Big Media ‘Lenses…Ground With Ideology, Nationalism’

Noticing that “the New York Times used three square inches of newsprint on Tuesday to dispatch two U.S. Army soldiers under the headline ‘Names of the Dead,'” Norman Solomon (Common Dreams, 7/1/09) points out how apparently “there wasn’t enough room for any numbers, names or ages of Afghans who have died as a part of the Afghan war and related operations.”

Having observed wartime media long enough to know that “that’s the way routine death stories go,” Solomon has also observed that “reporting on life is like that, and reporting on death is like that: even more so when the media lenses are ground with ideology, nationalism and economic convenience”:

The conventional wisdom of press and state insists that the U.S. war effort must do more than go on–it must escalate–in the name of human decency. The political rhetoric in Washington is close to 100 percent humanitarian, while the new supplemental infusion of U.S. spending for Afghanistan is 90 percent military.

Inside a contrived news frame, destruction can nurture life. In media myth, we can be well-informed and ignorant of war’s realities. Along the way, the benefits of numbed quiescence and muffled dissent are vastly overrated.

Listen to Solomon’s recent appearance on the FAIR radio show CounterSpin: “Norman Solomon on Obama’s Inauguration” (1/23/09).