Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Notice: War in progress

As a member of the media, I often find myself defending my trade and what it is that we do.

I get sick of all the dittoheads in the world talking about the “liberal media” and our penchant for only printing things that we agree with or that will further our evil liberal causes.

So I often tell people I run into that its our job to report the news no matter who it damns. Actually, I find that media types get a kick out of “outing” any activity by anyone, be it their favorite politician or least favorite business person.

“We don’t hide anything,” I say.

So why did I just find out last week that we’ve been in a war with Iraq pretty much since we ended our last war with Iraq?

Here’s how it went down: Thursday morning I’m listening to WLVL (have to check out the competition) and Doug Limmerick (I’m glad my name’s not Doug Limmerick) breaks in as usual with the news, stating that Iraq is claiming that we bombed a civilian airport and our Department of Defense is acknowledging the attack.

“Oh (we can’t print this word), we’re at war again,” I think to myself.

So I turn on the TV to see what the deal is.

CNN, MSNBC, Fox, you name it. No news about us bombing Iraq.

Checking the WWW, I find the same thing.

Finally, by mid-afternoon, MSNBC has a cryptic message on their crawl (the fly-by-news on the bottom of the screen).

I figured I’d read it in Friday’s paper. Then Friday’s paper came out and it wasn’t in there.

I asked Anne Calos — our city editor — what she knew about us bombing Iraq. Answer: nada.

But, Doug Limmerick was again providing prose on the preposterous proceedings on WLVL. Still no TV or WWW news.

A quick check of the AP wire and ... hmm, nothing on the wire.

Finally, I used my favorite Internet tool — google — and searched “bomb Iraq airport,” coming up with a Web site in Colorado of all places that had the scoop.

The site had a list of all the times we’ve bombed Iraq in the past two years. That’s right, I said ALL the times. I counted 92 total.

Nancy Stohlman, of the Colorado Campaign for Middle East Peace told me Monday that she wasn’t surprised that I hadn’t heard of the previous 91 occasions where we dropped bombs.

Stohlman said she was in the Middle East a short time ago, and found herself next to Western reporters who were desperately trying to relay stories back home about the ongoing atrocities in Israel.

But somewhere between the reporters best interests and their bosses decisions, the stories were either watered down or lost, she said.

After seeing the Colorado story, I called AP and asked that one be sent over.

“The American media is the worst,” Stohlman said. “And the public still thinks that we’re waiting to drop the bombs. We’ve been bombing and attacking them physically all along.”

According to the stories on the group’s Web site, dozens have been killed and hundreds injured in the bombings.

In July, Russia condemned the U.S. for its actions, claiming it “complicated peace efforts.”

The stories — which are all linked on or posted to the group’s Web site — aren’t written by some crackpots. They’re legitimate stories from the Associated Press or Reuters. Some are from foreign news agencies.

So, I still ask, why aren’t we hearing this?

“The American public doesn’t understand or want to believe that the media is still a corporation run by people with interests,” Stohlman said. “Right now those interests lie with Bush,” laments the self-proclaimed “lefty.”

And Stohlman is right. Just look at who owns the major TV networks: NBC is owned by GE, while Disney owns ABC and Westinghouse controls CBS.

Disney is the only “liberal” in the group — if you consider wholesome family movies a liberal slant. GE and Westinghouse, meanwhile are out building bombs — the same ones that our planes are dropping onto Iraq.

So yeah, the media does slant and stifle news for the sake of its own interests. Primarily war mongering Republican ones.
For more information on Stohlman’s group, check www.ccmep.org. Tell them I sent you.