War / Peace

War on Iran, Anyone? How the Pentagon Spun the Speedboats

"Senior Pentagon officials, evidently reflecting a broader administration policy decision, used an off-the-record Pentagon briefing to turn the January 6 US-Iranian incident in the Strait of Hormuz into a sensational story demonstrating Iran's military aggressiveness," reports Gareth Porter. The incident, described by Pentagon officials as a "careless, reckless and potentially hostile" provocation by Iranian boats that nearly led to gunfire, was actually a nonthreatening, "almost routine" encounter that officials in Washington distorted.


War, What Is it Good For? Electing Democrats in '08

Ryan Grim reports that the biggest and best-funded organizations in the liberal peace movement, primarily MoveOn and the groups in its Americans Against Escalation in Iraq (AAEI) coalition, are no longer advocating that Congress end the war.


They Want Influencers for More New Recruits

"The U.S. Marine Corps is rolling out a new ad campaign this week in an effort to target teachers, coaches, clergy and other groups that tend to have influence on kids' career paths," reports the Wall Street Journal.


Dumbing Down Dateline

In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, recalls former Dateline NBC correspondent John Hockenberry, the network diverted him from reporting on al Qaeda and instead wanted him to come up with a version of "the show Cops, only with firefighters." During the invasion of Iraq, a network exec axed a segment featuring "a reporter in Baghdad who was experiencing the bombing firsthand" on grounds that it conveyed "a point of view." Hockenberry sees these stories as lessons about how t


The Taming of Al Jazeera

The New York Times reports, "When a Saudi court sentenced a young woman to 200 lashes in November after she pressed charges against seven men who had raped her, the case provoked outrage and headlines around the world, including in the Middle East. But not at Al Jazeera, the Arab world's leading satellite television channel, seen by 40 million people. ...


Tortured Reasoning for Destroying Evidence of Torture

Steve Benen writes that "As it turns out, the reasoning behind the CIA's decision to record interrogations on video, stop recording interrogations on video, and destroy the interrogation videos was all exactly the same: officials were hoping to avoid a public-relations nightmare." They were unsuccessful, of course, since the media reported widely on the destruction of the tapes and


Despite Prominence of Coverage, Pakistan Doesn't Merit News Bureaus

When former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on December 27, 2007, the only American TV networks to have full-time employees in Pakistan to call on were ABC and CNN. Other networks were forced to rely on stringers, freelance reporters on retainer with news agencies, until they could get their own reporters to Pakistan.



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