What does the coverage tell?
I am not a TV fan and frankly I didn’t have a clear idea on how the recent events in Iran are represented in the international MSM.
It was quite an experience for me to spend the most part of yesterday at a friend’s in front of the TV. We watched mainly CNN where the Iran coverage constituted almost 70% of the program.
Various far-from-interesting-guests-and-experts would explain in length their difficulties to get information out of the country and what were the limitations imposed recently on foreign journalists. Footage of Iran consisted mainly of whatever they found on the net and guests would explain that they weren’t sure of the date and location. You had those who thought that President Obama was doing the “right thing” etc. My friend and I laughed at the “art” of talking and talking and not having much to say.
The only thing we learned about this lengthy Iran program with not much substance was the following: For some reason CNN was willing to invest a lot of its valuable air time to Iran despite the lack of facts, figures or in depth analysis.
No need to say that all my sympathies are toward the brave Iranian youth. Still this program was sort of ridiculous if you think that the Afghan, Iraqi or Palestinian people are systematically deprived of such an interest.
Now I understand As’ad AbuKhalil’s frustration when he speaks precisely of the CNN coverage:
“[…] But the hypocrisy is quite stunning. They are admiring the dare of the population when the Palestinian population shows more dare. They are outraged at the level of repressive crackdown by the regime when Israeli crackdowns on demonstrations are far more brutal and savage? They are admiring the participation of women in a national movement, when Palestinian women led the struggle from as far back as the 1930s (see the private papers of Akram Zu`aytir). They are outraged that the Iranian government is repressing media coverage, when the Israeli government is far more strict: when it was perpetrating slaughter in Gaza few months ago, the Western press was not allowed any freedom of movement except the hill of death where Michael Oren led reporters to watch Israeli brutal assault on the Palestinian civilian population from a distance. The media coverage in the US and UK prove beyond a doubt that increasingly the Western press has been serving as a tool for the various Western government. If the government cheers, the media cheer, if the government condemns, the media condemns, etc. […]
And here is Doug Darkworld’s take of the coverage where he distinguishes three types of reporting (1,2,3 are added):
“[…] Basically, there’s always people rioting and demonstrating about something somewhere. We can’t rely on the media to tell us what they are rioting about, but the coverage of such events is revealing. To wit:
- If foreign demonstrations get extensive media coverage and are portrayed as popular “pro-democracy” movements, this means the government in question has told the USA to fuck-off and they aren’t about to let the UN and the IMF run their countries to expedite western looting of their resources. This of course would be the case in Iran.
- If the demonstrators are opposing a US backed today government, they will get zero mainstream media coverage. This would be the case in Georgia or Thailand.
- And if the demonstrators are actually opposing the hyper concentration of wealth and power that epitomizes the modern era, such as the protesters at the recent G20 conference, they will be portrayed as radical anarchist thugs.
See, one can learn something from the mainstream media, one just as to know how to interpret it.[…]”