of America, and Radio
Sawa -- Arabic language radio for the Middle East.

"Our mission is clear," BBG's Joan Mower told us. "To
broadcast accurate and objective news about the United
States and the world. We don't do propaganda,
leafleting -- we are like the BBC in that respect."

Well, then why hook up with Grace?

BBG's Joan Mower said that Grace Digital Media is a
mainstream production house used by all kinds of
mainstream news organizations.

"Grace will have nothing to do with the editorial side
of the news broadcast," she said. "They are renting us
equipment, space, studio. The Grace personnel we use
include technicians, production people but no editorial

But Mower said she couldn't get us a copy of the
contract between BBG and Grace Digital media. Nor could
she say how Grace Digital was chosen as the production

Grace News Network proclaims that it will be a "unique
tool in the Lord's ministry plan for the world."

"Grace News Network provides networking links and
portals to various ministries and news services that
will be of benefit to every Christian believer and
seeker of truth," according to the company's mission

The CEO of Grace News Network is Thorne Auchter.

The same Thorne Auchter who began the dismantling of
the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) under Presidents Reagan and George Bush I.

Auchter did not return our calls seeking comment for
this story.

While it's unclear whether Grace News Network actually
produces any news, it has produced a documentary movie
titled "Israel: Divine Destiny" which it showed at the
National Press Club in September 2002.

The film is about "Israel's destiny and the United
States' role in that destiny," according to Grace News

Grace News said that it could not make a copy of the
film available to us at this time, since it is now
undergoing post-production editing. Nor could it
provide a transcript.

The mainstream media has documented strong and growing
ties between right-wing Republican Christian
fundamentalists and right-wing Sharonist Israeli

This alliance is personified in Ralph Reed's Stand Up
for Israel, a group formed to "mobilize Christians and
other people of faith to support the State of Israel."

President Bush has very strong ties to fundamentalist
Christians, most notably Franklin Graham, the son of
Rev. Billy Graham.

Last week, Franklin Graham delivered a Good Friday
message at the Pentagon, despite an uproar over his
previous slander of Islam as "a very evil and wicked

Don Wagner, a professor of religion and director of the
Center for Middle Eastern Studies at North Park
University, an evangelical Christian college in
Chicago, has written extensively about what he calls
Christian Zionism, whose leaders he identifies as,
among others, Ralph Reed, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson,
Gary Bauer, and Franklin Graham.

"Christian Zionists have historically pointed to
Genesis 12:3 - I will bless those who bless you. And
the one who curses you, I will curse," Dr. Wagner said.
"They have interpreted this to mean that individuals
and nations who support the state of Israel will be
blessed by God. It has come to mean political,
economic, and moral support, often uncritically
rendered to the state of Israel."

Grace News Network seems to fit the mold.

Joan Mower says that BBG is currently producing and
transmitting six hours of news into Iraq including a
dubbed version of the daily evening news from ABC, CBS,
NBC, Fox and PBS, plus three hours of original news
programming from BBG.

BBG says it sees no problem in having Grace produce the
evening news broadcast for Iraq.

Given the brewing anti-American revolt through all
sectors of Iraqi society, maybe it should reconsider.

We called Grace Digital Media to speak with Cheryl

Her secretary told us that she has been away in
extended vacation for more than a month -- in Israel.

When will she back? we asked.

No one knows, the secretary said.

Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime
Reporter. Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based
Multinational Monitor, They are
co-authors of Corporate Predators: The Hunt for MegaProfits and the
Attack on Democracy (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press;

(c) Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

This article is posted at:

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 90083
Gainesville, FL. 32607
(352) 337-9274
(352) 871-7554 (Cell Phone)


    For the movement, the relevant question is not, "Can we
    work through the political system?", but rather, "Is
    the political system one of the things that needs to be
    fundamentally transformed?"

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