Extra! Update December 2005

    Are 2,000 U.S. Deaths 'Negligible'?

    Imagine a major mainstream media figure stating that the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq are not really such a big deal. You might expect that pundits across the political spectrum would attack such a statement as an affront to the troops and a belittling of their sacrifices. But you don't have to imagine; this scenario has already happened, with hardly a peep from other commentators. The journalist in question is Fox News Channel anchor Brit Hume. On the October 13 broadcast of Special Report, the show he regularly hosts, Hume said of U.S. deaths in Iraq, "by historic standards, ...


    SPJ Undercut First Amendment With Miller Award

    The Society of Professional Journalists’ decision to give its prestigious "First Amendment Award" to embattled New York Times reporter Judith Miller was a blow to freedom of expression. By rewarding a reporter who was apparently collaborating with a powerful government official in an effort to punish the free speech of a government critic, the SPJ was undermining, not advancing, the principles of the First Amendment. The award, coming two days after details of Miller’s involvement in the CIA leak story and her grand jury testimony were revealed by the New York Times (10/16/05), was defended by SPJ board member Mac ...


    The Consequences of Covering Up

    On November 2, the Washington Post carried an explosive front-page story about secret overseas prisons set up by the CIA for the interrogation of terrorism suspects. While the Post article, by reporter Dana Priest, gave readers plenty of details, it also withheld the most crucial information—the location of these secret prisons—at the request of government officials. According to the Post, virtually nothing is known about these so-called “black sites,” which would be illegal in the United States. Given the abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay, news that the U.S. government maintains a secret network of interrogation and detention sites ...


    Soundbites

    O'Reilly to Al-Qaeda: 'Go Ahead' "If Al-Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, 'Look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.'" --Bill O'Reilly's response to San Francisco's vote to restrict military recruiting in schools (Radio Factor, 11/9/05) 'Analysts With Real Expertise' A November 15 editorial in the New York Times criticized the White House for its bogus pre-war claims, such as the charge that Iraq was importing aluminum tubes to re-start ...