Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Monday, April 07, 2003
Chinese Paper Sees Media Manipulation in Iraq War
The much trumpeted principles of independence, objectivity and fairness of American and British media appear to have failed to pass the test of Iraq war, said China's leading paper, The People's Daily.
The much trumpeted principles of independence, objectivity and fairness of American and British media appear to have failed to pass the test of Iraq war, said China's leading paper, the People's Daily.
To a certain extent, American media have become a mouthpiece of the Pentagon, the paper said in a signed article on Sunday.
As the coalition forces pushed through Iraq under the pretext of "liberating" the Iraqi people, they used misinformation and news blackout to manipulate the media, said the article.
At the very beginning of the war, American media reported that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was killed in the so-called "decapitation" strikes and that the whole 51st division of the Iraqi army surrendered. All these turned out to be false.
What lies behind these reports which have embarrassed both the media and military of Britain and the United States is that on one hand, the media are tightly controlled by the military, on the other hand, they would not tell the truth for fears that they might be labeled "unpatriotic," said the article. As a result, Western media failed to provide an unbiased coverage of the war and almost totally ignored the humanitarian tragedies.
Almost all American television networks abided by a Pentagon ban on a footage showing dead coalition troops and prisoners of war interviewed by Iraqi TV. American audiences see virtually no images of downed coalition planes and Iraqi civilian casualties.
On March 31, veteran war reporter Peter Arnett who worked for the American television network NBC was fired because he told Iraqi television that the US war plan had failed because of Iraqi resistance. Geraldo Rivera, who works for Fox News, was also ordered by the military to leave Iraq after he allegedly sketched a map in the sand for viewers, which the Pentagon says divulged troop positions.
News organizations of all countries are duty-bound to provide the whole picture of the war and leave the judgment of the legality of the war to their audiences, the article said.