Nettime mailing list archives

[Nettime-nl] Media aan het front
kees/ventana on Sun, 23 Sep 2001 03:01:22 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[Nettime-nl] Media aan het front

>From kees  Sun, 23 Sep 01 02:37:13 GMT
To: wereldcrisis {AT} ddh.nl
Cc: martinhulsing {AT} hotmail.com
Subject: Media en wtc-crisis
From: kees {AT} stad.xs4all.nl (kees/ventana)
Message-ID: <y50Lgg1w165w {AT} stad.xs4all.nl>
Date: Sun, 23 Sep 01 02:30:09 GMT

Een derde compilatie van wat berichten, over media en de


1) Mediachannel
2) Quotes van Fair
3) When journalists report for duty (Norman Solomon)

1) MediaChannel.org - news, reports, resources and opinion.

Featuring content from over 770 media-issues groups worldwide.



SEPTEMBER 20, 2001 http://www.mediachannel.org



As the U.S. government demands international support for a fierce
and protracted war without borders, accurate information and
thoughtful global communication is needed more than ever.

This special ongoing coverage from the MediaChannel network includes:

* Commentary and Analysis on the Media's Role * Guides and Resources
for Journalists * News Dissector: Daily Media Monitoring * Discussion
Forum and Open Publishing * Global Views and Diverse Coverage


******************* DAILY MEDIA NEWS Breaking news stories about
the international media, from mainstream and alternative sources.

http://www.mediachannel.org/news/today/ *******************

fragile truce bring Macedonian and Albanian-language media to
support peace over nationalism?

(From Christian Science Monitor)


The U.S. has just launched a little-noticed review of media ownership
rules. Public-interest advocates fear ownership deregulation is
threatening independent voices, an open Internet and U.S. democracy.

*PLUS: A massive radio conglomerate asks stations to avoid over
150 songs, including Black Sabbath's "War Pigs"

and John Lennon's "Imagine."

((From Center for Digital Democracy, MassMIC)

coverage of the recently concluded World Conference Against Racism
proved the U.S. media is out of touch with its country's role in
global conflicts.

(From The Black World Today, MediaTenor, MediaChannel Forum)

MEDIA READER *New Edition* The best media about the media.

MediaChannel's international, biweekly, multimedia magazine * Racism
Down Under * U.S. Media And Prison Policy * Saudi Arabia's Women
Journalists And much, much more... Plus: Streaming audio and video

[NOTE TO READERS: We apologize for any strange error messages on
certain MediaChannel pages. Please ignore them, we have been
experiencing some technical difficulties and hope to have them
resolved soon.]

/------------------advertisement for ourselves------------------\


Mediachannel.org is a unique nonprofit global resource and media
monitor. If you like what we do, help us insure our survival:

*NEW* Double your gift!! MediaChannel.org has been selected by
GiveForChange.com to receive donations and matching funds through
their Web site:


It's easy to donate!

Look up "Global Center" to find MediaChannel.org and offer your


l. TELL YOUR FRIENDS: Invite them to sign up for this free weekly
email. Forward  this week's listings with a personal note urging
them to visit and participate.

2. ENCOURAGE GROUPS TO JOIN: We welcome all organizations that care
about or write about media issues to affiliate. Help us build the
network by sharing ideas with Affiliate Manager Andrew Levy,
join {AT} mediachannel.org.

3. YOUR DONATIONS WELCOME. Tax-deductible contributions can be sent
to: MediaChannel.org c/o The Global Center, 1600 Broadway, NY, New
York, 10019.

Suggest possible funders to us.

Buy your media books through our book corner.


MediaChannel.org serves a concerned global community of journalists,
researchers, activists, advocates and media consumers who want to
improve the media. Join us.


****************************************************** RESOURCES,

alerts*services*equipment*programming & more


Guides And Tools For K-12 Teachers http://www.mediachannel.org/classroom

THE GLOBAL NEWS INDEX Links to more than 1,000 news sites from 150


THE JOURNALISTS' TOOLKIT Research tools, interview tips, Web writing
guides and more!


THE MEDIACHANNEL POLICY CENTER Why media policy matters: information,
discussion, resources http://www.mediachannel.org/policycenter

THE GLOBAL OWNERSHIP CHART The global media overlords in vivid




MediaChannel is seeking interns with a background in media studies,
media activism, or with Web publishing, programming, and multimedia
skills. Contact catherine {AT} mediachannel.org
=================================================== AS THE MEDIA

MediaChannel is a not-for-profit project of OneWorld and The Global
Center, and is produced by Globalvision New Media.

MediaChannel.org ( http://www.mediachannel.org ) is the first Web
portal dedicated to international media issues, and the premiere
Internet source for analysis and information about the media. Driven
by content from a network of more than 750 international media
organizations and contributors.

Support for MediaChannel.org has come from the Rockefeller Foundation,
The Open Society Institute, the Arca Foundation, The List Foundation,
the Reebok Human Rights Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, the ABB
group and individual donors.

MediaChannel.org relies on grants and donations to continue its

If you want to help, please make a tax-deductible donation to the
Global Center, 1600 Broadway, Suite 700, New York, NY 10019.


                    Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
               Media analysis, critiques and news reports

Media March to War

September 17, 2001

In the wake of the devastating attacks on the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon, many media pundits focused on one theme:
retaliation. For some, it did not matter who bears the brunt of
an American attack:

"There is only one way to begin to deal with people like this,
and that is you have to kill some of them even if they are not
immediately directly involved in this thing." - --former
Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger (CNN, 9/11/01)

"The response to this unimaginable 21st-century Pearl Harbor
should be as simple as it is swift-- kill the bastards. A gunshot
between the eyes, blow them to smithereens, poison them if you
have to.  As for cities or countries that host these worms, bomb
them into basketball courts." - --Steve Dunleavy (New York Post,

"America roused to a righteous anger has always been a force for
good. States that have been supporting if not Osama bin Laden,
people like him need to feel pain. If we flatten part of Damascus
or Tehran or whatever it
takes, that is part of the solution." - --Rich Lowry, National
Review editor, to Howard Kurtz (Washington Post, 9/13/01)

by Gary Brookins (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/13/01)

"At a bare minimum, tactical nuclear capabilites should be used
against the bin Laden camps in the desert of Afghanistan. To do
less would be rightly seen by the poisoned minds that
orchestrated these attacks as cowardice on the part of the United
States and the current administration." - --Former Defense
Intelligence Agency officer Thomas Woodrow, "Time to Use the
Nuclear Option" (Washington Times, 9/14/01)

Bill O'Reilly: "If the Taliban government of Afghanistan does not
cooperate, then we will damage that government with air power,
probably. All right? We will blast them, because..."

Sam Husseini, Institute for Public Accuracy: "Who will you kill
in the process?"

O'Reilly: "Doesn't make any difference." - --("The O'Reilly
Factor," Fox News Channel, 9/13/01)

"This is no time to be precious about locating the exact
individuals directly involved in this particular terrorist
attack.... We should invade their countries, kill their leaders
and convert them to Christianity.  We weren't punctilious about
locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers.  We
carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians.  That's war.
And this is war." - --Syndicated columnist Ann Coulter (New York
Daily News, 9/12/01)

"Real" Retribution

Many media commentators appeared to blame the attacks on what
they saw as America's unwillingness to act aggressively in recent

As conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer (Washington Post,
9/12/01) wrote: "One of the reasons there are enough terrorists
out there capable and deadly enough to carry out the deadliest
attack on the United States in its history is that, while they
have declared war on us, we have in the past responded (with the
exception of a few useless cruise missile attacks on empty tents
in the desert) by issuing subpoenas."

The Washington Post's David Broder (9/13/01), considered a
moderate, issued his own call for "new realism-- and steel-- in
America's national security policy": "For far too long, we have
been queasy about responding to
terrorism. Two decades ago, when those with real or imagined
grievances against the United States began picking off Americans
overseas on military or diplomatic assignments or on business,
singly or in groups, we delivered pinprick retaliations or none
at all."

It's worth recalling the U.S. response to the bombing of a Berlin
disco in April 1986, which resulted in the deaths of two U.S.
service members: The U.S. immediately bombed Libya, which it
blamed for the attack. According to Libya, 36 civilians were
killed in the air assault, including the year-old daughter of
Libyan leader Moamar Khadafy (Washington Post, 5/9/86). It is
unlikely that Libyans considered this a "pinprick." Yet these
deaths apparently had little deterrence value: In December 1988,
less than 20 months later, Pan Am 103 exploded over Lockerbie,
Scotland, in an even deadlier act of terrorism the U.S. blames on
Libyan agents.

More recently, in 1998, Bill Clinton sent 60 cruise missiles,
some equipped with cluster bombs, against bin Laden's Afghan
base, in what was presented as retaliation for the bombing of
U.S. embassies in Africa. One missile aimed at Afghan training
camps landed hundreds of miles off course in Pakistan, while a
simultaneous attack in Sudan leveled one of the country's few
pharmaceutical factories. Media cheered the attacks (In These
Times, 9/6/98), though careful investigation into the case
revealed no credible evidence linking the plant to chemical
weapons or Osama bin Laden, the two justifications offered for
the attack (New York Times, 10/27/99, London Observer, 8/23/98).

Despite the dubious record of retributory violence in insuring
security, many pundits insist that previous retaliation failed
only because it was not severe enough. As the Chicago Tribune's
John Kass declared (9/13/01), "For the past decade we've sat dumb
and stupid as the U.S. military was transformed from a killing
machine into a playpen for sociologists and political schemers."
This "playpen" dropped 23,000 bombs on Yugoslavia in 1999,
killing between 500 and 1,500 civilians, and may have killed as
many as 1,200 Iraqis in 1998's Desert Fox attack (Agence France
Presse, 12/23/98).

The Wall Street Journal (9/13/01) urged the U.S. to "get serious"
about terrorism by, among other things, eliminating "the 1995
rule, imposed by former CIA Director John Deutsch under political
pressure, limiting whom the U.S. can recruit for
counter-terrorism. For fear of hiring rogues, the CIA decided it
would only hire Boy Scouts." One non-Boy Scout the CIA worked
with in the 1980s is none other than Osama bin Laden (MSNBC,
8/24/98; The Atlantic, 7-8/01)-- then considered a valuable asset
in the fight against Communism, but now suspected of being the
chief instigator of the World Trade Center attacks.

Who's to Blame?

In crisis situations, particularly those involving terrorism,
media often report unsubstantiated information about suspects or
those claiming responsibility-- an error that is especially
dangerous in the midst of calls
for military retaliation.

Early reports on the morning of the attack indicated that the
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine had claimed
responsibility on Abu Dhabi Television. Most outlets were careful
with the information, though
NBC's Tom Brokaw, while not confirming the story, added fuel to
the fire: "This comes, ironically, on a day when the Israel
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres is scheduled to meet with Yasser
Arafat. Of course, we've had the meeting in South Africa for the
past several days in which the Palestinians were accusing the
Israelis of racism"-- as if making such an accusation were
tantamount to blowing up the World Trade Center.

Hours after a spokesperson for the Democratic Front for the
Liberation of Palestine denied any responsibility for the attack,
the Drudge Report website still had the headline "Palestinian
Group Says Responsible" at the
top of the page.

Though the threat from a Palestinian group proved
unsubstantiated, that did not stop media from making gross
generalizations about Arabs and Islam in general. New York Times
columnist Thomas Friedman wondered (9/13/01):
"Surely Islam, a grand religion that never perpetrated the sort
of Holocaust against the Jews in its midst that Europe did, is
being distorted when it is treated as a guidebook for suicide
bombing. How is it that not a single Muslim leader will say

Of course, many Muslims would-- and did-- say just that. 
Political and civil leaders throughout the Muslim world have
condemned the attacks, and Muslim clerics throughout the Middle
East have given sermons refuting the idea that targeting
civilians is a tenet of Islam (BBC, 9/14/01; Washington Post

Why They Hate Us

As the media investigation focused on Osama bin Laden, news
outlets still provided little information about what fuels his
fanaticism. Instead of a serious inquiry into anti-U.S. sentiment
in the Middle East and elsewhere, many commentators media offered
little more than self-congratulatory rhetoric:

"[The World Trade Center and the Pentagon] have drawn, like
gathered lightning, the anger of the enemies of civilization.
Those enemies are always out there.... Americans are slow to
anger but mighty when angry, and
their proper anger now should be alloyed with pride. They are
targets because of their virtues--principally democracy, and
loyalty to those nations which, like Israel, are embattled
salients of our virtues in a
still-dangerous world." - --George Will (Washington Post,

"This nation symbolizes freedom, strength, tolerance, and
democratic principles dedicated to both liberty and peace. To the
tyrants, the despots, the closed societies, there are no
alterations to the policies, no gestures we can make, no words we
can say that will convince those determined to continue their
- --Charles G. Boyd (Washington Post, 9/12/01)

"Are Americans afraid to face the reality that there is a
significant portion of this world's population that hates
America, hates what freedom represents, hates the fact that we
fight for freedom worldwide, hates our
prosperity, hates our way of life? Have we been unwilling to face
that very difficult reality?" - --Sean Hannity (Fox News Channel,

"Our principled defense of individual freedom and our reluctance
to intervene in the affairs of states harboring terrorists makes
us an easy target." - --Robert McFarlane (Washington Post,

One exception was ABC's Jim Wooten (World News Tonight, 9/12/01),
who tried to shed some light on what might motivate some
anti-U.S. sentiment in the Middle East, reporting that "Arabs see
the U.S. as an accomplice of Israel, a partner in what they
believe is the ruthless repression of Palestinian aspirations for
land and independence." Wooten continued: "The most provocative
issues: Israel's control over Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem;
the stationing of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia near some of
Islam's holiest sites; and economic sanctions against Iraq, which
have been seen to deprive children there of medicine and food."

Stories like Wooten's, which examine the U.S.'s highly
contentious role in the Middle East and illuminate some of the
forces that can give rise to violent extremism, contribute far
more to public security than do pundits
calling for indiscriminate revenge.


Feel free to respond to FAIR ( fair {AT} fair.org ). We can't reply to
everything, but we will look at each message. We especially
appreciate documented example of media bias or censorship. And
please send copies of
your email correspondence with media outlets, including any
responses, to us at: fair {AT} fair.org .

FAIR ON THE AIR: FAIR's founder Jeff Cohen is a regular panelist
on the Fox News Channel's "Fox News Watch," which airs which airs
Saturdays at 7 pm and Sundays at 11 am (Eastern Standard Time).
Check your local listings.

FAIR produces CounterSpin, a weekly radio show heard on over 130
stations in the U.S. and Canada. To find the CounterSpin station
nearest you, visit http://www.fair.org/counterspin/stations.html



By Norman Solomon   /   Creators Syndicate

In Time magazine's special issue about the events of Sept. 11,
chilling photos evoke the horrific slaughter in Manhattan. All of
the pages are deadly serious. And on the last page, under the
headline "The Case for Rage and Retribution," an essay by Time
regular Lance Morrow declares: "A day cannot live in infamy without
the nourishment of rage. Let's have rage."

Exhorting our country to relearn the lost virtues of "self-confident
relentlessness" and "hatred," the article calls for "a policy of
focused brutality." It's an apt conclusion to an edition of the
nation's biggest newsmagazine that embodies the human strengths
and ominous defects of American media during the current crisis.

Much of the initial news coverage was poignant, grief-stricken and
utterly appropriate. But many news analysts and pundits lost no
time conveying -- sometimes with great enthusiasm -- their eagerness
to see the United States use its military might in anger. Such
impulses are extremely dangerous.

For instance, night after night on cable television, Bill O'Reilly
has been banging his loud drum for indiscriminate reprisals. Unless
the Taliban quickly hands over Osama bin Laden, he proclaimed on
Fox News Channel, "the U.S. should bomb the Afghan infrastructure
to rubble -- the airport, the power plants, their water facilities
and the roads."

What about the civilian population of Afghanistan? "We should not
target civilians," O'Reilly said, "but if they don't rise up against
this criminal government, they starve, period." For good measure,
O'Reilly urged that the U.S. extensively bomb Iraq and Libya.

A former New York Times executive editor, A.M. Rosenthal, was able
to top O'Reilly in the armchair militarism derby. Rosenthal added
Iran, Syria and Sudan to O'Reilly's expendable-nation list, writing
in the Washington Times that the U.S. government should be ready
and willing to deliver a 72-hour ultimatum to six governments --
quickly followed by massive bombing if Washington is not satisfied.

In a similar spirit, New York Post columnist Steve Dunleavy demanded
oceans of innocent blood: "As for cities or countries that host
these worms, bomb them into basketball courts." The editor of
National Review, a young fellow named Rich Lowry, was similarly
glib about recommending large-scale crimes against humanity: "If
we flatten part of Damascus or Tehran or whatever it takes, that
is part of the solution."

More insidious than the numerous hothead pundits are the far more
numerous reporters who can't stop providing stenographic services
to official sources under the guise of journalism.

We've heard that it's important for journalists to be independent
of the government. Sometimes that independence has been more apparent
than real, but sometimes it has been an appreciable reality and a
deserved source of professional pride. But today, judging from the
content of the reporting by major national media outlets, such
pride has crumbled with the World Trade Center towers.

More than ever, as journalists report for duty, the news profession
is morphing into PR flackery for Uncle Sam. In effect, a lot of
reporters are saluting the commander-in-chief and awaiting orders.

Consider some recent words from Dan Rather. During his Sept. 17
appearance on David Letterman's show, the CBS news anchor laid it
on the line. "George Bush is the president," Rather said, "he makes
the decisions." Speaking as "one American," the newsman added:

"Wherever he wants me to line up, just tell me where. And he'll
make the call."

Media coverage of U.S. military actions has often involved a
duplicitous two-step, with news outlets heavily engaged in
self-censorship and then grousing -- usually after the fact -- that
the government imposed too many restrictions on the press.

Two months after the Gulf War ended a decade ago, the Washington
editors for 15 major American news organizations sent a letter of
complaint to then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney. They charged
that the Pentagon had exerted "virtually total control" over coverage
of the war.

Now, as CNN reported in passing the other day, the Defense Department
intends to impose "heavy press restrictions." For example, "the
Pentagon currently has no plans to allow reporters to deploy with
troops or report from warships, practices routinely carried out in
the 1991 Persian Gulf War."

Here's a riddle: If the U.S. government's restrictions on media
amounted to "virtually total control" of coverage during the Gulf
War, and the restrictions will now be even tighter, what can we
expect from news media in the weeks and months ahead?

Restrictive government edicts, clamping down on access to information
and on-the-scene reports, would be bad enough if mainstream news
organizations were striving to function independently. American
journalism is sometimes known as the Fourth Estate -- but Dan Rather
is far from the only high-profile journalist who now appears eager
to turn his profession into a fourth branch of government.


Norman Solomon's weekly syndicated column -- archived at
www.fair.org/media-beat/ -- focuses on media and politics. His
latest book is "The Habits of Highly Deceptive Media."

* Verspreid via nettime-nl. Commercieel gebruik niet
* toegestaan zonder toestemming. <nettime-nl> is een
* open en ongemodereerde mailinglist over net-kritiek.
* Meer info, archief & anderstalige edities:
* http://www.nettime.org/.
* Contact: Menno Grootveld (rabotnik {AT} xs4all.nl).