Cable News Network (CNN) staff advised to blame Taliban
An internal memo from the CNN’s standards and practices department was issued to all CNN staffers suggesting the staff should not focus ‘excessively’ on the casualties and hardships in Afghanistan or to forget that it is the Taliban leadership that is responsible for the current situation in Afghanistan.
The memo said that since it could be difficult for correspondents inside Afghanistan to make these points, anchors should be sure to follow each of the reports with a comment, the paper said.
Standards and practices suggested that while reporters should put the commentary in their own words, they might want to note that these US military actions are in response to a terrorist attack that killed close to 5,000 innocent people in the US.
On CNN’s website, transcripts of reports from Nic Robertson in Kandahar, and Bill Delaney in Islamabad, both had editor’s note at the bottom, which read: The Pentagon has stressed that it is trying to minimize civilian casualties in Afghanistan. The US-led coalition launched its offensive on October 7 after Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban refused to hand over members of the Al Qaeda terror network, which is suspected of orchestrating attacks in the United States that killed close to 5, 000 people.
In recent days, US media have begun to put increased pressure on the Bush administration to explain civilian deaths and injuries in Afghanistan.
Source: The Nation