Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fantasyland Media

Time for some yellow journalism. Racist journalism, in fact.

The NY Times goes about as low as any tabloid in its reporting of Rev. Wright. In a front page story, the NY Times printed the following "news" story about Wright. Not an editorial, but a news story. But the NY Times simply doesn't know the difference.

On the front page we read that: Rev. Wright "wriggles out from under sound bites and screen-grab loops to put himself...on television." He spoke a "stemwinding brew of black history, Scripture, hallelujahs and hermeneutics." He was: "cocky, defiant, declamatory, inflammatory and mischievous, but most of all, he was all over the place..."

The NY Times goes on to describe Rev. Wright's "monomania" as that of a "slightly wacky uncle who unsettles strangers but really just craves attention" and "loves his own voice." Finally, on the front page, "he is the avatar of the American celebrity principle: he grabbed his 30-second spots of infamy and turned them into 15 minutes of fame."

Missing from the front page, of course, is anything that he said. Why would you need that in a news story? The NY Times has decided for you: he is just another ignorant black man acting foolish for the publicity.

Contrast this to the NY Times' effusive praise for Colin Powell when he lied at the UN about weapons of mass destruction. Clearly Rev. Wright needs to be put down for not following the correct script for black people in America.

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Billions of aid dollars pledged to the Palestinians to bolster peace talks with Israel are having a muted economic impact because of Israeli restrictions on travel and trade, the World Bank said on Sunday.

The World Bank said modest gains in economic growth in the occupied West Bank, where Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas's government holds sway, were not sufficient to offset the "severe contraction" seen in Hamas-controlled Gaza.

Israel tightened its blockade of the Gaza Strip after the Islamist group's takeover in June from more secular Fatah forces loyal to Abbas.

Strong words about the Israeli blockade and its effect on the Palestinian people. But the story was not judged to be newsworthy by the NY Times, which routinely censors out stories critical of Israel.

George W. Bush is poised to order a massive aerial bombardment — possibly including tactical nuclear weapons - of up to 10,000 targets in Iran. The attack would be justified on grounds that Iran is interfering with U.S. efforts in Iraq and that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon, a charge that was debunked last fall in the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE).

The article goes on to support this thesis, including military changes (including the resignation of Admiral Fallon), accelerated orders for bunker-buster bombs and planes that carry them, and a report of an Israeli exercise simulating missile strikes from Iran, Lebanon, and Syria. The Union of Concerned Scientists has indicated that a “limited” nuclear attack on the main Iranian underground site in Esfahan would result in three million people killed by radiation within two weeks.

The NY Times has done no analysis of administration plans to attack Iran. It did not carry the report of the Union of Concerned Scientists. What attack being planned? NY Times readers don't have to worry about such things.

"We have to make clear to the Iraqis that they have been given the greatest gift that a human being can give another human being – the gift of freedom. And it is up to them to decide how they will use that precious gift that has been paid for with the blood and sacrifice and treasure of the United States of America."

That was Hillary Clinton on March 17. No national media took her to task for the utterly stupid and heartless suggestion that the people of Iraq, with a million dead and five million homeless should be thanking America. What next for Hillary, a thank you from Vietnam for the three million dead we left in that country? Until the US media exposes our politicians for the empire building rhetoric that is their stock in trade, the worldwide bloodshed will continue. And Hillary is one of the "peace" candidates we should all be so excited about.

The UN is to halt food handouts for up to 800,000 Palestinians from today because of a severe fuel shortage in Gaza brought on by an Israeli economic blockade.

John Ging, the director of operations in Gaza for the UN Relief and Works Agency, which supports Palestinian refugees, said there had been a “totally inadequate” supply of fuel from Israel to Gaza for 10 months until it was finally halted two weeks ago. “The devastating humanitarian impact is entirely predictable,” he said.

A shortage of diesel and petrol means UN food assistance to 650,000 Palestinian refugees will stop today, and aid from the World Food Programme for another 127,000 Palestinians due in the coming days will also be halted. “The collective punishment of the population of Gaza, which has been instituted for months now, has failed,” said Robert Serry, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East.

Such UN quotes never made it into the NY Times. "Collective punishment" has not been used by the NY Times in at least two months.

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