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Journalism and War
Posted by: Jon Henke on Monday, July 17, 2006

The Ugly American asks Glenn Greenwald if he would "stand there and watch a terrorist shoot at Americans and take a picture?" to which Greenwald responds that "if I were a photographer assigned to that region and to cover the insurgency, of course I would." The Ugly American is dismayed, but I think this is a bit more complicated that The Ugly American would like it to be...
You tell me what is the proper degree of separation to make it journalistically ethical to stand by and watch someone murder another American?
On the one hand, it can reasonably be argued that, in some circumstances, a journalist must decide whether his first obligation is to the proximate allies in danger or to the practice of journalism. From that perspective, one might infer that choosing to cover the story rather than warn the troops is an adbication of one's moral duties.

Well, maybe. Or maybe not.

Many on the Right have recently argued that one negative consequence of extending Geneva Convention protections to unlawful combatants will be the death of more innocent civilians. Similarly, if journalists—even just a few—begin operating as explicit accessories to one side or the other, what do you suppose the consequences will be for other journalists? If journalists become camera-wielding extensions of the US military, the consequence will be that more journalists are killed on sight. And why not? As far as a military force is concerned, an enemy is an enemy.

Why, I ask ironically, does The Ugly American want patriotic journalists to die?

Should journalists take sides while covering a war? Perhaps. But let's not pretend that it's as simple as "they're either with us or they're against us". If journalists cannot be neutral observers, they will either (a) not cover the story or (b) they will die.

Neither of those options help America, either.
 
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Comments
Uh Jon how about this, "Patriotic Journalists" don’t sign up to "cover" the OTHER SIDE? Plus Mr. Photagrapher is busy releasing a BOOK about his experiences of being embedded with the Mahdi’s Militia. Kind of like Cronkite’s, With the 21st Panzer Division in Normandy: In the Company of Rommel’s Finest...oh wait.

In short don’t spend months with the bad guys, that way you avoid all the fuss and muss of having to decide, "Do I act and possibly die or do I let this guy shoot Americans?" Mayhap the NYT could assign a couple of reporters to get the Mob’s view of the War on Crime, whilst we’re at it.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
AND ANOTHER THING... why are reporters "neutral observers" again Jon... where is that in the Constitution or International Law? No that’s just a J-School convention. I don’t recall that Cronkite or Ernie Pyle were "neutral" nor was the BBC in the Second World War. There is a difference between offering a critique of action and being a critic, between being on a side and being a "fan-boy."
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Jon, I am sure you will take heat for asking this question, but the following should be kept in mind: The photographer’s warning the American troops probably would have been at the cost of his own life. It’s easy for people to say what they would have done if they had been there... from the safety of our couches or ergonomic office chairs.

Ugly American says that Greenwald’s answer implies that he doesn’t care about the outcome of the situation, but in reality his answer implies that he feels the long term outcome is separate and potentially opposite of the short term outcome. I think it’s safe to assume that Silva (the photographer) isn’t there to kill anybody. He probably never has and never will. One does not become an international photojournalist because one wants to kill terrorists - to judge his action or inaction from the point of view of a non-photojournalist is pretty meaningless.

Disagreeing is one thing, but I personally think he missed Greenwald’s point... which was imho clearer than the last time you wrote about the man.

I do think the NYT caption was purposely inflammatory, but that’s a separate issue.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
And your scenario is better for America, how?

I want our side to win. If that means not reporting the enemy’s side, fine. I don’t care to see an ’objective’ look at Hassam and his tactics. I prefer to see Hassam either killed or disheartened to the point where he stops fighting. If not being able to get his story out to the media acheives either goal, fantastic.

I have no problems with Al-Arabnewsmedia reporting their side. I have no issues with Michael Yon reporting our side (positive and negative). I have a problem with someone pretending to be ’objective’ when it costs lives of my fellow Marines.
 
Written By: Robb Allen (Sharp as a Marble)
URL: http://sharpmarbles.stufftoread.com
Pretending to be objective?
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
Neither of those options help America, either.
For someone who claims to be so logical, how do you come to that conclusion?
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Both sides have compelling arguments here.

First off though
Similarly, if journalists—even just a few—begin operating as explicit accessories to one side or the other, what do you suppose the consequences will be for other journalists?
I think we have to ask ourselves if that’s not what happened in this situation. Just as reporters have embedded with our troops during the invasion, did Silva do just that only with the enemy? Can either one of those be called "neutral observers"?
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
Silva was born in Portugal and lives in Johanessburg, South Africa. He isn’t American, and has made a career as an international photo-journalist. Apparently, he has persuaded Iraqi insurgents to allow him to photograph them as they go about their insurgency business. As a contractor with the NYT, that paper picks up some of Silva’s pics.

The descriptions of Silva’s book of photographs (published in South Africa), I find that disturbing, to say the least — softly depicting as it does the Shi’a insurgents as merely people of faith who embrace martyrdom.

But to the larger point: men with cameras are not in a position to stop men with IEDS and AK-47s. Photo-journalists employ cameras to take pictures, and any other use is going to get them killed, and also would make targets of their brethren. If Americans and the rest of the world are to see the insurgents up close, that will be shown to us by men (and women) with cameras, digital and video. If these journalists assume the role of soldier, however, they will show us nothing.

They will be dead.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
How does a terrorist know if a Journalist is going to be a neutral observer or not?
Do they wear a badge - "Al Queda Certified Neutral Observer" with a tally of the number of times they haven’t ratted terrorists out?

My bet is a terrorist doesn’t take a chance, unless he knows the guy isn’t really ’neutral’.

And I find it rather intriguing that if I have a camera in my hand I can suddenly take pictures instead of helping people when I could actually influence the outcome of the situation instead of documenting it.
I can take pictures of fellow Americans being shot because I’m a Journalist and the story of how someone was killed is more important than their life is.
Wins awards, great basis for a movie, b*tch of a thing about the dead guy and his family though huh, wow, bummer.

Yeah, whatever, that’s an awesome value system.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
So, if hundreds of those trapped on top to the burning WTC on 9/11 had been journalists, the al Qaeda pilots would have diverted to Newark ? Yeah sure.

If this were true, the Bush Administration would have shut down the NYT because in their zeal to be journalists, they had inadvertently become non citizens of the US, not covered by the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. Bush could have deported them all.

There is no neutrality for any citizen of a non-neutral country, especially for a citizen of a country at war.

It has become clearer and clearer that the meaning of "citizen" has become obscured (and probably a great Presidential debate question in 2008).
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Mona makes a good point: the dynamic changes when the photographer/journalist isn’t an American. But when the photog/journo is an American, there ought to be no question that duty to America - and, by extension, Americans - comes first. Just as we ought not to be welcoming to America immigrants who pledge allegiance to other countries ahead of America, we shouldn’t be wanting anybody - journalists or not - to put their loyalty to America behind their loyalty to anything or anybody else (and yes, this includes American jews who have an Israel first mentality). You can only have one true love.... and, for Americans, it ought to be America.

So if this means that American journalists don’t travel with terrorists/insurgents, so be it. And if it means that American-owned newspapers don’t have photographers traveling with terrorists/insurgents, so be it.
 
Written By: steve
URL: http://
There are several interesting points here. First, it simply won’t do to say that a journalist must or even can be objective as though the fact of the journalist’s presence doesn’t have some effect on what is being reported. This is especially true in this sort of case because whatever success the terrorists / insurgents / whatever are going to have will depend in large measure on the extent and nature of the publicity they receive.

I don’t think the apodictic "Us v. Them" dichotomy suggested in some of the comments above fairly captures the situation, either. Don’t we want to say that certain jobs transcend nationality, or at least that they should? Isn’t that the reason we want to support international humanitarian organizations and, I think by similar reasoning, news agencies regardless of the nationality of the individuals working for them?
 
Written By: D.A. Ridgely
URL: http://
Don’t we want to say that certain jobs transcend nationality, or at least that they should? Isn’t that the reason we want to support international humanitarian organizations and, I think by similar reasoning, news agencies regardless of the nationality of the individuals working for them?
No that’s a useful fiction...we might want a degree of neutrality for certain things, I don’t think nationalism is going to help a rescue effort in Cote D’Ivoire or France, BUT when a Westerner confronts The Mahdi’s Army or North Koreas regime, no they really oughtn’t be neutral. Freedom of the Press is nice, but when used by someone who doesn’t recognize it for HIS own side and merely wants to use the NYT to propagandize then it’s merely a tool in the hands of nasty fellows.

And no news organizations aren’t quite the same as Medecins san Frontiers. Reuters exists to turn a PROFIT, whereas Oxfam does not, the NYT is a business, its journalists are producers of the product it markets, NEWS. So no, journalists are NOT in the same category as say some NGO workers. That is a conceit that journalists like to foster amongst themselves and others, that they are somehow doing the "Lord’s Work" whilst really they are selling soap powder. Nothing wrong with selling soap powder, just don’t confuse selling soap powdere with healing the Lepers, it’s NOT the same.

And even NGO workers might question their mission, as one German did after serving an extensive tour in North Korea. His conclusion was that aid merely propped up a horrific regime in Pyongyang and that really Oxfam and others ought to come home. See he managed to put aside his neutrality and see that whilst he might be helping some folks in North Korea, that overall his efforts helped the regime more than it helped the citizens of that regime and that the citizens GREATEST threat came from the regime, not the hunger.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Wow, can anyone get enough Greenwald? ;)
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Capt. Joe I’m think that QandO is in a sophisticated cross-marketing scheme with this guy... you know like when Frankie Goes to Hollywood feuded with Boy George... and please, PLEASE tell that you do not ask, "Who are they?"
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Don’t we want to say that certain jobs transcend nationality, or at least that they should?
Doctors, for example? - sure, there are plenty of others. How many jobs are there where they think it’s a mark of honor to be able to stand back and be ’objective’ while they witness attacks/acts of terror?

A guy taking photos or writing a story to satisfy the public’s ’need’ (right?) to know about Abu-bin-Terrorist and the agony of his war against the great Shaitan in a world that doesn’t understand him?
Sorry, not buying.
Or, more exactly AM buying, that’s what’s selling the papers, the magazines, the evening news. There’s no great service to humanity here, it’s the appeal of their subject not only to our desire to ’know’, but in some cases our morbid fascination with death and suffering.

I’d even go for them interviewing these clowns in a safe location, fine, but going with them on an attack, kidnaping, ambush, etc and trying to justify capturing it all for posterity while they act as paid witnesses (for something, let’s be frank, they can turn into F-A-M-E and M-O-N-E-Y)?

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Hey, Joe, I am in my mid forties, I know who they are. It took me a year to get those lyrics out of my head, thanks for reminding me :(
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Jeez, and this is why I "try" (oh how I try) to avoid the whole Greenwald schtick.

In his comment to the ugly american, he calls him a chickenhawk.
What I really don’t understand about people like you is you are always talking so tough from your house - calling on this photographer to risk his life even further and kill someone who is standing there holding a rifle. And yet you don’t do that yourself. If you think the photographer should be roaming around Iraq killing insurgents, seriously - why aren’t you doing that yourself?

What right do you have to demand that this photographer risk his life in a way that you obviously won’t do yourself?
Yep, chickenhawks. Well, that argument sure sold me. yep, sure did
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
CaptJoe - that photographer could grab gun out of the terrorists hand...

and sing - "Do you really want to hurt me?"
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Silly me. I thought that the whole issue was whether or not the NYT was acting as a mouthpiece for enemy propoganda by providing a neutral platform for this guy. For instance: "Hey Silva, I can get you a spread in the NYT, including pictures from your book, and no negative comments included. What’s it worth to you?"
Silva: "You can!? Wow. My guys will pay plenty."
Turns out the real story is ...whatever this post is about.
 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
Neo: There is no neutrality for any citizen of a non-neutral country, especially for a citizen of a country at war.
Steve: duty to America - and, by extension, Americans - comes first.

Why? It’s a matter of free trade. The journalist wants exclusive photos and unprecedented access. The guerrillas want some media coverage in exchange, probably for some crazy ideological reasons. Who are you to intervene with some intangible nationalist moral imposition? Even if the parties involved are trying to get a profit, which Joe implies is somehow dirty. It is service to humanity, looker – as evidenced by the fact that humanity reimburses journalists for their labor.

Journalists are not legally bound to follow the orders of the president, or to follow US laws when overseas, and they certainly aren’t bound by your personal moral code, even if most Americans are.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
wulf: and that’s the rub for me and, I hope, a lot of people, the idea/claim that journalists are in some special class that exempts them from putting America first. And the same holds true for doctors: their obligations as Americans should require them to tend to an injured American before they tend to someone who isn’t an American... regardless of the magnitude of the other person’s injuries. An American would never let another American die in order to help someone else first.

And, yes, I am questioning the patriotism of those who say otherwise.
 
Written By: steve
URL: http://
Steve -

I second that.
 
Written By: Monica
URL: http://
Steve, that’s fine for you to believe, but clearly not everybody does. If the journalist’s actions do not constitute treason, then it’s meaningless to imply otherwise.

I am willing to defend the ideals of this nation, but I do not have some kind of obligation to an individual just because they are from this country. Don’t you tell me otherwise. That is a collectivist mindset, and it is especially perverse in this day and age when so many American citizens do not have any allegiance to the principles and ideals our nation is supposed to stand for.

It’s fine by me if you question my patriotism, because I don’t.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
Looker,
and sing - "Do you really want to hurt me?"
If you are singing it the way I think you are, then yes, I DO want to hurt you. :)

As for the central point:

For myself, the crucial point is being the same nationality as the soldier under attack. If I was the same nationality of the soldier being shot at, then I just couldn’t live with myself, standing there watching like some sort of ghoul, recording...

But I could neither stand by and let someone in my neighborhood be attacked.

I can see the point about being wanting to an observer to the act, while suppressing your personal feelings about seeing your countrymen being killed by terrorists, but I won’t accept that argument for the act. It smacks of moral confusion and moral equivalence.

We all live by our own principles. Just because others refuse to accept mine does it mean that should I give up those principles. Neither will I force another to accept them but that also doesn’t mean I can’t shake my head at their choice.

But then that is the way I am. Silly me.

 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Ok, the photog has no obligation to Allied troops if his actions would endanger his life. Now let’s look at this scenario.
The insurgent sniper suddenly takes the photog captive hoping for a financial gain (ransom) from Portugal or South Africa. Simultaneously, the insurgent sniper is under the scope and within range of an American sniper. But shooting the insurgent and saving the life of the photog would result in exposing an on-going mission and the sniper would likely loose his life. He already knows that the photog has sold his soul for the photography opportunity just as Eason Jordan sold his soul to keep CNN in Baghdad. Is he obligated to save the life of the photog?
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
Journalists are not legally bound to follow the orders of the president, or to follow US laws when overseas, and they certainly aren’t bound by your personal moral code, even if most Americans are.

Written By: Wulf
You make the presumption that journalists are some global elite who have transcended national alliances, yet deserve the full cooperation of our military and national assets within a war zone, with near-diplomatic immunity rights before they cross over to the enemy side to make enemy-approved propaganda - then scoot back to a cozy air-conditioned hotel in a safe area guarded by Marines willing to lay down their lives to prevent a car bomber or truck bomber from getting through....and prepare their highly lucrative and well-paying "positive about the courage, depth of feeling, and innocent babies killed by evil Americans" for their media feeds.

Not to put too fine a mark on it, but the only "reporters & photographers" working with the enemy are the enemy, or are people who have accepted a bargain with their enemy hosts never to embarass the enemy side with a bad photo or story as they help to churn out anti-American propaganda for the NYTimes or Al-Jazeera. Otherwise they would be killed.

The "we are above it all" journalists forget that war is won by propaganda as much as by bullet, and those working to advance selected by the enemy stories and photos advance the enemy cause. If other nation nationals insist on being with the enemy, fine, they can do so without the slightest logistics, travel, security or other assistance from those fighting the enemy they wish to extoll.

The enemy regards the sympathetic media as a critical ally.

And definitely, any American that works the enemy side with no criticism but admiration, while having unlimited criticism of "our side" - is a traitor.

And yes, Wulf, count me in among the posters that question your patriotism.
 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
When Al Qaeda comes over to America and flies a plane into a tower, it’s murder (well, mass murder, technically).

When an Iraqi picks up a gun in Iraq and shoots at an American soldier, part of an army that attacked, invaded and occupied the country, how exactly is this "murder"?
 
Written By: Phoenician in a time of Romans
URL: http://
C. Ford, please show me where exactly I make the presumption that journalists are some global elite who have transcended national alliances, yet deserve the full cooperation of our military and national assets within a war zone… etc. etc. Because I am pretty sure I did not.

 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
It seems that some American journalists look upon themselves as journalists who happen to be American citizens rather than Americans who happen to be journalists.

If they truly wish to be objective and neutral, they should move to Switzerland to remove any possible taint of pro-American bias. But then, of course, they would have to forego all the privileges and advantages of being an American, including the protection and aid of the American troops they want to distance themselves from.

Haven’t the terorists already beheaded an objective and unbiased journalist or two? Might as well be on the right side.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Phoenician in a time of Romans

Two points:
- I called it killing not murder, for me there is a distinction between the two.
- There is another poster on some blog I read that calls himself
Phone Technician in a time of Roaming. Is he spoofing you? call me curious.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Why, I ask ironically, does The Ugly American want patriotic journalists to die
Sorry, I dispute the assertion. I really don’t believe there are "patriotic" journalists.......unless a Dem is in office.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Phoenician in a time of Romans
It’s NOT murder. Unless he’s potting civilians...
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Tom Scott,

I am sure that the photog would view things that way. The sniper would be killed saving the photog’s life and the photog would write about the courage of the Mahdi’s army, mentioning the sniper in context with Abu Ghraib, Haditha, etc.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Why, I ask ironically, does The Ugly American want patriotic journalists to die
Ok, fair point, but why is the ugly american a chickenhawk (Greenwald’s commentary) for saying that the "patriotic journalists" should do something to prevent the death of an American soldier?
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
I agree with timactual. Ya wanna be "objective", give up your US citizenship. The enemy in Iraq make full use of "objective" news reports; that is clear from their captured documents.

The enemy can’t face us, but they can use media outlets against us. In fact, news media represents one of their few effective responses since we went on the offensive.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
wulf: assume you’re given a choice: save the life of a generic American or the life of a generic foreigner. who do you pick? For me, being an American means picking the American. heck, I’d pick the American even if it was you! Although to be honest, there are some Americans for whom I’d have a hard time choosing... for me, the Michael Moores, Cindy Sheehans and the Alec Baldwins ought to hope someone else is doing the saving.

However, to make it interesting, it’s now a choice between a generic American or Elizabeth Hurley (assuming you go that way, Clive Owen if you don’t). who do you pick now?
 
Written By: steve sturm
URL: http://thoughtsonline.blogspot.com/
I’ve been following this story for a couple of days now, and I’ve reluctantly come to the following conclusion: In the War on Terror, it’s clear the New York Times is on the other side.

It’s irrelevant whether or not the Times’ photographer in question was an American citizen. The relevant fact was that the Times chose to employ someone with ties to and sympathy with the terrorists in Iraq; the guy never would have been allowed to take those pictures, otherwise. And the Times must know of this guy’s sympathies, just from looking at the photos he produced. The photo montage this guy brought back glorifies the people responsible not just for attacks on US and Iraqi troops, but hundreds of Iraqi civilians as well.

Yet incredibly the Times still knowingly ran what can only be described as enemy propaganda without so much as a shred of condemnation or even context; in fact Times editors went out of their way to praise the courage (!) of this terrorist with a camera.

The Times has a clear track record of whitewashing enemies of this country, going all the way back to Walter Duranty’s coverage of Stalin’s purges of the 1930s. The Times also has a clear track record of trying to undermine everything the current President is trying to accomplish - including defending the country - out of nothing more than partisan political malice and resentment that "their" candidates lost the last two presidential elections. Surveillance of international banking transactions? Blown to Al-Qaeda by the New York Times, sources, methods and all. Data mining? International communications intercepts? Blown to AQ too. Saddam’s rape rooms and the butchery of US soldiers and innocent Iraqi civilians received hardly a mention from the NYT...while they made Abu Ghraib a global scandal. And the same day the Times ran the photos of the glorious Iraqi insurgents in action, they also had the gall to run an op-ed piece reinforcing the moonbat claim that the President was only using the War on Terror to gain executive power at the expense of the other two branches of government, civil liberties...and the Constitution itself. And that is by not means a complete list of how the Times has tried to undermine this country...

When I enlisted in the Army twenty years ago, I took an oath to defend, preserve and protect the country and the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. The New York Times has demonstrated once and for all that they qualify as such.



 
Written By: Wes S.
URL: http://
If you have journalist covering a story from the wrong side (the enemies) then that does nothing more than encourage them as it creates propaganda for them that gets aired through legitimate american news agencies. Sounds alot like aid and comfort to the enemy to me.

If a journalist, photographer or what ever wants to a do story on the otherside have him interview some of the captured terrorist and ask them how they feel about failing his mission and letting allah and all his terrorist buddies down. No dumb questions about how he’s being treated or if he still able to receive his subscription to "Burkha Babes".
 
Written By: Mac
URL: http://
It’s NOT murder. Unless he’s potting civilians...

In that case, you may wish to correct the Ugly American and the owner of this blog for quoting him in asking:

"You tell me what is the proper degree of separation to make it journalistically ethical to stand by and watch someone murder another American?"

- There is another poster on some blog I read that calls himself Phone Technician in a time of Roaming. Is he spoofing you? call me curious.

Heh.

A few years back, I had to pick a nom de guerre for comments threads. Since I come from a small trading country outside the US, I took literally five seconds thought and came up with that moniker.

Since that time, I’ve been "trolling" wingnut blogs (which, I admit, this doesn’t appear to be - quite), usually posting with cites and references backing up my arguments because it drives wingnuts crazy (I’m in, or was in, a position which allowed me access to an incredible amount of material about current affairs).

The usual response from the more easily excited nutcases is ad hominem and invective. Since I don’t bring my nationality, my gender or my profession into the discussion, that sorta leaves them with attempting to insult me by insulting Phoenicians. I did know a girl from the Lebanon once, but apart from that, I don’t care.

Jeff Goldstein’s cesspool collects a particularly fine selection of mouth breathers. Since they found that they couldn’t deal with well-referenced arguments, and since insults rolled off my back, they went into a spasm and tried to get rid of me by spoofing the moniker. Some of the efforts were amusing, but the whole attempt was pointless - I simply didn’t care. I just kept posting (with cites where appropriate) until Jeff figured out some way to rationalise banning me without having to deal with the content of my comments.

So I take it as a tribute to the use of supported argument in baiting the excitable.
 
Written By: Phoenician in a time of Romans
URL: http://
So, have you heard any good Phoenician jokes? I am curious purely for reasons of research of course, my motives are pure, no ethnic bias involved.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"Jeff Goldstein’s cesspool collects a particularly fine selection of mouth breathers. Since they found that they couldn’t deal with well-referenced arguments"

You know, I’ve honestly never seen a leftist make a well referenced argument, unless you mean on purely MLA stylistic grounds.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
It is service to humanity, looker – as evidenced by the fact that humanity reimburses journalists for their labor.
and I repeat
Yeah, whatever, that’s an awesome value system.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I know, that stupid Capitalism. What’s it ever done for anybody?
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
I simply didn’t care. I just kept posting (with cites where appropriate) until Jeff figured out some way to rationalise banning me without having to deal with the content of my comments.
No, you mean he banned you for calling him a racist. Interestingly, you failed to respond with cites and references to back up this assertion. Wonder why?
 
Written By: Jordan
URL: http://
Interestingly, you failed to respond with cites and references to back up this assertion.

You mean apart from quoting him showing a double standard for civilians depending on their nationality?
 
Written By: Phoenician in a time of Romans
URL: http://
You mean apart from quoting him showing a double standard for civilians depending on their nationality?
I wasn’t aware that race and nationality are the same.
 
Written By: Jordan
URL: http://
I wasn’t aware that race and nationality are the same.

Mmm, it was mixed - he treated Arab civilian lives considerably more loosely than American civilians. Painting it as "white vs "brown" was a bit trollish - but I did have the cites.
 
Written By: Phoenician in a time of Romans
URL: http://
Jon, I agree with yout point about 100%. You could have defended it better though. As usual, the ratio of authoritarian nationalists to genuine libertarians here is about 10 to 1.

If you don’t understand the importance of objective, factual information by which to interpret the world around you, you are a fool, and if you want to imprison journalists for providing facts and direct observation, you are a fascist. Most of the commentators here quite obviously fail to grasp the very basics of the free society that they live in: a society where you are not compelled by either force or law to agree with your governemnt, it’s policies, or for that matter, the actions of its military. Not only do you betray the spirit of your country to suggest that American civilians are required to lie on behalf of their government, or if you’d claim you didn’t say lie right out, present incomplete and slanted information - not only do you betray the spirit of your country, but you identify against civilization and progress itself, and you cripple the country you’re trying to protect.

There are a lot of hysterical accusations flying around here about how all the journalists are all rooting for the "other guy", "enemy", "terrorists", and so on, and so forth, but giving an interview to the guy your country is fighting is not rooting for anyone. It’s basic journalism. Basic journalism follows some basic rules: identify important things that are happening and talk to the people making it happen. If you only talk to one side of any story, you don’t get the truth. You get their slant. By presenting the words and assertions of all sides of any conflict, you allow intelligent citizens and audiences the ability to choose who they agree with. You perfom the essential function of a national press - testing the statements of its government against contrasting indicators.

The growth of global media is an important reason why conflict has become bounded and limited. Non-state information sources are a foundational aspect of democracy. If you openly root for America as a journalist, this is a euphemism for deliberately suppresing and/or malinterpreting information in order to warp the perceptions of American citizens - and you are hurting your country. You’re also not a journalist. You’re a source of propaganda - pro-American propaganda.
America is not helped by pro-American propaganda.

A journalist is bound by a duty to objective information about the world as it is to get the story from all sides of any conflict. By doing so, he is ultimately serving his country. A soldier serves his country in a different way. The values that a soldier brings to fighting wars are not appropriate for journalism. That’s why we have separate professions for the two roles. Together, they form a strong country. Without either one and their different mindsets, the country is weaker. Many totalitarian countries sport "journalists" whose mindsets and rulesets don’t differ much from that of their soldiers. These countries end up falling apart at the seams.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
"It is service to humanity, looker – as evidenced by the fact that humanity reimburses journalists for their labor."

The guy that empties my septic tank gets reimbursed for his labor, too.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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