Thursday, May 3, 2007

"Journalism Can Be Lethal'

This is a passage from the "Great War for Civilization" by Robert Fisk on a page I was reading today. He wrote it in the wake of the missile attack by the Vincennes, a US Navy warship on an civilian Iranian airliner in 1988 over the Persian Gulf, which killed 290 innocents. Even though he did painstaking research, his paper The Times, which had been recently "acquired" by Rupert Murdoch, censored his story. He responded in a way which seems perhaps more relevant to our present situation:

"When we journalists fail to get across the reality of events to our readers, we have not only failed in our job; we have also become a party to the bloody events that we are supposed to be reporting. If we cannot tell the truth about the shootng down of a civilian airliner-----because this will harm "our" side in a war or because it will cast one of our "hate" countries in the role of victim or because it might upset the owner of our newspaper------then we contribute to the very prejudices that provoke wars in the first place. If we cannot blow the whistle on a navy that shoots civilians out of the sky, then we make future killings of the same kind as "understandable" as Mrs. Thatcher found this one. Delete the Americans' panic and incompetence-----all of which would be revealed in the months to come----and pretend an innocent pilot is a suicidal maniac, and its only a matter of time before we blow another airliner out of the sky. Journalism can be lethal."

This book is honest. This book is graphic. Read this book. I'm only on page 272. The book is 1041 pages long. More later.

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