Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The (Non-)Scandal of the Anti-War Activist's Lie

If a news event lends credence to Uncle Sam's view of events or bolsters Washington's position, directly or indirectly (on a small or on a large scale), it must be ignored, minimized, or given short shrift in the mainstream media.

Quoting an AFP dispatch on the latest development of Baghdad's Italian car shooting, Le Monde gives only one single, solitary, dry, matter-of-fact sentence that appears in the very final line of a boxed text.

Selon la chaîne de télévision CBS, un enregistrement satellite américain a permis de déterminer que la voiture dans laquelle avaient pris place Giuliana Sgrena et Nicola Calipari roulait à environ 100 km/h.
Period. That's it. Go on to the next piece of news. (By the way, read the question in the final line from April 14.)

The International Herald Tribune hardly does better. In a two- or three-sentence post-scriptum tagged on to Maria Newman's New York Times article, the information is given no more importance than a "for the record" filler.

U.S. investigators concluded from the recording that the car was traveling at a speed of more than 95 kilometers per hour, or 60 miles per hour. Giuliana Sgrena, the freed Italian journalist in the car at the time, has said the car was traveling at about 50 kilometers an hour.
Imagine the outcry that would have followed (the scandal! the deliberate decision to deceive! the liars! the loss of credibility! ) had the satellite validated the passengers' tale and proven the American military wrong.

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