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imperialism & war | media criticism m19

Saving Shiavo Whle Burying the Real News

The corporate media were too busy covering a demonstration by 30 fundamentalists trying to keep Shiavo from meeting her maker to bother cover ing the global and nationwide demonstrations against the U.S. Iraq War.

The weekend second anniversary of the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq was marked by demonstrations large and small around the globe, but here in the U.S. you could be forgiven for not knowing anything was happening. In the corporate media, the front pages and TV news programs were dominated by a demonstration of 30 religious fundamentalists opposed to the removal of a feeding tube from the brain-dead Terri Schiavo.

Who had time or space for reports on tens of thousands of noisome protesters in New York, London, Ankara or Tokyo? Who had time to pause and reflect on two years of a war that never should have happened in the first place, that has taken over 100,000 civilian lives, and that has killed over 1500 American soldiers?

The New York Times, which promotes itself as the nation's newspaper of record, limited its coverage of the global and national anti-war protests to two inside photos and a short caption on Sunday, which focused more on a small demonstration by two dozen people in Times Square than on a large march and demonstration that began in Harlem, continued to Central Park, and ended up at the mayor's house. (The Times Square event, a block from the paper's offices, was a cheaper assignment, I guess, and had the advantage of touting the paper's name for free.) The paper's "Week in Review" shamelessly ignored the protests completely.

CNN ignored the anti-war protests completely too, likewise preferring to blow its daily news budget Saturday and Sunday on the Shiavo flap and the sad tale of the rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl, allegedly by a paroled sex offender.

Most outrageously, no major media covered the remarkable 4500-person protest in Fayetteville, North Carolina outside Ft. Bragg, which featured large numbers of former military personnel marching against the war, including Camilo Mejia, recently released from 9 months in a military brig for desertion from his army unit (he courageously refused to return to Iraq after doing one tour there, saying it was an illegal, immoral war of aggression).

Apparently, like Congress, where Democrats and Republicans alike have spent more time fulminating over and interfering in the issue of when to let poor Schiavo die than on the matter of providing another $82 billion in funding for the ongoing slaughter of innocents in Iraq, the corporate media feel that the sad plight of one lone brain-dead woman on a feeding tube is more important than the lives of 150,000 U.S. servicemen and 30 million Arabs and Kurds.

In Philadelphia, where several hundred demonstrators from a variety of organizations marched in a cold rain on Sunday from a historic Quaker meeting house to the city's Federal Courthouse opposite Independence Hall, the city's main media outlet, the Philadelphia Inquirer, following the Times' lead, limited coverage of the event in its Monday edition to an inside page of the Local News section. Ironically, the biggest headline on page one was "March On"?not about the protests but rather about the weekend NCAA playoff victories of the Villanova men's and Temple University women's basketball teams. The other banner headline in the Inquirer's Monday edition was about Congress approving the Schiavo bill, while below the fold was an article--belied by the reality of the ignored protests--headlined "Iraq war fades from student activists' focus."

Yeah, right.

It should more appropriately have said, "Coverage of Iraq war protests fade from editors' focus," but then that would have implied that editors at the Inquirer, CNN and the Times and other mainstream media organizations had paid attention to anti-war protests before, which was certainly not the case.

For the rest of this column and other stories by Lindorff, please go (at no charge) to This Can't Be Happening! .

homepage: homepage: http://www.thiscantbehappening.net

the protests were not covered because... 21.Mar.2005 10:09

empire slayer

...they were ineffectual and tired. the corporate media--as entertainment vehicle--make an attempt to cover the events that actually make some sort of social or political wave--and saturday's protests rate somewhere below 3rd rate television re-runs in terms of making any sort of impact at all. the schiavo case has captured the collective unconscious because it gets to the core issues of faith, mortality, and individual freedom of choice. people are fooling themselves if they think that the corporate media are deliberately trying to cover-up the march 19th protests--no, the protests aren't even on most people's radar screen. ask nearly any thinking american--most of whom ARE opposed to the iraq war--whether saturday's protests were "newsworthy" or whether they may have any sort of impact in terms of stopping the war, and you will get a dismissive shrug. oops, did i just tell the truth? now, i mean no disrespect to those who walk in circles with police escort--at least they are doing something, and it may inspire someone somewhere to get involved. but lets be honest about our real intentions and real impact. DENIAL ain't just a river in egypt--that's the cold hard truth.

first gay president 21.Mar.2005 11:45

walter winchell

i thought the really big news was that the US has its first gay president,
that his lover is a (nother) prostitute planted in the white house press corps,
and that same may well have been kidnapped as a child, indoctrinated and made a sex slave of ruling elite under a govt program known as monarch.

thats big news.

maybe thats why the jackson trial has already been cycled out of the wurlitzer. cuts too close to the bone.

meanwhile, loose ends are being 'snipped.' after hunter, the DC mayor's liaison on gay & lesbian issues is murdered. sounds like another lead. its up to the 'internets' folks to stay on this one until it can no longer be ignored.

BushCo Motto 21.Mar.2005 14:14


I've said it before and I'll say it again, the BushCo Motto reads:

"Distract, Divide, and Conquer", the ultimate spin machine led by the ultimate spin machine...Rove+Hughes.

When Karen Hughes shows up at the WH you know something's in need of a cover-spin.

moral: boxed American intellectualism thinks it is SOOO outside the box! 21.Mar.2005 21:14

give it a rest

"the front pages and TV news programs were dominated by a demonstration of 30 religious fundamentalists opposed to the removal of a feeding tube from the brain-dead Terri Schiavo."

Oh the ironies that in talking about this you even adopt their own spin and lies. THAT IS THE real moral to the story here. An American so called intellectual critique comes out as just as corporate dependent as the little Mickey mouse plug in you think you are separate from. You are just recycling a spin. How can you critique what you so readily have accepted? Food for thought.

9 on Schiavo case, did husband attempt murder in 1990? , etc., ask a forensic pathologist

certainly 21.Mar.2005 23:38


it should cause to reconsider those who think the media can be used to arouse the slumbering masses

"you even adopt their own spin and lies." 22.Mar.2005 00:19


Who do you mean? Everyone here but you? You're talking out your ass.

I used to work with a 22 year old limbless blob of flesh that was completely retarded and halfway in a coma just twitching and oozing a gray substance from all his pores and open sores, 24 hours a day. No family every visited him, he never responded to anything. There was absolutely no point to his existence. He should have been terminated at birth. That was 15 years ago.

I've also worked with people nearly that bad off that clearly enjoyed life, even though it looked like it sucked absolute shit. People that were content being severly retarded and deformed, even though they couldn't feed themselves and shit themselves all day.

And you're assuming we're all adopting someones spin and lies? Everyone but you, right? Nobody here knows what you know, right?

The fact is, unless you're there working with the individual personally, you don't really know shit. Her parents might be right, her husband might be right. You really can't tell in a cases like these from some random snapshots or video. What might be percieved as a sign of hope might just be a brain fart or vice versa. I smile on a face may not be a smile at all. Signs that somethings going on inside might be more subtle than the average joe would think.

And then to watch the politicians use this womans plight like a little stupid contest, that's what's really sick.

our pal 22.Mar.2005 03:06

tricky dick

After eight years of Clinton and five years of Bush, liberals and even far leftists are going, "What the hell was so bad about Nixon again? I can't fuckin' remember ..."

And try to imagine the Demos ever nominating anybody like McGovern again.

(Burglarizing the Democrats? That's just RESEARCH!)

how long have you 22.Mar.2005 03:10

ever gone without food?

If you're gonna euthanize somebody, just do it. Don't starve them to death!

the real news??? 22.Mar.2005 10:11


Allegedly Christian people are starting to force thier moral beliefs onto the collective. That is real news!

government health control 23.Mar.2005 06:09

karl roenfanz ( rosey ) k_rosey48@hotmail.com

if congress,the president,and the courts want to control health as they do in terrys case then they are responsible for the cost. if you want the athority you also take the responsabilty. and as for starving, after the first three days you no longer feel hunger. been there.

i don't think so 25.Mar.2005 21:59


yeah your right... the government deciding the fait of some poor young women to be starved to death is no big deal... kill all the brain dead people. who needs em...

both are important issues don't down play this one because you agenda isn't being heard