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The Media and the Attack on Libya

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Nic Robertson, CNN reporter in eastern Libya, after being shown shrapnel at the Gadhafi compound, related that it looks like a missile, smells like a missile, tastes like a missile but couldn't say it's a coalition missile. Robertson did confirm Fox News duplicity, in which a Foxie reporter intimated Libya was attempting to using reporters as human shields. "The idea that we were some kind of human shields is nuts," Robertson said. "I mean, if they had actually been there -- Steve Harrigan, the correspondent here, is somebody I've known for many years -- I see him more times at breakfast than I see him out on trips with government officials here."


Constant appearances on CNN of Fouad Ajami, a neocon Hawk, an outspoken supporter of the Iraq War, and a commentator who actually credited the Egyptian Revolution and Tunisian Revolution to the Iraq War and Bush's advocacy of democracy, skewed the CNN reporting.


Then there is the case of Journalists being detained. Headlines have:

Times Journalists Held Captive in Libya Faced Days of Brutality

March 22, 2011, New York Times

Nothing but the usual scare techniques in headlines, but on inside pages:

"But moments of kindness inevitably emerged, drawing on a culture's far deeper instinct for hospitality and generosity. A soldier brought Tyler and Anthony, sitting in a pickup, dates and an orange drink. Lynsey had to talk to a soldier's wife who, in English, called her a donkey and a dog. Then they unbound Lynsey and, sitting in another truck, gave Steve and her something to drink."

CNN stressed "the journalists had a chilling account."

Here were journalists in a foreign nation with no visa and reporting as an enemy of the state. If they were correspondents from Al Jazeera, wandering the United States with no entry visa and apprehended in a sensitive area, how would they be treated? In 2003, the US military shelled the Basra hotel, where Al Jazeera journalists were the only guests. One of their Iraq correspondents, Tareq Ayoub, was killed a few days later in Baghdad.


The reports favorable to Gadhafi always contain a question or doubt.

"Thousands of ordinary Libyans had poured into the compound on Saturday, willingly, it seemed, and with great enthusiasm. Gaddafi supporters denounced the strike as barbarous

They had come to express their solidarity with their leader. Young men chanted rhythmic slogans of support; women said they loved Muammar Gaddafi; old men said he was their brother and their father.They had come to show that if he was to die, they were ready to die with him.There seemed no doubting their sincerity. But how representative are they?"


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Dan Lieberman is the editor of Alternative Insight, a monthly web based newsletter. His website articles have been read in more than 150 nations, while articles written for other websites have appeared in online journals throughout the world(B 92, (more...)
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