Nov
01
1993

The Selling of Savimbi

Book Review

The Cold War Guerilla: Jonas Savimbi, the U.S. Media and the Angolan War By Elaine Windrich (Greenwood Press) Elaine Windrich dedicates her book to "the Angolan vic­tims of the Reagan Doc­trine," whose numbers con­tinue to escalate as "freedom fighter" Jonas Savimbi ravages the country after refusing to abide by the re­sults of a U.N.-organized election. Meanwhile the West looks the other way, after having armed him in the al­leged interest of "bringing the Angolan government to the bargaining table." The Cold War Guerilla is about the selling of Savimbi to the U.S. public from 1976 through 1990, a joint effort […]

Nov
01
1993

Erasing Rape

Media Hype an Attack on Sexual-Assault Research

According to author Katie Roiphe, acquaintance rape is just a term radical feminists use to describe a night that you regret. She made this argument in a New York Times op-ed in 1991, and made it again in a New York Times Magazine cover story (6/13/93), labeled "Rape Hype." The magazine piece was an excerpt from her new book, The Morning After: Sex, Fear and Feminism on Campus, which was sympathetically reviewed by the Times' Christopher Lehmann-Haupt (9/16/93), who praised Roiphe's "courage." It was reviewed again (favorably) on the front page of the New York Times book review section (9/18/93)--perhaps […]

Nov
01
1993

News Flash: Poor Mothers on Crime Spree!

"PrimeTime goes undercover to investigate welfare fraud, and the mess of a system that entices people to break the rules and gouge the taxpayers," Diane Sawyer announced last year, introducing a segment of ABC's PrimeTime Live (9/17/92). "With so much money up for grabs," Sawyer declared, "investigators in the field say it's even better than robbing a bank." One bandit rolling in cash was "Mary," a single mother on welfare who secretly worked two part-time jobs. "Mary" thereby netted approximately $16,000 a year, a figure even Sawyer seemed to acknowledge was hard to live on. Nevertheless, the PrimeTime host scolded […]

Nov
01
1993

East Timor: Media Turned Their Backs on Genocide

Imagine that a small country is invaded in 1975 by a powerful neighbor well over 100 times its size, a major recipient of U.S. military and economic aid. About one-third of the population- -- over 200,000 -- people die as a result of the invasion, politically created starvation, and the ongoing occupation. Despite the atrocities and numerous U.N. resolutions condemning the invasion and occupation, the U.S., Japan and a number of Western European countries continue to provide the invader with about $5 billion in annual economic assistance. There's no need to imagine such a situation. The aggressor is resource-rich Indonesia, […]

Nov
01
1993

Media Not Doing Justice To Mideast Peace

As virtually all media outlets celebrated the "magnificent spectacle of peacemaking" in Washington (Newsweek, 9/27/93), leading media voices were often more jubilant than accurate in their reporting. Even as the Israelis and Palestinians were lauded for "emerging from the clutches of history" (Time, 9/13/93), too many journalists clung to past habits of bias in their coverage. Most of the press showed more interest in the choreography of the signing ceremony than in what the agreement actually said. Thomas Friedman, the New York Times' Mideast expert, claimed the parties are "finally acknowledging that they each have an equally valid claim" to […]

Nov
01
1993

October Reprisals

Investigators of alleged Iran deal face smears, legal threats

The debate over the "October Surprise" has embroiled some of the country's most prominent journalists--none more deeply then Robert Parry and Steve Emerson. In the latest skirmish, Emerson has threatened to sue Parry--and Parry has produced documents showing that Emerson made false statements in his efforts to discredit Parry's reporting. As previously reported in Extra!, Emerson for nearly two years has vigorously tried to debunk the "October Surprise," the allegation that the 1980 Reagan campaign cut a deal with Iran to keep U.S. hostages until after the election. Following publication of a House Foreign Affairs Committee Task Force report on […]