Kerry Courts Hollywood Backing for Anti-ISIS Propaganda

State Dept Defends Effort Amid Mocking

Secretary of State John Kerry is being widely mocked for his meetings this week with “Hollywood studio execs,” whom he was asking for “perspectives and ideas” on the ongoing anti-ISIS propaganda effort, something the US has been trying, and failing, to get going online for years.

The State Department defended the meeting on the grounds that the execs run “a highly profitable industry” and are therefore experts at conveying messages to the American public, as well as a “worldwide audience.”

Executives familiar with the talks say they primarily discussed “combating piracy,” but also took some time out to discuss “world perception of America” and the possibility of combating terrorism, but no specifics were discussed.

The US has repeatedly announced new propaganda units and efforts to counter ISIS online, but so far none of those appears to have gained any real currency online, and in many cases have appeared extremely tone deaf to the realities of online social media campaigns.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.