Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Other Side Of The Coin

I have been ranting in no uncertain terms about segments of the media (OK, I said 'most', or the 'majority') who have printed and broadcast stories that, given my perception of their bias and story choice, I have characterized as anti-American, and as enemies of America. In all fairness, I must say that not all in the mainstream media fit my definitions of anti-American.

Tim at Sysphean Musings rises in defense of some of the media, and I have to agree with him. (Disclaimer: I have met Tim personally at BlogNashville, and conversed with him about just this subject via email, and I like him and respect his opinions.) Specifically, he notes Hiawatha Bray at his Choose Honor blog (and with a name like Hiawatha, how can he possibly be bad!). Go read his postings, you'll see what I mean.

Tim also references Erik Sass on the Overseas Press Club of America about instances of detention and mistreatment of foreign (i.e. non-U.S.) reporters and stringers by Iraqi and U.S. forces in Iraq. Erik says:

[..] Since the April 5 th shooting and detention of Abdel Amir Hussein, the U.S. army has detained just one other journalist, Ammar Daham Naef Khalaf, a reporter for Agence France-Presse; the bulk of intimidation and detention, as noted, has been the work of the newly constituted Iraqi interim government.

Iraqi soldiers have detained three journalists, Iraqi police two, and the mayor of the southern town of Kawit ordered two more arrested and jailed for “libel” – signaling, it seems, the re-introduction to Iraq of this long-favored legal tactic for silencing journalists.

Of the seven journalists detained by Iraqi police and soldiers, two were tortured and beaten, and Iraqi police tried to extort $10,000 from the family of a third. No one outside the Iraqi or U.S. military knows the definite whereabouts of any of these men, except for Abdel Amir Hussein and Sami Shouker Naji, who are both supposedly being held at Abu Ghraib prison.[...]

Now, I absolutely do not believe that Coalition forces are 'targeting' the press (i.e. Linda Foley and Eason Jordan), but I would not discard out of hand allegations that there might be instances of improper treatment and/or detention. Each and every case should be investigated (tranparently!!) and results reported.

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