Monday, August 11, 2008

Militant Radio

Definition 2 from Merriam Webster online's entry for militant is useful: aggressively active (as in a cause) : combative <militant conservationists> militant attitude>

During the hourly news summaries this morning Jackie Northam simply read out a US military statement regarding the killing of several dozen human beings in Afghanistan. By afternoon Craig Wyndam had dropped any reference to the dubious source and was presenting the propaganda if it were established fact:
"In the southern part of the country clashes between militants and Afghan and US-led troops led to a coalition airstrike that killed 25 militants, but also 8 civilians who were being held hostage."
I'm not saying that the information is definitely untrue. It might be true, but - given the record of our high flying wedding crashers - it might well be a flat-out lie. Simply rebroadcasting the US/NATO version of events is sloppy at best, criminal at worst. NPR could simply tell us briefly what the US/NATO version is and then state, "At the current time we have no way of verifying the claims." Or God forbid, they could unembed Jackie Northam who is covering US special forces and their "ambitious training project expected to pay dividends" and send her off to investigate the scene, interview witnesses and report on the findings.

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