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Craven coverage

Following my posting the other day about the less than credible media debate being conducted by Fox News in America, I tuned in eagerly to Al Jazeera‘s latest edition of Listening Post which focussed this week on the issue of media coverage of the torture debate in the US.

As ever, the reporting by Richard Gizbert pulled no punches:

“Weasel words and sophistry” was the famous description used by Alistair Campbell to deplore the BBC’s initial response to his complaints about the Gilligan report which asserted, quite truthfully as it turns out, that the British Government knew their own dossier on Iraq’s WMDs was largely fiction.

The problem was that Campbell succeeded in making the story about those words, rather than the issue itself, as a result of which a senior civil servant lost his life and the BBC’s editorial independence was damaged beyond repair.

Exactly the same in now happening in the US over the issue of the word “torture” and sadly the once great bastions of American journalism, such as The New York Times have allowed the debate to be shaped by the politicians rather than by common sense.

As Listening Post demonstrates, the NYT appears to be refusing to use the “T”-word, claiming there has been no legal judgement that waterboarding is torture; the problem is that everyone else, including the broadcasters, are following their lead, or should that be, lack of a lead.

So this journalist has a simple question: If it quacks and waddles, why does the NYT and every other spineless journalist in America need a Supreme Court ruling to tell them it’s a duck?

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