An example of the joke which is ‘free press’ in this country.
She is censored for stating a mostly unheard-of perspective regarding the conflict. What is the significance of her saying that it’s Russian troops and not Georgian troops that helped her?
The importance is the wholly pro-Georgian slant that perpetrated the western media at that time, when in fact, the Russian troops prevented (for a change) atrocities against the South Ossetian people. When the Georgian army invaded (and they did start this) there were reports of multiple atrocities against the Ossetian people including, but not limited to, the throwing of cluster bombs into civilian shelters and the shooting of a pregnant woman through the head, as well as flooding basements that held hiding civilians with water, then shooting them when they tried to escape. Within 48 hours of the initial offensive, 75% of Tskhinvali, the Ossetian capital had been destroyed through indiscriminate shelling and mortaring.
So why the slant? I’ve already covered the reasons that America continues to back this country, due to pipelines and Georgia’s support in the Iraq conflict. We supply Georgia with tanks and Humvees and military equipment (some of which is now in Russian hands). This slant is not limited to U.S. media outlets. A good friend of mine recently stated “All western media speaks of Russia’s ‘overly aggressive reaction’, but never ask ‘reaction to what?”
Why don’t people ask these questions? I continually hear of the same kind of ‘ground-up’ understanding of events, where the roots of an issue are never explored or questioned. The press are simply trusted to report the news, and we swallow whatever is said at face value. No questions.
“Do we have a free press today? Sure we do. It’s free to report all the sex scandals it wants, all the stock market news we can handle, every new health fad that comes down the pike, and every celebrity marriage or divorce that happens. But when it comes to the real down and dirty stuff—stories like Tailwind, the October Surprise, the El Mozote massacre, corporate corruption, or CIA involvement in drug trafficking—that’s where we begin to see the limits of our freedoms. In today’s mass media environment, sadly, such stories are not even open for discussion. Back in 1938, when fascism was sweeping Europe, legendary investigative reporter George Seldes observed that “it is possible to fool all the people all the time—when government and press cooperate.” Unfortunately, we have reached that point.”
–Gary Webb, an investigative reporter for 19 years. He was one of six reporters to win a 1990 Pulitzer Prize for reporting on northern California’s 1989 earthquake. He also received the 1997 Media Hero award, and in 1996 was named Journalist of the Year by the Bay Area Society of Professional Journalists. He was the author of Dark Alliance, which covered the links between cocaine shipments to the Crips and Bloods gangs, the CIA and Latin America, for which he lost his job.
He also died from suicide by shooting himself in the head – twice. How does anyone shoot themselves in the head twice? You tell me.