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May 24, 2005

NPR: Pledging Allegiance

If there is anything more wretchedly unethical than "embedded" reporting, it would have to be covering up the possible crimes of those with whom one is embedded by reporting them as if they were committed by "the enemy."

The subject of a lead story on today's All Things Considered was the notorious 8-mile stretch of road leading from Iraq's capital to the main airport. This is the same road, as correspondent Peter Kenyon pointed out, on which US troops opened fire on Italians Giuliana Sgrena and Nicola Calipari in March. As you may recall, during that incident, both survivors indicated a flash of light, either presently or concurrently accompanied by a hail of gunfire.

Well, in Kenyon's report, an Iraqi who lives near the airport road had a similar experience -- but since the rest of the piece was about rebel-made roadside bombs, the listener was left to believe that whoever fired on the Iraqi man's car was a rebel. It really was a clever piece of passively whitewashing what was likely a crime committed by US troops. (How likely is it that rebels would hang around to stage a small arms ambush on a civilian vehicle of no particular import, and would flash a light in the process?)

Here is what Iraqi Omary Ayad says, largely out of context, at the end of Kenyon's report about the danger rebel attacks on the road:

Yeah, once I was driving at about ten o'clock, and there's no lights at all, there's no electricity, and suddenly I just saw a flash of light and a sound of bullets. I didn't recognize that the bullets hit the car about five centimeters above my head until I reached my home and I see the place of the bullets.

NPR's "journalist" made no reference to any conjecture on Mr. Ayad's part about who had opened fire on him, but it is hard not to wonder if it was American troops.

Kenyon did make note of the US report that followed up on the Sgrena/Calipari shooting incident, but only to note that it pointed out that insurgent attacks on the airport route had increased after the January 30 elections. As mild as the report's criticism of the shortcomings of US checkpoint and blocking position protocol were, Kenyon left them and any other remotely critical comment out of his report.

With news media this obedient, who needs Stars and Stripes?

 

Comments...

tsbardella: NPR: Pledging Allegiance

What is the point of this article? What is the thesis? What does flashing light have to do with cars being shot at and why is it a crime when Amercian soldiers shoot at cars in a war zone? Lots of people die in war zones with nervous people with guns who cannot tell the cars with bombs from cars with mommas and pappas. It is more a testimony to the chaos and confusion being perpatrated by the evil Religeous Meth addicts than to criminal American troops.

Still somebody explaine this article to me. I am still confused.

Benjamin Melançon: NPR: Pledging Allegiance

"why is it a crime when Amercian soldiers shoot at cars in a war zone?"

Because people die. Because it is an act that stems directly from the criminal invasion and occupation of Iraq. Because the U.S. administration wants to be able to kill people, including real journalists, without public comment at the same time that they claim occupied Iraq is not a war zone.

More important, Brian Dominick never said that anything U.S. soldiers did was a crime. He implied, rather, that it is news that the U.S. military appears to be shooting unarmed civilians along a non-strategic road, as well as allies who have arranged for safe passage ahead of time.

And Dominick was very clear that the point of his commentary (not article) is that, in matters of life and death, it is a betrayal of its public service for National Public Radio to muddy the view of who is killing whom.

Benjamin Melançon: NPR: Pledging Allegiance

"why is it a crime when Amercian soldiers shoot at cars in a war zone?"

Because people die. Because it is an act that stems directly from the criminal invasion and occupation of Iraq. Because the U.S. administration wants to be able to kill people, including real journalists, without public comment at the same time that they claim occupied Iraq is not a war zone.

More important, Brian Dominick never said that anything U.S. soldiers did was a crime. He implied, rather, that it is news that the U.S. military appears to be shooting unarmed civilians along a non-strategic road, as well as allies who have arranged for safe passage ahead of time.

And Dominick was very clear that the point of his commentary (not article) is that, in matters of life and death, it is a betrayal of its public service for National Public Radio to muddy our understanding of who is killing whom.

tsbardella: NPR: Pledging Allegiance

You know what I forgot my medical marijuana that morning. I see your point completely - the Americans want to kill as many journalists as possible - they see them in the same light as suburban homeowners see squirrels. If bullets are flying in iraq near journalists they must be coming from Delta Team 121 who are using advanced technology given to them by the Greys. Also there is a base on the moon where they are cloning Osama Bin Laden in order to keep the war going so they can kill more journalists. Have you noticed that NPR is cycleing all thier journalists through Iraq in 28 day cycles? that is so they can get the best timing for the moon.


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