Saturday, June 19, 2004

Pilger: How To Silence An Awkward Newspaper: "The editor of the Daily Mirror, Britain's most famous mass-circulation newspaper, was sacked because he ran the only English-language popular paper to expose the 'war on terror' as a fraud and the invasion of Iraq as a crime. He was marked long before the Mirror published the notorious, apparently faked pictures of British troops torturing Iraqi prisoners."

"A senior executive of the New York investment company Tweedy Browne, major shareholders in the Trinity Mirror newspaper group, called the Mirror and shouted down the phone at senior management, demanding [the editor] Morgan's head and mine. This pressure continued as the Murdoch press in the United States and other lunar right-wing papers and broadcasters railed against the "treacherous" Mirror.... Was corporate influence on the press, and its right to be wrong, ever more eloquently expressed? Morgan had only just survived a year earlier when a new Trinity Mirror senior management under the chief executive, Sly Bailey, ordered him to "tone down" the anti-war coverage and return the paper to celebrities and faithless royal butlers (who had never departed). In the following months, the Mirror, along with the other anti-war daily newspaper in Britain, the Independent, was vindicated. Today, Bush and Blair are universally distrusted and reviled, and the defeat of their atrocious enterprise seems assured."

"The collusion of the respectable media in the epic crime in Iraq is rarely discussed.... Charles Lewis, a former CBS star reporter and now director of the Centre for Public Integrity, told me that had the media "fulfilled their unique constitutional role and challenged the administration's lies, such as those tying Iraq to al-Qaeda, there is a very, very good chance we would not have gone to war"."

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