22
Jun
2005

Picture-Perfect Killers

by Norman Solomon

In his memoir of Vietnam, former war correspondent Jacques Leslie recalls visiting an American aircraft carrier in the South China Sea, when suddenly "I was engulfed in technology, released to a vast metallic universe where nothing grew, where doubt had no place." The young reporter for the Los Angeles Times found that "the press officers who took turns accompanying me could tell me all about the astonishing mechanics of jet takeoffs and landings, of how the pilots got graded on their bombing accuracy, but they couldn't say if the pilots thought of people below as they dropped their bombs or ever felt regret. Most of the pilots couldn't tell me either, preferring to dwell on the marvels of their flying machines." American media coverage has long glorified such marvels, and the hype about military technology remains profuse. What happens to people on the other side of the awesome firepower is downplayed or ignored, while the awesome weaponry is often presented as implicit further evidence of America's greatness. It's hardly objective reporting. Nor is it in any way good, old- fashioned skeptical reporting. Nor does it tell the whole story. It's mostly mindless cheerleading that avoids asking readers or viewers to think about the terrible carnage and horribly ruined lives the use of such weapons causes...

//www.dissidentvoice.org/June05/Solomon0621.htm
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