May
01
2002

Afghan Famine On and Off the Screen

Aid workers mostly quoted when U.S. likes their message

During the U.S. bombing campaign in Afghanistan, international aid workers were among the few non-governmental sources with access to real-time information about how the attacks were affecting the population. In their statements, they often painted a bleak view of civilian suffering. But their ability to garner coverage for their comments seemed to depend on how their message fit with the Bush administration’s propaganda efforts. To keep a lid on dissent, Washington pressured U.N. agencies in the region to keep quiet about the impact of the bombing. "Whenever we spoke out--anytime we did comment on the way the war was impacting […]

May
01
2002

The Washington Times' Hair-Raising Tall Tale

Lynx fur 'hoax' story shows the power of right-wing media

Former Delaware Gov. Pete du Pont wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal (3/27/02) condemning "scientific fraud" by environmentalists. His first example: "The December revelation that employees of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Forest Service had planted fake wild lynx hair in states where there were no lynx, so that the areas could be labeled critical habitat, and thus off limits to human use." Unfortunately, du Pont garbled virtually every aspect of the story. Perhaps he made the mistake of believing what he read in the newspapers--particularly right-wing ones. Contrary to most news reports, the biologists did […]