SOLD DOWN THE RIVER BY THE MEDIA--AMERICA POST 9-11-01

If the events of September 11 have brought the majority of Americans together, it has also created a clear line of delineation among the minority. I'm speaking of that ten-percent of so who don't support the actions our government has taken in the so-called War on Terrorism.

In fact, using so-called there is probably uncalled for. It is a war in every definition, a war more brutal and lasting than we have ever before faced. It's a war without definite fronts, with goals defined in shadows that sometimes cannot be public. A war like that is difficult to maintain, for in short order the perception becomes that no gains are being made, that nothing is being accomplished. All we see are a few scenes of aircraft pounding what appears to be barren earth and large explosions. Tons of ordnance are dropped and yet, according to media, little seems to be evolving--other than the latest civilian casualty or mistaken bombing of some Red Cross warehouse.

Of course, the media are supposed to be neutral in the reporting of news events, but in most cases it is clear that they are on the side of those who don't approve of what we do. This is true worldwide, even with the American networks and news organizations. They home in on every negative aspect, everything they can use to make our government and our fighting men look incompetent and ineffective.

But then, their neutrality is compromised when it comes to obscuring certain facts about the "darlings." For instance, neither the New York Times nor none of the major networks reported that Senator Hillary Clinton was soundly booed when she made an unscheduled appearance on stage during one of the recent concerts aiding the families of firemen and policemen in New York.  She was booed by the public servants gathered for the event, as was her husband, the former president.

The media covered this up. You can safely bet the farm that had George W. Bush, or any person from his side of the political aisle, suffered a similar fate it would have been headline news with all the papers and a lead in on the ten o'clock news.

What really rankles me is the misperception by the news media that somehow, the war is lagging behind. Certain sources continue to point out that we have bombed for three weeks and yet the war still continues.

Where were these idiots when President Bush made his comments about this war lasting for years? Do they actually believe that dropping a few tons of powder on a rock pile like Afghanistan is going to be the extent of "The War?"

Possibly. You have to remember that it was a news reporter who wondered, during one defense briefing, why a news pool reporter couldn't replace the combat cameramen who accompany American commandos on hit-and-run raids inside Afghanistan. It made one want to scream:
look around this briefing room, you Goddamned idiot! Most of the reporters in evidence would do well to climb on a bar stool for their evening libation. And if they had the physical ability required, most wouldn't have the balls. 

The media are being used as propaganda platforms for the Taliban and terrorists in Afghanistan. The Taliban recently brought reporters, including Americans, into certain areas for an on-site look. They showed them just what they wanted to show them and gave them hype about how many civilians had been killed in this downed building, or that torn structure. They didn't, however, show them the bodies or any evidence that the buildings were destroyed by American air power, instead of by Taliban Triple-A fire falling back to earth. And yet the onsite reporters spread it like the gospel that American bombing had killed thus and such more civilians.

And of course al-Jezeera, the Arab equivalent of CNN based in Qatar, has a free hand to spread propaganda throughout the Islamic world. In slanted reports on that station, dead Taliban are referred to as "martyrs." That leaves little doubt that al-Jezeera doesn't prescribe to the same rigid "ethical standards" allegedly used by American journalists--most of whom believe it would be unethical to warn Americans of an ambush by the enemy if they had knowledge of it, for fear of compromising their "neutrality."

That is bullshit of the worst kind. The Administration erred initially in allowing al-Jezeera to remain on the air; it should have been knocked out before the first air assault on Afghanistan every occurred. And any "American" who would allow fellow Americans to unknowingly walk into an ambush he could have prevented is not an American, but a traitor who should, at the least, be imprisoned for life, or better yet shown a tall tree and a short rope.

If that seems inconsistent with my views above, read again. It's one thing to remain objective when covering a story. It's quite another to betray your nations and all it stand for under the guise of "journalistic integrity."

(to be continued)

LINKS

Thunder Sandwich
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Memoir Kent
reading July,1999

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