Monday, September 06, 2004

No Mea Culpa From The British Media: "News of the ongoing slaughter in Iraq has been buried beneath patriotic headlines of ecstatic and crestfallen Olympians. The 'terrible distress' of one exhausted British marathon runner was deemed worthy of far more extensive and emotive coverage than armoured superpower thrusts into Najaf and Falluja. Noam Chomsky explains the emphasis:

"'This is an oversimplification, but for the eighty percent [of the public] or whatever they are, the main thing is to divert them. To get them to watch the National Football League. And to worry about 'Mother With Child With Six Heads,' or whatever you pick up on the supermarket stands and so on. Or look at astrology. Or get involved in fundamentalist stuff or something or other. Just get them away. Get them away from things that matter. And for that it's important to reduce their capacity to think.'"

"According to a two-month survey carried out by an Iraqi non-governmental organisation, the People's Kifah, comprising hundreds of activists and academics, more than 37,000 Iraqi civilians were killed between the start of the US-led invasion in March 2003 and October 2003. (Ahmed Janabi, 'Iraqi group: Civilian toll now 37,000', 31 July, 2004,

"We searched in vain for coverage of this important survey in news reports by ITN, the BBC, The Guardian, The Independent, Financial Times and others. On 30 August, 2004, we conducted an online news search, using the extensive Lexis-Nexis database, and were able to find only two mentions in the UK press: one, a brief account in the Western Mail, a Cardiff-based newspaper, on 26 August. The only other mention was a passing reference in a Guardian comment piece by activist Tariq Ali."

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