Thursday, February 16, 2006

All The Latest News From 2003

Just to sum up the current state of play as regards MSM journalistic ethics, reporters covering a controversy over cartoons shouldn’t let the public see the cartoons themselves as that would be pointlessly inflammatory, but airing images taken from a two-year old investigation that has already resulted in multiple jailings is the very definition of cutting-edge reporting.

Something I’ve said before - leave aside any wider issues, is this even good journalism ? They call themselves news organisations but what, so to speak, is new about it ? Thanks to the sterling work of the MSM, I believe there are people in the upper reaches of the Amazon who are already aware that there was abuse at Abu Ghraib. Behind all the hoopla, these new pictures add literally nothing to the debate.

Really, there’s no evidential value at all. Nothing in these photos adds to our understanding of events at Abu Ghraib. In so far as these images are horrific without moving the story along in any meaningful sense, they are the very definition of ‘inflammatory’.

This sort of thing used to be called tabloid journalism, right up until it suited the Liberal agenda. Now suddenly publishing page after page of atrocity photos is the very definition of the role of a free press. But, quite literally: what is the MSM’s actual point ?

In so far as the MSM have managed to cobble together these any kind of justification for giving two year old evidence the kind of coverage normally reserved for World Cup wins, it’s been the same old dreary nonsense that they were pedalling two years ago.

Guess which news organisation breathlessly reminds us that ‘No senior officer or civilian official was ever charged with a crime in relation to the Abu Ghraib abuses. ‘ Yes, indeed, trust the BBC to rise to the occasion. Personally, I think it’s a revealing insight into the true nature of the modern Liberal just how frequently the L3 are thrown by the revelation that, no, you can’t charge people without actual evidence, no matter how serious the crime is. To listen to them, you’d think the ‘no evidence=no charge’ rule was some cunning ploy by the BushChimpler.

The BBC’s reporting is a whirligig of vague innuendo, dubious assertions and tactical omissions. Having spent years trying to tell us that guests in Gitmo were all just heavily–armed Afghan hill farmers, the BBC now refrains from telling us that the victims at Abu Ghraib really were ordinary, decent criminals. At first sight, that would seem to make the abuse even worse, but it also flatly contradicts the line the MSM has been trying to push, namely that Lynndie England and the rest of the trailer trash were actually operating under the direct supervision of the White House. Even the L3 can see that Dastardly Dick Cheney wouldn’t torture people merely to find out where he could pick up a few cheap car radios.

For all the MSM’s dark hints, Abu Ghraib has been investigated to a degree previously reserved for the Kennedy assassination. Despite all this, there has never been any credible evidence of any kind of conspiracy. Just as with the MSM’s loving publication of these photos, nudge-nudge wink-wink references to high-level conspiracies has absolutely no actual news value at all.

This is the truly infuriating aspect of it all. Just about every MSM outlet that has carried these pictures have included whiny analysis pieces solemnly reporting on how these new photos will inflame Muslim anger. That used to be a bad thing, but suddenly the MSM are free speech maximalists ? Jyllands-Posten drawing attention to media self-censorship was pointless grandstanding, but carrying page after page of atrocity pics and insane conspiracy theories, now that’s journalism.

But this isn’t all about the cartoons. It’s not even about nuance, or shading, or anything so subtle. Right now, while the British MSM are devoting pages to a 2003 retrospective, this is going on without so much as a mention. I believe the relevant phrase is ‘not anti-war, just on the other side’.

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