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Of those Propaganda Hit Men - Page 2

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Of those Propaganda Hit Men
Page 2
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Here is an example:
Eason Jordan, chief news executive of the cable network, confessed in an article on The New York Times op-ed page on April 11, 2003 that CNN had for years suppressed important news about the Iraqi dictatorship, as it thought reporting the truth would jeopardise the network's Iraqi employees. He said he thought such reportage, might also have got CNN kicked out of the country, too, and that apparently was a price CNN was not willing to pay. The Herald Sun, which filed a report on the NYT article described what CNN had done thus: "They chose to shill for Saddam rather than be shown the border." So much for CNN's independence, impartiality and professionalism! One is reminded of how the Swedish media sided with Hitler during WW II to save their skin and in the process had themselves practising the oldest profession in the world!

David A. Schlesinger, Reuters' global managing editor taking exception to the insertion of the word 'terrorist/s" into his agency's dispatches by some newspapers had this to say in justification of soft-pedalling the issue of terrorism: "My goal is to protect our reporters and protect our editorial integrity." It was a lapsus linguae: Reuters won't call a spade a spade for fear of reprisal. What?

An editorial in the Ottawa Citizen, eloquently countered Schlesinger's argument:

"Terrorism is a technical term. It describes a modus operandi, a tactic. We side with security professionals who define terrorism as the deliberate targeting of civilians in pursuit of a political goal. Those who bombed the nightclub in Bali were terrorists. Suicide bombers who strap explosives to their bodies and blow up people eating in a pizza parlour are terrorists. The men and women who took a school full of hostages in Beslan, Russia, and shot some of the children in the back as they tried to flee to safety were terrorists. We as journalists do not violate our impartiality by describing them as such. Ironically, it is supposedly neutral terms like 'militant' that betray a bias, insofar as they have a sanitising effect. Activists for various political causes can be 'militant,' but they don't take children hostage."

Scott Anderson, editor-in-chief of CanWest Publications said that Reuters' policy 'undermined journalistic principles,' and asked: 'If you're couching language to protect people, are you telling the truth?' We find ourselves on all fours with him!

Thus, it should be clear that the western media are not infallible and they rarely hesitate to compromise principles for expedience. It was not for nothing that CNN was once dubbed the 'Clinton News Network'. In fact, they are evidently doing so, where Sri Lanka's war is concerned. Most of them have lent themselves to their governments and INGOs as propaganda hit men.

So, it is not surprising that some international media outfits are collaborating with Miliband and Kouchner, who are all out to save Prabhakaran and perpetuate Sri Lanka's conflict so that the western powers could keep on feeling India's soft belly from this side of the Palk Strait until time is ripe to sink the dagger.

It is not being argued that the situation in the Vanni welfare centres for the war displaced is nice and cosy. There are, of course, problems, most of which seem to be teething in nature. And the government is doing its utmost either altruistically or under pressure to improve those unfortunate people's lot. But, there is no humanitarian catastrophe contrary to unsubstantiated claims by the western media to that effect. The living conditions of the war displaced are certainly far better than those of the marginalized Black Americans in ghettos, the homeless in big American cities who are reduced to frozen cadavers in their numbers every winter night, and the poor languishing in Mumbai slums notorious for Delhi belly or foraging in dustbins and feasting on garbage in Bihar or Tamil Nadu.

It is one thing to keep the government on its toes in handling the victims of war-––and that needs to be done––but it is quite another to blow the humanitarian situation out of proportion and propagate diabolical lies about the war displaced in a bid to vilify this country and save the terrorists awaiting decapitation.

What the western media must do is not to exploit human suffering to gain undue mileage or support their governments and terrorists but to do factual reporting so as to help ameliorate the plight of those hapless victims with international assistance. 
Eitorial ~ ~


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