Skip to comments.CNN: The Mother of All Cover-Ups-A dozen years fronting for Saddam's murderous regime
Posted on 04/15/2003 5:31:59 AM PDT by SJackson
One of Rush Limbaughs listeners wondered how many lives might have been saved if the press had told the truth about the torture in Iraq. I wonder too, especially after CNN boss Eason Jordon confessed that for some 12 years he covered up the fact that Saddam Hussein was a murderous "maniac" whose goons regularly tortured not only Iraqi citizens but even his own Baghdad bureau CNN employees.
The incidences of torture he covered up simply boggle the mind stories of top level Iraqi officials kept in line by having all their fingernails ripped out, or all their teeth extracted with a pair of pliers. In the case of his own CNN employees, he cited an incident in the mid-1990s, one when one of his Iraqi cameramen was abducted. "For weeks he was beaten and subjected to electroshock torture in the basement of a secret police headquarters because he refused to confirm the government's ludicrous suspicion that I was the Central Intelligence Agency's Iraq station chief. CNN had been in Baghdad long enough to know that telling the world about the torture of one of its employees would almost certainly have gotten him killed and put his family and co-workers at grave risk."
Jordons excuse for keeping this kind of thing from the public CNN is supposed to inform he might lose his Baghdad bureau, or his employees and informants could be killed. He doesnt tell us why he just didnt close down the Baghdad bureau and get his people out of there. And then tell the world the truth about the Iraqi regime.
The extent of his failure to do his job as the news chief of CNN and let the public know exactly what kind of man was running Iraq is best illustrated by his statement that several Iraqi officials "confided in me that Saddam Hussein was a maniac who had to be removed."
This is the news chief who despite knowing the truth about the Iraqi regime that was being run by a madman whose own officials warned had to be removed, had no problem giving hours of air time to the Saddam appeasers who were perfectly willing to allow him to stay in power the Conyers, the Daschles. the Pelosis and that motley anti-war crew of Hollywood celebrities the Sean Penns, the Martin Sheens, and Mike Farrells and the rest of that sorry bunch of witless nincompoops.
How many people died in Saddams torture chambers because CNN couldnt bring themselves to tell the world about their plight?
As frightening as this story is, even more frightening is the thought that this network and other liberal dominated news media are covering up similar horrors elsewhere.
We know that CNN, for one, has kowtowed to Fidel Castro, whose own torture chambers were recently described in terrible detail in a State Department human rights report.
The Media Research Center analysts reviewed all 212 stories about the Cuban government or Cuban life that were presented on CNNs prime time news programs from March 17, 1997, the date the Havana bureau was established, through March 17, 2002.
That analysis found that instead of exposing the totalitarian regime that runs Cuba, "CNN has allowed itself to become just another component of Fidel Castros propaganda just as it had in the case of Iraq."
MRCs shocking major findings can be read on the internet at: http://www.mediaresearch.org/SpecialReports/2002/sum/exec20020509.asp. Their report concluded that "CNN could have used its unique bureau to add to the American publics knowledge of the only totalitarian state in the Western hemisphere. But instead of enlightening the public about the regimes repression, CNNs Havana office has mainly provided Castro and his subordinates with a megaphone to defend their dictatorship and denigrate their democratic opponents."
In October of 2002, Eason Jordon was interviewed by NPRs Bob Garfield. Heres what he said when Garfield asked him "Have you analyzed what you can get access to without appearing to be just a propaganda tool for Saddam?"
EASON JORDAN: "Well absolutely. I mean we work very hard to report forthrightly, to report fairly and to report accurately and if we ever determine we cannot do that, then we would not want to be there; but we do think that some light is better than no light whatsoever."
That, we now know, was a flat out lie.
And we now have proof of what weve suspected all along: CNN cannot be relied upon to report the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. CNN simply cannot be trusted. CNN cannot be believed.
CNNs Coverage of Castros Cuba, 1997-2002
May 9, 2002
Five years ago, CNN became the first U.S.-based news organization with a full-time news bureau in communist Cuba in nearly 30 years. As an independent and highly-regarded news organization, CNNs mission was to transmit the reality of Castros dictatorship to American audiences. In 1997, then-White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry told reporters that reporting of truth about the conditions in Cuba would further...peaceful, democratic change in Cuba. CNN officials also had high hopes. Incoming Havana bureau chief Lucia Newman assured viewers we will be given total freedom to do what we want and to work without prior censorship.
CNNs Havana bureau now has a five-year track record that can be evaluated, and the results are not good. Media Research Center analysts reviewed all 212 stories about the Cuban government or Cuban life that were presented on CNNs prime time news programs from March 17, 1997, the date the Havana bureau was established, through March 17, 2002. MRCs analysis found that instead of exposing the totalitarian regime that runs Cuba, CNN has allowed itself to become just another component of Fidel Castros propaganda machine. On FNC's Fox & Friends on May 14 Rich Noyes discussed the MRC's study of CNN's Cuba coverage, "Megaphone for a Dictator"
**CNN gave spokesmen for the communist regime a major advantage, broadcasting sound bites from Fidel Castro and his spokesmen six times more frequently than non-communist groups such as Catholic church leaders and peaceful dissidents.
**CNNs stories included six times as many sound bites from everyday Cubans who voiced agreement with Castro and supported his policies than quotes from Cuban citizens disagreeing with the government. This left American audiences with the impression that Castros communist government is overwhelmingly popular among the Cuban public.
**CNN provided very little coverage of Cubas dissidents, who were the focus of only seven of the 212 Cuba stories broadcast during the past five years, or about three percent of CNNs total coverage. Thats fewer than half as many stories as CNN produced in just the first three months of 2002 about alleged human rights abuses by the United States against prisoners held at its base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
**CNN also practically ignored Cubas lack of democracy, a topic which was featured in only four stories (or just under two percent). One of those reports, in January 1998, consisted of Lucia Newman trumpeting Cubas rigged election as superior to those in the U.S. because they have no dubious campaign spending and no mud slinging.
**Much of CNNs coverage of Cuba focused on the tiniest slices of everyday life, which created the sense that Cuba was basically a normal country, not one in the grip of a dictatorships secret security apparatus. Instead of focusing on the regimes human rights abuses, CNN showed Cubans waiting for ice cream cones, profiled a promising young ballerina, and interviewed a 94-year-old guitar player.
**On CNN, Castro was treated more as a celebrity than a tyrant. Rather than revealing the dirty secrets of his dictatorship to the world, CNN reported on Castros 73rd birthday celebrations and, in February 2000, featured the dictators office in the Cool Digs segment of CNNs Newsstand.
The MRC report concluded that CNN could have used its unique bureau to add to the American publics knowledge of the only totalitarian state in the Western hemisphere. But instead of enlightening the public about the regimes repression, CNNs Havana office has mainly provided Castro and his subordinates with a megaphone to defend their dictatorship and denigrate their democratic opponents.
If CNN is interested in improving its coverage, the MRC report included the following suggestions: 1) increase the amount of Cuba news; 2) commit to doing real investigative journalism in Cuba; 3) broadcast regular reports on the welfare and status of political prisoners held by Castro; and 4) promote the reporting efforts of Cubas independent journalists. But if CNN cannot or will not commit to improving its coverage, it should close its Havana bureau rather than perpetuate the fiction that it is helping Americans better understand the realities of Cuba under Castro.
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It is in the breaking news sidebar!
There was, however, a report from Cuba on CNN that day: It was about the return of Elian Gonzalez to Cuban society, where "he is a typical, happy-go-lucky schoolboy." Many of the Cubans who participated in the November 23 protest were later rounded up at a religious gathering. They were beaten and jailed.***
When the Saddam statue was being pulled down, CNN reported from Damascus that patrons turned off the TVs in all the cafes there and chose instead to discuss the horrible news in small groups. CNN even interviewed one Syrian who spoke English who cried on camera for the children of Iraq...
This is the really sick part about all of this.
Collaborating News Network had such an undeserved reputation as the "cream of the crop" among channels reporting important world news.
Have the scales fallen off the liberals' eyes yet?
CNN, useful idiots for tyrants.
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