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U.S. “News” Media Officially State-Owned?

Posted by Rick · May 17th, 2005 · No Comments

Now I know the real reason so many “news” stories are unattributed these days.

The White House says Newsweek magazine took a “good first step” by retracting its story that U.S. investigators found evidence interrogators at Guantanamo Bay desecrated the Quran, but it wants the magazine to do more to repair damage caused by the article. — Newsweek Urged To Repair Damage (May 17, 2005) CBSNews.com.

I’m not sure how many people remember this, but in the old days, news stories came with “bylines.” A byline told you who the reporter was. Over time, various reporters developed reputations. Readers learned that if a particular reporter reported on something, we could “bank” on it. It was a good way to keep track of the difference — back when there were differences — between real news reporters and the National Enquirer types.

Today, the only real difference between the National Enquirer and “mainstream” “news” media is that the government doesn’t seem much interested in owning the National Enquirer — and, unlike the mainstream media, the National Enquirer isn’t much interested in being owned by them.

For those who are unaware, Newsweek magazine reported recently that the Muslim “bible,” the Quran, had been used as a prop in torturing Muslims. Rumors are that the Quran was placed on and in toilets in a deliberate attempt at psychological torture. When the story broke, parts of the Muslim world went totally nuts — as would fundamentalist Christians if Muslims had taken the Christian Bible and flushed it down a toilet — and the United States began blaming Newsweek for the problem.

Let’s get something straight here: The odds are that the United States government is lying. Remember, the United States is currently being run by a group that declared the Geneva Convention on Human Rights to be antiquated and said it was okay to torture prisoners and treat them inhumanely in violation of that treaty. This is the same group that was not only responsible for Abu Ghraib, but has subsequently done everything in its power to disavow that responsibility; it’s as if Abu Ghraib happened all by itself. High-ranking officials got slaps on the wrist, while lower-ranking people following their orders received quite serious punishments, presumably to show the Muslim world we were serious about not engaging in not following the Geneva Convention. And, of course, it’s anomaly.

Well, unless you count Guantanamo.

Now the United States government wants Newsweek to undo the damage Newsweek did by reporting what the United States did. This needs to be identified for what it is: Bullshit.

As I said yesterday, it’s time to stop blaming the messenger. The United States needs to stop using such inflammatory and illegal tactics to get what it wants. Americans need to wake up to what our government is doing to the tens of thousands of prisoners we’ve been rounding up around the world. While we’re at it, how about waking up to what our government is doing to our reputation around the world. It’s not Newsweek who is to blame when the Bush Administration flouts world opinion and engages in their Crusades in ways that would make the Crusaders of old proud. It is our government.

Our government is not only engaging in behaviors that would normally be considered inhumane, but they have lied to us. And now, a new memo has surfaced in Great Britain, showing that the United States deliberately “fixed” intelligence reports to convince the American public and Americas allies that Iraq must be attacked. The result? The Whitehouse says the British are “flat out wrong.” (Hey, at least Bush didn’t call the British “liars.”)

This is our government.

And each of you who remain silent and each of you who fail to remind your representatives that you are citizens and you vote are equally responsible for what it does.

It doesn’t take much more than five minutes for you to contact your representative today and let them know what you think.

Do it today.

Categories: News Reporting


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