Norm Solomon on selective outrage over barbarism

Norm Solomon on selective outrage over barbarism June 24, 2006

The ever insightful Norm Soloman on the consequences of the American media’s spineless and selective coverage of wartime atrocities in "Their Barbarism, and Ours" :

"The story really takes us back into the 8th century, a truly barbaric world," John Burns said. He was speaking Tuesday night on the PBS "NewsHour With Jim Lehrer," describing what happened to two U.S. soldiers whose bodies had just been found. Evidently they were victims of atrocities, and no one should doubt in the slightest that the words of horror used by Burns to describe the "barbaric murders" were totally appropriate.

The problem is that Burns and his mass-media colleagues don’t talk that way when the cruelties are inflicted by the U.S. military — as if dropping bombs on civilians from thousands of feet in the air is a civilized way to terrorize and kill.

When journalists maintain a flagrant double standard in their language — allowing themselves appropriate moral outrage when Americans suffer but tiptoeing around what is suffered by victims of the U.S. military — the media window on the world is tinted a dark red-white-and-blue, and the overall result is more flackery than journalism.


Without maintaining a single and consistent moral standard in their work, journalists — no matter how brave, skilled or hardworking — end up prostituting their talents in the service of a war machine.

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