I've been in a bloggin' funk. The purpose of this blog is simply to pen reactions to news.
Last week I watched a pile of talking heads on the News Hour. The conversation was in support Leon Panetta's nomination for position of CIA chief.
The talking heads didn't have anything useful to say about Panetta; so they did what pundits do best: They turned their attention to the on going character assassination of George W. Bush.
One statement in the conversation stood out. A person, it may have been James Risen, talked about how the torture regime of George Bush and Dick Cheney escalated the war in Iraq.
I realize that the primary objective of the Newshour is to associate snarl words with the Republicans and purr words with Democrats. They do a fine job. Marx would approve of PBS.
The program accomplished the goal of encouraging positive sentiment toward the party the Newshour favors and away from the party they oppose. That is all fine. They do their job well.
However, in the absence of any real information, my mind flittered away on a tangent.
I believe that the way things were reported during the war increased the death toll.
I fell into a funk, you see, because the thing that spurred the violence was the reporting, and not the tortures themselves.
As you see, in places where there is widespread torture, it is not reported. It usually only gets reported when the press is seeking a partisan advantage.
Oddly, we often only hear about torture when torture is fundamentally at odds with the group engaged in the act. This gives an advantage to those ideologies which encourage the use of torture and terrorism.
The way our press acts has created a very perverse world. For example, we find Hamas firing rockets from civilian areas on the Gaza strip into civilian areas of Isreal. While the left wing press gleefully reports on any civilians killed if the hated Israel responds.
Of course, this is what the radicalization process does. It is a way of creating and magnifying riffs.
As intellectuals (journalists, college professors, etc.) are the last to admit their complicity in the process, breaking the radicalization process is extremely difficult.
We can simply hope that organizations like CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) continue to monitor the bias, and hope that historians realize the fog created by the media was simply partisan fog.