Kristof–like many of his American colleagues–is applauding the International Criminal Court’s arrest order against Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for his role in the Darfur conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives….
By all accounts, Kristof is a well-meaning journalist who travels to dangerous parts of the world, like Darfur, to report on human rights crimes. However, he also could be a case study of what’s wrong with American journalism.
While Kristof writes movingly about atrocities that can be blamed on Third World despots like Bashir, he won’t hold U.S. officials to the same standards.
Most notably, Kristof doesn’t call for prosecuting former President George W. Bush for war crimes, despite hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have died as a result of BushÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬ÃƒÂ¢”Å¾Â¢s illegal invasion of their country. Many Iraqi children also don’t have hands–or legs or homes or parents.
Kristof is far from alone though–as Parry notes: “No one in a position of power in American journalism is demanding that former President Bush join President Bashir in the dock at The Hague.” In fact, even the most modest attempts at accountability invariably are met by big media jeers; see the FAIR Action Alert: “CNN Scoffs at White House Critics: Anchor With Bush Ties Dismisses Abuse-of-Power Hearings as ‘Stagecraft'” (7/31/08)