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The Media and the Attack on Libya

By       Message Dan Lieberman     Permalink
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The attack on Libya is essentially an attack on one person, Colonel Muammar Gadhafi, who is the present poster boy for evil. Every Gadhafi deed is interpreted as malevolent; every word as an untruth. The characterizations might be correct, but when the media uses spurious and contradictory statements to expose his 'untruths,' its rhetoric become questionable and its reports lose credibility.

Although insurrections and civil war generate mass killings and accusations of retribution, no authoritative reports confirm these occurrences in the Libyan conflict. After rebels retook several cities, reporters had entry and came up with nothing but shrill words. Estimates of casualties are contradictory and without confirmation. Never stated is how many of the deceased are fighters on both sides.

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ITN News, Feb 23, 2011

Italy has said 1,000 people may have been killed in Libya after an armed uprising against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

March 04, 2011, Businessweek by Massoud A. Derhally

The conflict in Libya between government troops and opponents of leader Muammar Qaddafi has left 6,000 people dead, the rebel forces spokesman, Colonel Abdullah Al Mahdi, said on Al Jazeera television today.

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AAP March 10, 2011

At least 400 people have died and 2,000 been wounded in eastern Libya since the uprising broke out against Muammar Gaddafi, medics told reporters in the rebels' Benghazi base. "There have been 400 dead since the beginning in Derna, Baida, Brega, Benghazi, Ras Lanuf and Bin Jawad," Salah Jabar, a medical coordinator for cities held by the rebels in the east, told reporters.

Paul Wolfowitz, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, without citing or being asked sources, volunteered on CNN, March 21, 2011 that "at least 8000 dead, equivalent to 500,000 in the United States," have been killed.

CNN lost credibility with its one-sided commentaries and reports.

Arwa Damon, the CNN reporter in eastern Libya, wearing the Arab keffiyeh to give her legitimacy, never presented interviews, always stated to the camera what she heard, and quoted rumors that soon grew into facts. As one example, her presentation of only having heard that Gadaffi soldiers asked civilians to come out and then shoot them soon became a fact and yet had no conformation from other reporters.

A typical unconfirmed report which trusts the words of a partial person. Note how the reporter transcribes one resident's words to become 'residents.'

Residents painted a grim picture of the situation in Misrata.

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"The situation here is very bad. Tanks started shelling the town this morning," a resident called Mohammed told Reuters by telephone from outside the city's hospital, adding: "Snipers are taking part in the operation too. A civilian car was destroyed killing three children on board, the oldest is aged 13 years."

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.

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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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