Extra! Update June 2003

    SoundBites

    The Liberation of Iraq "I want to be certain that nothing is shown that would incite violence in a city that was extremely tense when we took over two-and-one-half weeks ago, and which still has folks who are totally opposed to what we're doing and are willing to do something about it. . . . Yes, what we are looking at is censor­ship, but you can censor something that is intended to inflame passions." —U.S. Maj. Gen. David H. Petraeus, explaining new restrictions on television in Mosul, Iraq (Wash­ington Post, 5/9/03) Oil and Democracy Playing down hopes for a democratic ...


    O'Reilly's Racist Slurs--in Context

    In April 2003, Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly hosted a fundraiser for Best Friends, a charity benefiting inner-city schoolchildren. As reported in the Washington Post (4/15/03), O'Reilly was trying to fill the time before a singing group connected with the charity, called the Best Men, was set to perform, and quipped: "Does anyone know where the Best Men are? I hope they're not in the parking lot stealing our hubcaps." According to the Post report, some of the conservatives in the audience were aghast at the seemingly racist crack. But if anyone was shocked by O'Reilly's apparent racism, they haven't ...


    Depleted Coverage of Uranium Weapons

    In the build-up to the war against Iraq, U.S. television spent much time speculating about whether Saddam Hussein might acquire uranium for weapons. But the same outlets showed little curiosity about the U.S. and Britain's actual use of uranium weapons during the war. Many U.S. and British munitions use a dense, toxic metal known as "depleted" uranium as ballast and to destroy armored vehicles. DU is uranium after most of the fissionable isotope has been extracted for use in nuclear weapons and power plants; it's still radioactive, though less so than natural uranium. The U.S. military insists DU is not ...


    The Blair Witch Trial

    The story of Jayson Blair--a New York Times staff writer who was caught making up quotes, plagiarizing and pretending to report from places he never visited--has become the media scandal of the year, resulting in the resignation of two top Times editors. Blair is black, a fact that several white pundits have implied or asserted is the explanation for his ability to commit these journalistic misdeeds: As Mickey Kaus put it in Slate (5/11/03), the story of Blair is about how "an underperforming and unready reporter was promoted...over the objections of one of the editors who knew him best, because ...