We are so often told by the news media and the left (Often a redundancy) that there is no left leaning bias within our fifth estate. And certainly, they are honest, and do not spread mistruths for some advantage. It’s gotten to the point where it’s become a large joke.
Well, the usual left-leaning suspects in the news world… CNN, the New York Times, and a few others, have all within the last few weeks, admitted to years of lying to us. Not just once… they admit readily they lied for decades, about conditions in Iraq under Saddam Hussein.
Yep. You may not have heard this one. You can understand why they’d be reluctant to tell us… Indeed the usual leftists have been verrrrry quiet about this one. But apparently CNN’s chief news executive, Eason Jordan felt the need to unburden his soul, and has reported in an editorial in the TIMES that under his direction CNN purposely failed to report Iraqi atrocities. While Jordan claims he was protecting his staff, a lot of people, journalists particularly, have questions and concerns that CNN was trading their lies for access. Ok, either way that swings, there’s a number of major concerns.
Let’s ignore for just a second, the questions of Jordan’s motivation (and there are several) to get this point out; the biggest role these news orgs have is being a watchdog, supposedly. We keep getting told this when they’re trying to attack… errr.. report on someone who isn’t leftist/socialist. Assuming they are being true to their charter, the only action journalists can take against oppression, injustice and hate is by exposing it thereby forcing a reaction from the rest of us.
In short, their job is to REPORT. CNN didn’t.
If nothing else, CNN should have put up a disclaimer to tell viewers that the Iraqi government was controlling the actions of reporters, and thereby controlling the content of their reports to us. No, we were expected to take what they fed us as hard news…. that we were getting the real picture of what was what in Iraq. In short, CNN lied.
CNN, being the only really world news body, had a monopoly on the picture of Iraq being fed the world. And the world got ONLY what Saddam wanted us to see, without so much as a whimper of protest from a CNN that, were they being stonewalled in a non-socialist country, would have been raising world-wide hell.
As to what impact all this has had, nobody can really be sure. One can only, in this situation, properly gauge all the implications by saying “what if”…
What impact on the U.N. debate of last winter might there have been, had CNN actually maintained that much touted watchdog role? Can you imagine the reaction, both here and abroad, had CNN actually reported then, as they did after the fact, in Eason’s words, that several Iraqi officials had told CNN that “Saddam Hussein was a maniac who had to be removed”? Imagine the reaction of the much misunderstood Arab Street, had the news come out that Saddam’s son had planned to kill the King Of Jordan, as CNN now admits… Imagine the reaction of the American public, for that matter. Do you think the leftist arguments against our removing Saddam would have gained even as much traction as they managed to? And finally consider the difference in the UN debates on the issue.
In their failure to report the gross human-rights violations by Saddam, and all the other damning information that should have been reported, CNN has systematically ignored that watchdog role. One wonders what would cause them to so dramatically shift from the traditional watchdog policy to looking remarkably like Bill Clinton’s
“don’t ask, don’t tell”.
One also wonders if they were selling their silence for access, and what possible reason there could be for that; what purpose their silence could possibly have served. Certainly, it wasn’t helpful in getting the truth out to the people. The price for their controlled access was that they became a part of the Human-rights violation conspiracy that was Saddam’s government. Is this the same CNN that fought so hard against government officials they saw as less than desirable on this side of the ocean? Something simply doesn’t add up here. Perhaps a look at their other actions will give us a clue as to what was what.
In looking around the landscape on this topic, some things do leap right out. Let’s remember, this is the same news org that paid 30,000 dollars US for video tapes… videotapes that depict al-Qaida poison gas experiments, terror training and bomb-making, and then lied about that, blaiming a ‘miscommunication’ for the discrepancy. The Tapes, initially, were a feather in the cap for CNN, who made several nights
of programming out of them. Fox news never covered those tapes. Their news exec, Kevin MacGee, explained it this way: “we don’t see much newsworthy in it,” said Kevin Magee, Fox’s vice president of programming. “You’ve got to be careful when you start paying for things”
CNN at that time, refused to identify its source for the tapes but to this day insists its money did not go to Osama bin Laden or his terrorist organization. Fox’s Magee says, however… “We are at war. This is the enemy. Where did the money go? I’m not sure `trust us’ is good enough.”
No kidding, Kevin, particularly in light of Eason’s overlate admissions.
I’ve mentioned the Times and CNN, in particular because both these orgs were rather outspoken in their opposition to out invasion of Iraq. One wonders, though, just why… why they were so adamant about our not deposing Saddam., given the horrible facts they now admit to us that they did know, and what they’re not admitting to us, like where those tapes came from. Gee… do you suppose…. could it be that Saddam was a fellow leftist….. being a founding member of the Socialist Baath party? Was this opposition just one more lie to be told to maintain their position in Iraq?
And, perhaps an even more frightening question: What else has CNN not told us about it’s leftist/socialist friends around the world? Like the aforementioned Bill Clinton, as an example.
Even assuming their motivations were not, as I suspect they were, Geo-political… the only option left here is that CNN was running a straight propaganda service for Saddam and his merry band of thugs. This is balanced news?
CNN has an undeniable effect on the other news orgs around the world. How much did their not reporting such matters, influence the other news orgs into thinking nothing was wrong? Or, perhaps more seriously; how many others were following where CNN led, and were as a result unwittingly lying to us, and to what effect?