Thursday, May 26, 2005

The UN's Hard-Working Minister of Propaganda

Tharoor: Lots of Time on His Hands

One story that the mainstream media has yet to pick up--even though it first surfaced at a UN daily press briefing--is the immense waste of taxpayer money being poured down the drain at the UN's bloated Ministry of Propaganda, its "Department of Public Information." As we first explored a few days ago, the UN employs a staggering seven hundred professional propagandists, four hundred of them at the UN headquarters and the rest scattered at various points around the globe.

What makes it all even more infuriating is that this horrific boondoggle, largely borne by US taxpayers, is not about to be reduced if the UN's Minister of Propaganda, Shashi Tharoor, has anything to say about it. It surfaced at the press conference the other day that Tharoor "has been unable to identify a single post in DPI that he doesn’t think is essential for the continuation of DPI."

Apparently that includes himself--even though it appears that he has plenty of time on his hands. It surfaced at today's press briefing that Tharoor has so much spare time that he actually has written a book while on the UN payroll, entitled Bookless in Baghdad. He had previously written a biography of Nehru, also while manning a desk at the UN headquarters.

Tharoor's new book is a thumb-sucker on the craft of writing. Guess he had plenty of time to sit around and think about that, while you paid his salary.

Isn't that a pretty picture? Your tax dollars support this loafer and the seven hundred professional shills and flacks in his employ. Oh, and here's a cute postscript: According to the previous press briefing, Tharoor has said publicly that the DPI does a lousy job.

Sad thing, isn't it? Seven hundred propagandists and bureaucrats sitting around, journalists on the payroll, and they can't convince anybody that the UN is worth the steam off its falafel? Doesn't it make you want to cry--or maybe write a book?