As the Iranian government strives to keep the people in the dark, consider the outside world and our perception of this ancient, now strongly conservative culture. What we know of Iran comes largely from news sources. But if news sources can't track the current whereabouts of an actor-journalist, can we depend on the accuracy of the information we are receiving about Iran? These questions relate to accuracy of information. So what of the spin? Look at it, more than 1,800 young Americans have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 10,000 maimed and wounded. Numerous contractors dead. Human aid workers dead. U.N. staffers blown out of their lives by a truck bomb, and of course, the untold numbers of civilian casualties unspecified in a war justified, not by persuasion but by fear. Our nation seems under a spell where courage is violence, and the archives will show in television coverage and newspaper print, both through spun journalism and even more dominantly, editorial restriction, a consistency of media support for the casting of that spell. And with Iran now in the crosshairs of the nuclear debate, we might note that the most costly and competitive arms race in the world is taking place right here at home, between Los Alamos and Livermore laboratories. Those facts, above all, seem to me to dictate the importance of accurate and truthful reporting, on all sides of the world debate.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Where Courage is Violence
In the last installment of the series, Mr. Penn has an interesting perspective to consider: