Thursday, September 16, 2004

Speaking of Press Bias vs. Freedom of the Press...

Last year I had a letter I wrote to the Daily Yomiuri Newspaper published. In it I expressed my outrage at the fact that someone had mounted denial-of-service attacks on Al-Jazeera's website for an extended period and then finally hacked it and replaced its content with an image of an American flag. In other words, a symbol of a free country was being used to deny freedom of the press.

Even more frustrating is the fact that this attack was almost certainly carried out by an American, a citizen of a country that is so aggressively proud of the freedoms it claims to espouse.

Al-Jazeera is currently banned from operating in Iraq as its broadcasts have been accused of "inciting violence". Its offices in Baghdad have long since been sealed, and its reporters are denied entry into the country (if they can be identified). The Allawi government has recently extended this ban. For some time, Al-Jazeera has had to rely on other news sources for its coverage of events in Iraq.

Strange, then, that Rumsfeld recently implied that Al-Jazeera is still operating in Iraq in direct cahoots with the terrorists. The link goes to Al-Jazeera's surprisingly reserved rebuttal.

I know some of you are just aching to click the comments link to inform us that Al-Jazeera's broadcasts have always had a decidedly pro-insurgent, anti-occupation slant. Probably, but we all know that all the news sources we're familiar with (particularly the oh-so-popular, oh-so-objective Fox News) have always had a pro-occupation, anti-insurgent slant, and nobody is censoring them, are they? Fair is fair, right? After all, true objectiveness requires viewing both sides of the argument and making one's own decision.

(Actually, someone wrote a rebuttal to my Daily Yomiuri letter saying something like, "People don't need to know the unpleasant truths behind everything, especially if the cause is just," and also, "Fairness isn't always a good thing, especially if it leads to deception and violence." Okay, if that's true, I guess that means we need to stop our news sources from praising the efforts of our own armed forces. Doing so might encourage people to join them, and that would lead to more violence, right?)
(The truth is that I support our armed forces with all my heart, and so should you.)


Anonymous said...

Generic Other:

Well. Their blood isn't red like ours. They are most likely Nazis. Which side am I on? It doesn't matter because we will do anything to get you on our side. Suspension of judgment that results in yielding to the sacred cow du jour is my game. Jews? Martyrs? Veterans? Love? Hate? It is all the same to me. Whatever gets the job done. God/Allah/logic told me so.

Anonymous said...

Philrod Piddlewaif:

And your totally inconsequential point is....?

Don Snabulus said...

Nigel from Spinal Tap:

Have you ever invited someone over because you couldn't lift the piano and you needed it moved across the living room? Have you ever had the people who did it move in and refuse to leave; gradually destroying everything in your house? Just asking.

We are the guests who have stayed too long
We are the end of the endless song
We send our hearts into the night
Soaring to heaven
And will out hearts still beat on
Or will they Break Like The Wind?
(sound of loud flatulence goes here)

The Moody Minstrel said...

Are you suggestin' that my posts are destroyin' your blog? Are you suggestin' that I stop it?

Don Snabulus said...

No!!! I suggested the US stayed too long in Iraq. Heck no. You're keeping the dang thing alive while I go play.

Don Snabulus said...

To elaborate: I trashed my own blog years ago, possibly days after starting it. I invited the Minstrel into this burned out hulk of a blog long after I'd abused it into the sorry state it became. The Moody Minstrel and Ladybug have done their level best to fix up the walls with spackle, shampoo the carpet, and take out the empty beer cans...

...and for that, I thank them. The sounds of my loud belching and occasional tossing of Jojo potatoes onto the floor of this blog continues to this day, so their job is a thankless one. Oops, I just knocked over a full ashtray. Sorry.