Corporate Media’s Capital Crimes Against Libya—and Humanity
Every day, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Congo and now Libya, the U.S. corporate media commit crimes against humanity that are equal to the crimes perpetrated by the United States government. As facilitators of those crimes—through ceaseless propaganda, lies and demonization of those targeted by the United States—the corporate media are just as guilty of the grossest human rights violations as the government they serve. The New York Times and the rest of the howling corporate propagandists that call themselves journalists behave no differently than the German newspaper publisher Julius Streicher, who was hanged for his media crimes against humanity in October 1946.
Streicher paid with his life for having used his newspaper, Der Sturmer, to demonize Jews and thus, in the words of the death sentence against him, “infected the German mind with the virus of anti-Semitism, and incited the German people to active persecution” of Jews. Streicher was not a member of the German military, and he did not take part in the Holocaust, but the judgment of Nuremburg was that his brand of journalism was a crime against humanity, and warranted his execution.
If the verdict was appropriate for the NAZI journalist Streicher in 1946, it should certainly apply to those in the corporate media today who “infect” the American mind with murderous emotions and feed the public lies that seek to transform aggressive war into a humanitarian rescue mission, and mock the victims of NATO’s savage bombing of the Libyan capital, Tripoli.
John Burns, of the New York Times, is a celebrity media criminal. In addition to demonizing Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi in precisely the same way that he and his colleagues portrayed Iraq’s Saddam Hussein—and that a previous generation of journalistic degenerates depicted Fidel Castro—Burns’ current mission is to deny that hundreds of NATO bombing sorties against Tripoli have killed Libyan civilians. His constant dismissal of Libyan casualties is vulgar and racist in the extreme, and has the effect of inviting more NATO bombing and more civilian deaths. If anybody calling themselves a journalist had been running around London at the time of the 1940 NAZI blitz, claiming that British civilian bombing casualties were negligible or minimal, they would have been arrested and probably hanged.
Burns’ colleagues among the lying pack of corporate media criminals camped out in Tripoli hotels create the propaganda that causes death to rain down on the city’s citizens. But, according to Burns’ June 7 story, Western reporters keep NATO informed when they leave their hotels, so that they will not be caught in the bombing. Once the imperialist press is safely back at the hotel, the killing can begin again.
Burns’ colleagues in rebel held regions of Libya spend most of their time glorifying an opposition that is riddled with exactly the kind of Islamic jihadis that these same reporters demonize as deserving of death in Afghanistan and Iraq. U.S. corporate media understand full well that the power to demonize is a weapon of war, and they point that weapon in whatever direction their government wishes. In the final reckoning, they are as guilty as the government they serve.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at .
—Black Agenda Report, June 8, 2011