Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Editorial: Face the Facts in Iraq

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Editorial: Face the Facts in Iraq

Article excerpt

If only the murders of journal-ists in Iraq aroused the anger of the Bush White House the way a few ill-chosen words by defenders of a free press can.

Maybe then the administration might insist that the U.S. and Iraqi militaries implement clear rules to minimize the danger to journalists and other civilians in conflict areas. Maybe then it would undertake serious probes into several still-unexplained deaths by U.S. fire. Or credibly investigate allegations that U.S. soldiers forced Reuters media workers to humiliate themselves in gross ways. Maybe it would explain the arrest of an Iraqi CBS cameraman.

Instead, as we have seen time and again since the very start of the war, the Bush administration would rather dummy up -- waiting for opportunities to make political hay when a journalist or activist lets passions pick a phrase. Oh, how they storm the heavens with righteous indignation then.

You'll get no argument from us that Newspaper Guild President Linda Foley, CNN's Eason Jordan, and Amnesty International overreached rhetorically, even without the gleeful right-wing bloggers shamelessly twisting their comments to find spurious evidence of anti-American bias.

If the Bush administration is truly offended by these outbursts, and not delighted by the public distraction they provide, it should address justifiable frustrations about the military's conduct toward journalists.

There's no doubt that the military's protection of U. …

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