Friday, January 7, 2011

(Self-)Censorship in the USA

"Mr Pope had a plum job and respects the [Wall Street] Journal for being an honest newspaper. But all the same he had deep trouble with its editing criteria, especially regarding anything destined for its coveted front page. By means of omissions and headlines, editors, in his view, would turn out finished stories that were politically correct in the context of America’s pro-Israeli and anti-Islamist beliefs. The demand, particularly concerning Arab-Israeli affairs, was for upbeat stories reporting good news about what the author calls the “virtual world” of the peace process."

This extract is from a review of Hugh Pope's book "Dining with al-Qaeda" (Thomas Dunne) which appeared in the Economist (March 6, 2010).

This is how civil society, in the guise of the AIPAC and Christian fundamentalists, has turned newspapers into political mouthpieces. This was inevitable: "In no country in the world has the principle of association been more successfully used, or more unsparingly applied to a multitude of different objects, than in America," wrote Alexis de Tocqueville.

What is freedom to the Americans, is literally death to non-Americans. But for Wikileaks we would never have known that Israel deliberately maintained the economy of the Gaza strip "on the brink of collapse" without "pushing it over the edge," a leaked US diplomatic cable from 2008 showed.

This shows that the US government has been captured by civil society of a nasty type, and that US newspapers are unwilling to tell their readers the truth about the world.

In Bangladesh our biddable intellectuals are constantly touting the benefits of democracy and civil society to please their American masters, and so shut our eyes to the twin evils.

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