No matter where you weigh in on the current conflict in Iraq, I recommend reading Eason Jordan’s op-ed piece in today’s New York Times. It’s a powerful demonstration that the presence of free world media over the past decade in nations like Iraq hasn’t necessarily meant the exposition of the atrocities that take place in those nations; basic human empathy, at the level of those in charge of the news bureaus, has intervened to protect those most vulnerable to retribution. (Of course, that fact also leads me to wonder what we don’t know about in other similar nations, like China.)


Check out Reporters sans frontieres. They have a section for China. On their press freedom list, China isn’t last; they are next to last behind North Korea.

I did have one question regarding the CNN article. At what point is it more ethical to pull out of a country and report from the outside than to not report stories from the inside for fear of reprisals?

• Posted by: Sam Greenfield on Apr 12, 2003, 8:46 AM

That’s sorta the point, Sam — Iraq is (was) 130th on that list, because the nation did allow Western press inside and didn’t seem to impose much limitation on the reporting. Now, we know that limits did exist, but they were imposed by the press itself. It’s an interesting twist.

And as for the ethics of withholding stories, I wondered the same. That being said, I fully admit that, if forced to choose between an oppressive nation with no press presence and one with a self-limited one, I’d choose the latter.

• Posted by: Jason on Apr 12, 2003, 3:47 PM

We must also question many other reports by CNN and The NY Times as being accurate to begin with…for example, their pro-Arab stance on many other stories that were falsely reported over the years.

• Posted by: GK Strawn on Apr 14, 2003, 12:53 PM

(Long comment by Lee Green asking people to email CNN/Turner about “inaccuracies” in their reporting has been deleted…)

Lee, please email me before using the comments here to post long diatribes trying to rally people to your cause. Better yet, get a weblog, and get your message out a little more effectively!

• Posted by: Jason on Apr 14, 2003, 5:31 PM

United States Army Major General Antonio Taguba, reports that he has found numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal acts that President Bush has inflicted on Iraqi prisoners of war. Major General Antonio Taguba also reports that the abhorrent crimes that President Bush has committed, are confirmed by photographic evidence and also corroborated in detail by various witnesses. In his efforts to evade responsibility, President Bush has condemned the evidence that proves his criminal actions. President Bush refuses to dismiss Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld because it is almost certain that Bush has knowledge of these crimes against the Iraqi people.
I believe… and George Bush knows, that if Donald Rumsfeld goes down, he will take Bush along with him.
The New Yorker, reports that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorized a clandestine program encouraging torture and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners of war. • President Bush has issued an apology for having committed these heinous crimes against humanity. • We are tired of the insidious apologies that were made vogue by the scoundrel president Bill Clinton, and we now demand that President George W. Bush should be brought before a criminal tribunal, where he will be adjudged guilty… or his innocence established. — Adolf Hitler was not allowed to apologize!
There exists a document that provides that whenever a Government becomes destructive, it is the Right of the People to abolish it, and to institute a new Government. Come November, we will avail ourselves of the Right to abolish President Bush’s despotic and destructive violations of civil and human rights…

My Name is: Carlos Ramirez
P.O. Box 3173
Hialeah, FL. 33013

• Posted by: Carlos Ramirez on May 20, 2004, 7:00 PM
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