Jan 01 2002

It’s Not Just the Veil

Media need to look deeper at women's role in Afghanistan

There was a moment in the war against Afghanistan when the Bush administration appeared to care about nothing so much as women’s liberation. Out came first lady Laura Bush to talk to the nation about the matter. On November 16, she became what her publicists cheered was “the first first lady to deliver an entire presi­dential radio address” when she denounced the “severe repression against women of Afghanistan.” Laura Bush’s speech was coordi­nated with the release of a State Department report that condemned conditions for women and children under the Taliban and the Al Qaeda terror network. “The fight against […]

Jan 01 2002

See No Evil

PR war, not death toll, is nightly news' focus

How many civilians have been killed in Afghanistan since the start of U.S.-led bombing? It’s an admittedly difficult question to answer, but many U.S. media outlets don’t even seem to be trying. None of the major networks’ nightly newscasts are offering even rough estimates of the overall number of civilians killed. It may be some time before a full accounting of the civilian toll from the U.S.-led bombing in Afghanistan is possible, but relief agencies and a few noteworthy news stories do provide information about the scale of the devastation. As a “conservative” estimate, Doctors Without Borders reports that civilian […]

Nov 01 2001

Covering the ‘Fifth Column’

Media present pro-war distortions of peace movement's views

Antiwar rally, Washington, DC, September 29, 2001

Media present pro-war distortions of peace movement’s views

Oct 01 1989

Biased Afghan Coverage at CBS

Print Media Protect Rather

Despite mainstream journalists’ claim of strict objectivity in covering the news, they make exceptions: Some stories are covered without even the pretense of neutrality. Dan Rather and CBS News, for example, adopted a cause throughout the 1980s–that of the Afghan mujahedeen. Sloppiness in the advocacy of that cause created a recent scandal for the network. Beginning September 27, a series of articles by Janet Wilson in the New York Post charged that Dan Rather’s CBS newscasts had repeatedly “aired fake battle footage and false news accounts” of the Afghan War. Among the charges: Fakery: CBS presented staged “action-packed commando” footage […]