Cable News Network (CNN) call triggers debate among US journalists
WASHINGTON- As the offensive on Afghanistan nears its one-month mark, US journalists are debating their role in the US war on terrorism notably after the President of Cable News Network issued a memo urging more “balanced” coverage of US bombing runs.
The internal memo, published in the Washington Post, urged CNN staff to guard against presenting too much of the Taliban’s point of view, now that the embattled ruling militias have begun letting a few foreign journalists into Afghanistan under tight surveillance.
After airing footage from Afghanistan, especially scenes of destruction wrought by US bombs missing their targets, CNN journalists should “talk about how the Taliban have harbored the terrorists responsible for killing close to 5,000 innocent people” in September 11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon, Walter, Isaacson’s memo said.
“You say, let us remind you these people are responsible for killing 5,000 people. Which people? The people in this destroyed building. Is it relevant?” Dan Schorr, senior news analyst for National Public Radio, asked at a debate on the topic convened this week by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think-tank.
“It is enough to say we are showing you what the Taliban let, us show you,” said Schorr, who has covered every US conflict, since World War 11. The US media enjoys unparalleled freedom of speech, but that cherished US right is a frequent casualty of war, as the government strives to win on the information front.
Source: The Nation