PBS was set up in part because of an understanding that advertising exerts pressure on media outlets. And now it's using its own advertising to signal its disapproval of critical coverage.
As Steve Rendall noted here (1/22/10), Scott Horton's explosive Harper's report (3/10) on several ostensible suicides at Guantanamo has received very little mainstream media attention–despite the fact that Horton's account suggests that the prisoners were murdered by U.S. officials at a "black site" within the Guantanamo facility. But never fear–the story has finally broken through. And in the New York Times, no less! Sort of… it's on the letters page. To the Editor: Re "Editorial Shake-Up as Harper's Tries to Stabilize in a Downturn" (Business Day, February 1): I'd like to clarify your report of something I said at a […]
Giving us a glimpse at "a large part of what was left on the editor's floor" from his On the Media NPR interview, Harpers.org's Scott Horton (5/12/09) writes of "the New York Times and its history of dealing with the word 'torture'": I noted that in the pre-Bush era, the Times had absolutely no compunction about calling certain practices "torture," but when the Bush administration began to use them, the word was suddenly off-limits, or only used in the most circumspect way ("a practice which critics of the administration call 'torture,'" for instance). A good example can be found in […]
Reading some of the latest headlines, one might think that Spanish investigations and possible indictments of six former Bush officials for alleged involvement in torture were dead in the water. As the Associated Press banner put it (4/17/09): "Spain: No Torture Probe of U.S. Officials," while the Los Angeles Times headlined a news brief (4/17/09), 'Spain; Prosecutors Reject Trying Bush Officials." On the prosecutors' announcement, the AP story reported: While their ruling is not binding, the announcement all but dooms prospects for the case against the men going forward. On Thursday, Spain's top law-enforcement official Candido Conde-Pumpido said he would […]