web counter Media Lies: Reporting? Or editorializing?

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

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Reporting? Or editorializing?

The Associated Press released an article today link about Hamad Karzai's visit to Washington. The article closes with this paragraph:

"Karzai seemed to hint at being weary of the heavy U.S. military presence in his country. As a helicopter flew overhead, prompting Karzai to interrupt his opening remarks, he said with a smile while pointing to the sky, 'You see that too often in Afghanistan.' "

This isn't reporting. It's editorializing. The reporter had two professional choices; ask for clarification or report the remarks without comment and allow the readers to draw their own conclusions about their meaning. Instead, the reporter chose to interject his/her personal opinion into the article.

At the same press conference, according to AP, "[Karzai] said he was satisfied that the U.S. government has remained focused on its commitment to help Afghanistan establish a national government and to rebuild from years of war.

'We would not be having a specific request for more U.S. troops in Afghanistan,' he said. 'The United States is already busy in Afghanistan helping us in reconstruction and helping us fight terrorism and helping us secure our borders.' "

So what is the "reporter's" point? THe Chomskite/liberal view of America is that it is an imperialistic, war-mongering society and the rest of the world wants us to get our troops out of their country and leave them alone. THe reporter's editorial comment is meant to subtly reinforce that view, irregardless of the facts.

karzai said, "I thank you and the people of this great country for your generosity and commitment to our people," Karzai said. "You have supported us with your resources, with your leadership in the world community and, most importantly, with the precious lives of your soldiers."

Does that sound like someone who is "weary of the heavy U.S. military presence in his country"? Not hardly. Yet even in the presence of clearly contradictory evidence, the reporter chose to insert his/her opinion of "the truth".