From our archives: Articles you should have read the first time around, but didn’t.
JOHN PILGER: One of my favorite stories about the Cold War concerns a group of Russian journalists who were touring the United States. On the final day of their visit, they were asked by the host for their impressions. “I have to tell you,” said the spokesman, “that we were astonished to find after reading all the newspapers and watching TV day after day that all the opinions on all the vital issues are the same. To get that result in our country we send journalists to the gulag. We even tear out their fingernails. Here you don’t have to do any of that. What is the secret?” [This is in itself an American Cold War propaganda meme.]
Vietnamese battalion commander Captain Thach Quyen interrogates a captured Viet Cong suspect. The US “satellite armies” are notorious for their villainy and brutality, often outdoing their masters, amply meriting the old appellative, “running dogs of capitalism”. Photo Credit: Huynh Thanh My, 1965 (AP). Online Source: http://digitaljournalist.org/issue9711/req10.htm
What is the secret? It is a question seldom asked in newsrooms, in media colleges, in journalism journals, and yet the answer to that question is critical to the lives of millions of people. On August 24 last year the New York Times declared this in an editorial: “If we had known then what we know now the invasion if Iraq would have been stopped by a popular outcry.” This amazing admission was saying, in effect, that journalists had betrayed the public by not doing their job and by accepting and amplifying and echoing the lies of Bush and his gang, instead of challenging them and exposing them. What the Times didn’t say was that had that paper and the rest of the media exposed the lies, up to a million people might be alive today.