Thursday, November 19, 2009

Some Families are More Equal Than Others

(click the photo for the 9/11 families that NPR omits)

If you've listened to NPR's coverage of the Obama/Holder decision to send just five 9/11 suspects to New York for civilian trials, you've probably heard something about the families of 9/11 victims.

Wednesday's (Nov. 18th) ATC featured this clip:

Senator Jon Kyl (R., Arizona): "How could you be more likely to get a conviction in federal court when Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has already asked to plead guilty before a military commission and be executed?"

Ari Shapiro: "In the audience, families of 9/11 victims applauded. Kyl's questioning became more pointed and for the first time in the hearing the perpetually cool attorney general seemed to get upset."

In case you missed the importance of the 9/11 families Dina Temple-Raston was hard at it the next morning.

Thursday's (Nov. 19th) ME:

Senator Jon Kyl (R., Arizona): "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has already asked to plead guilty before a military commission and be executed. How could you be more likely to get a conviction in an Article 3 court than that?"

Temple-Raston: "Families of the 9/11 victims in the audience applauded quietly before they were shushed by the chairman."

Kind of leaves the impression that all the 9/11 families want are the extralegal military commissions and some sort of hurried executions.

As in its coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, NPR is careful to avoid families who break from the official US/Pentagon script. I guess that's why - during the coverage of the proposed New York trial venue for the five suspects - we'll never hear from 9/11 families who WANT trials that uphold due process and the rule of law.

Given the rest of NPR's coverage of this Holder/Obama decision, the exclusion of critical 9/11 families is no surprise. NPR - as a proudly mainstream news outlet - has failed to put the Holder/Obama decision in its proper context. As Glenn Greenwald has so cogently noted, the Obama/Holder decision is little more than the "show trial" feature of a multitiered, irregular system of justice featuring some civilian trials, irregular military commissions, and Orwellian indefinite detention.


WarOnWarOff said...

So much batshit crazy. So little time. Fortunately, Jon Stewart is on the case.

Anonymous said...

"the exclusion of critical 9/11 families is no surprise."


This is the modus operandus of NPR:

Control the debate by excluding any and all views and information that contradict the official (bottom) line.

Because NPR has a largely educated audience, they don't simply make stuff up (with some exceptions, of course, like Planet Money, where the motto seems to be "ALL BS ALL THE TIME").

The way they propagandize is through "cherry picking" of "facts' and "experts". The "torture" the truth into a form that is pleasing to them.

Anonymous said...

I would nominate this site for an award because i think it is an excellent site, but unfortunately, in my opinion, "Weblog Awards" is a joke.

It's simply a popularity contest and it's not even an accurate portrayal of the most popular blogs, since they allow multiple votes (albeit 12 hours apart, though there is probably a way of getting around that as well)

At the very least, they should allow only one vote per IP address in each given category.

Just look at the site that won "Best Science [sic] Blog" last year (Watts Up With That).

It's a farce (unintentionally so, unfortunately)

In my opinion, "Weblog Awards" should not even be allowed to use the moniker "Best...Blog".

It's basically false advertising.

luxury Toronto homes said...

I would be very surprised if there were any families who support the decision to send KSM and his four co-operators to the civilian court which gives them a chance of being acquitted. It is what the Obama's administration support to reach its political purposes, not the people who seek justice. Even though I seriously doubt the conviction of these criminals will help the families who lost their relatives because of this bloody terrorist act to feel somehow better about such a tragedy. Elli

Liberality said...

Someone in our family was killed at the Pentagon that day. I want whoever is accused of perpetrating the attack to receive a fair trial because it is first off a human right that merely being human should entitle you to, and secondly, I want to make sure we really get the criminals and not have some type of show trial. Isn't that what America stands for?

Anonymous said...

Toronto homes: a chance of being acquitted? I can't imagine.

Many seem to have forgotten the presumption of innocence. Is it possible that this defendant confessed to being "mastermind" because he was waterboarded 183 times?

gopolganger said...

Someone in our family was killed at the Pentagon that day.

That's awful, I'm truly sorry and I imagine, like many of the "less equal" families who demanded an investigation, you must have many unanswered questions. Why does the government act like it's complicit by resisting investigation and hiding evidence? I taught class as usual the morning of 9/11/1, though I was pretty shaken. I remember choking up when one of my students, who I knew trained dogs, excused himself in the middle of class saying he had to travel with his dogs to NYC. I never saw him again.

Personally, I think the idea that KSM is some kind of 911 mastermind is ludicrous. There is much stronger evidence that Dick Cheney was the mastermind, though I don't believe that either. The only thing that's certain is that the government never wanted the facts of the matter to get out and, in fact, actively colluded with the MSM to misinform and mislead the public. From the cell phone conversations that bizarro character Ted Olson had with his bizarro wife (not as admissable as evidence in the Moussauwi trial because of its apparent impossibility) to surveillance cameras outside the Pentagon that were confiscated and suppressed, the whole thing just stinks.

larry, dfh said...

Acquittal IS possible in a military trial. It is, after all, called a trial. But one of the big problems for a normal trial is that they are not usually closed to the press, and, well, discovery can be a bith. And I'm solidly with the GOpester regarding the 'mastermind'. Now that you mention ted olsen, he has always seemed to be skating a little too cooly for my taste. I mean, if you believed your wife had just been murdered, you wouldn't be able to carry on in your job with absolutely no change in demeanor. olsen did. But I'll defer any 9-11 discussion, for now.

miranda said...

There are so many unanswered questions that even raising them can get you banned from so-called liberal blogs and labeled a loony. What truly amazes me is how willing many are to accept an incredible version of reality, a condition abetted by the credulous media.

Liberality, deepest condolences. Thank you for sharing your views.

Anonymous said...

Did you catch Siegel last night guffawing it up with the voice impersonator?

First, a segment on the length of the health care overall bill. Siegel and friends insult NPR listener's intelligence by adopting the Fox News storyline and gasping about the # of pages in the Senate and the House. Surely Siegel has seen legislation before -- bills have huge margins. It is not like a novel. And wouldn't one assume that an overhaul of the nation's entire health care system might be kind of lengthy?!

Then Siegel mentioned that Sen. Coburn was thinking of forcing the reading of the bill aloud. And thus, on comes some comic to read the bill in different personalities (Shakespearean actor; WC Fields). You think I'm joking? I was I was -- your NPR dollars hard at work.

To think NPR wasted time on this kind of fluffy garbage. This was hardly a slow news day or week.

gopolganger said...

Josh Marshall doesn't get it that Chris Matthews doesn't get it about the KSM trial. I suspect that what's not being got is that Chris Matthews' (tweety bird's?) masters are cut from the same cloth as NPR's.

It seems like the revolutionary war just keeps being played out. "Innocent until proven guilty" was a cornerstone of the shift from King George to President George.

miranda said...

Anon, I heard that bit of Blobitude. The person was described as a "Shakespearean actor."

The point, I guess, was to scoff at the legislative process and its highly detailed and wholly unnecessary niceties, like "bills."

Anonymous said...

I found this while looking for something else. I contend that NPR engages in a "bait and switch" scheme where they present themselves as one thing (see positives) but actually program differently (as documented here).

Creating a "faux-community" of like minded people, NPR takes their money while telling them they are (see positive attributes). And it must feel good to know that you are (see positive attributes). Of course I don't have the time, energy or inclination to parse everything NPR says and does.

NPR: always on . . . the hunt for more money!


Anonymous said...

On average, public radio stations (including NPR Member stations) receive the largest percentage of their annual operating revenue (31%) from listener support. For FY07, the most recent data available, the average station's revenues came from the following sources:

31% from listeners in the form of pledges, memberships, and other donations from:

My local station WHYY (a wholly owned Fox subsidary) always claims that 56% of funding comes from "listener support" but that's a long way from 31%. Or is WHYY that much different?


gopolganger said...

Here are some of the less equal families speaking out.

thecrow said...

The honorable path leads to the forbidden question: What happened on September 11, 2001?

Thanks for leading your readers to the threshold.

More silenced victims' families at the name.

gopolganger said...

More less equal families in the Daily News.