Turning The Tables

:: The images from Iraq, of American military personnel torturing – er – abusing – er – humiliating Iraqi prisoners are causing much debate in the press and media. On Robert’s site, Den Valdron presents an editorial, suggesting that the pictures represent “a culture of pathological thinking and inhumanity”. Derryl discusses the impact of the choice of words to describe what has happened (is it torture? abuse? frat prank?), and how the military attracts not only the best and brightest, but those who also trip on power.

Jon Stewart, on The Daily Show, upgraded its coverage of the war in Iraq from “Mess O’Potamia” to “Giant Mess O’Potamia“. Perhaps most disturbing is how US media giants, specifically those which support the war and the US Administration, are chosing to selectively cover news of the Iraqi conflict. Bill Moyers explains in his column on The Media, Politics, and Censorship. For example:

On Friday a week ago on NIGHTLINE, Ted Koppel read the names of the dead and showed their photographs. But their faces and names were blacked out on ABC stations owned by Sinclair Broadcasting. Sinclair accused Koppel of “doing nothing more than making a political statement.”

But what about Sinclair’s own political agenda? With 62 stations the company is the biggest of its kind in the country and has lobbied successfully in Washington for permission to grow even bigger. Its executives are generous contributors to the Republican party.

Sinclair’s web site as of May 8, 2004, has an explanation for why it chose to pre-empt the April 30, 2004 broadcast of Nightline, in which Ted Koppel read aloud the names of US servicemen and women killed in Iraq. Also included is a letter to Senator John McCain. Ted Koppel insists that the decision to read the 721 names of those who died “was to elevate the fallen above the politics and the daily journalism, to let their names and faces remind us of what has always been true: When the American people fully understand the cause for which our troops are fighting, and when they accept that it is essential to our national welfare and security, no burden is too heavy, no cost is too high.” Joe Conason, author of Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth, writing in the New York Observer, responds to Sinclair’s actions.

One Response to “Turning The Tables”

  1. Jena Says:

    Den Valdron (Dennis), not Dev.

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