Thursday, January 12, 2006
U.S. terror attacks foiled, but not worthy of media coverage
Assyrian International News Agency
The mainstream U.S. media outlets have failed to report a major terrorist plot against the U.S. - because it would tend to support President Bush's use of NSA domestic surveillance, according to media watchdog groups.
News of a planned attack masterminded by three Algerians operating out of Italy was widely reported outside the U.S., but went virtually unreported in the American media.
Italian authorities recently announced that they had used wiretaps to uncover the conspiracy to conduct a series of major attacks inside the U.S.
Curiously, what was deemed worthy of a worldwide media blitz abroad was virtually ignored by the U.S. media, and conservative media watchdog groups are saying that is no accident.
"My impression is that the major media want to use the NSA story to try and impeach the president," says Cliff Kincaid, editor of the Accuracy in Media Report published by the grassroots Accuracy in Media organization.
"If you remind people that terrorists actually are planning to kill us, that tends to support the case made by President Bush. They will ignore any issue that shows that this kind of [wiretapping] tactic can work in the war on terror."
"The mainstream media have framed the story as one of the nefarious President Bush 'spying on U.S. citizens,' where the average American is a victim not a beneficiary," commented Brent Baker, vice president of the Media Research Center, a Washington, D.C.-based organization dedicated to encouraging balanced news coverage, "so journalists have little interest in any evidence that the program has helped save lives by uncovering terrorist plans."
The Associated Press version of the story did not disclose that the men planned to target the U.S. Nor did it report that the evidence against the suspects was gathered via a wiretapping surveillance operation.
Furthermore, only one American newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, is known to have published the story that the AP distributed. It ran on page A-6 under the headline "Italy Charges 3 Algerians." The Inquirer report also made no mention of the plot to target the U.S. - although foreign publications included this information in the headlines and lead sentences of their stories. Nor did it advise readers that domestic wiretaps played a key role in nabbing the suspected terrorists.
Media bias/manipulation of news is the real story of the day. It's an obvious fact: the media sets the agenda and the politicians react accordingly.
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