Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Disappeared News: Winter Soldiers are shunned by the commercial media
Thank goodness for Democracy Now! and other alternative media which have been covering the Winter Soldier hearings held this past weekend near Washington, DC. If not for the alternative media, there would be no notice in this country of the moving testimony given by our veterans who chose to speak publicly about their experiences in the Iraq war.
The rest of the world, of course, is tuned in. But our commercial media (including PBS) are doing their best to keep this news away from the American people. Make no mistake, the decision to keep Winter Soldier off the air and out of the newspapers was deliberate. They are suppressing the news they don't want you to have.
Here is a snippet from an article posted today by Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting:
Why Are Winter Soldiers Not News?
Dozens of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars gathered in Silver Spring, Maryland last weekend for the Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan hearings (3/13/08-3/16/08), where they offered harrowing testimony about atrocities they had witnessed or participated in directly. The BBC predicted that the event, organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War, "could be dominating the headlines around the world this week" (3/7/08). The hearings were covered as far afield as the U.K. (Guardian, 3/17/08), Australia (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 3/14/08), Croatia (Javno, 3/16/08), and Iran (Press TV, 3/14/08). Yet there has been an almost complete media blackout on this historic news event in the U.S. corporate media.
Despite being noted in the New York Times' Paris-based International Herald Tribune (3/13/08), Winter Soldier has yet to be mentioned in the New York Times itself. No major U.S. newspaper has covered the hearings except as a story of local interest; the few stories major U.S. newspapers have published on the event have focused on the participation of local vets (Boston Globe, 3/16/08; Boston Herald, 3/16/08; Newsday, 3/16/08, Buffalo News, 3/16/08).
The Washington Post, too, published their account in the metro section (3/15/08). In contrast, the paper published an article about pro-war demonstrators protesting the Winter Soldier hearings in the A section (3/16/08), despite the fact that they were, according to the Post, "small in number."
None of the major broadcast TV networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) have mentioned the hearings in their newscasts. PBS has been silent as well. [FAIR: Why Are Winter Soldiers Not News? ]
On the other hand, pro-war coverage continues, as the same FAIR article mentions:
While the testimony of soldiers who had served multiple tours of duty was broadcast on Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now!, Free Speech TV, and the Real News network, the major broadcast networks and PBS instead devoted airtime to the pro-war assessments of Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. John McCain, both of whom have only made brief visits to Iraq (NBC Nightly News, ABC World News, CBS Evening News, PBS NewsHour, all 3/17/08).
Tune in to Democracy Now on radio, TV or via the web to catch up with the testimony, or go to one of the websites linked above. Don't be left out. Go for the information if the commercial media won't bring it to you.
The full FAIR article includes email addresses and phone numbers you can use to chastise the major networks for not carrying this crucial story. [I wonder why newspaper circulation is decreasing? Could it be that they don't bring us the news we need? Could it be that we're tired of the war and the war drums that they are still beating?]
Also see Joan Conrow's article today for her own reaction to listening to the Winter Soldier testimony.
circulation could be dropping because no one wants to buy that stuff anymore. it's not convenient (folding a paper the right way is an art generation Xers never learned) and it's just crap anyway. it always was crap, but now we've got an alternative.