Media standards for what is news

Jack Kelly:


Apparently most journalists see nothing newsworthy about our union's head accusing, without evidence, our troops of war crimes. Papers prominently covered a hysterical report released Wednesday by Amnesty International accusing the United States of "atrocious" human-rights violations and calling Guantanamo Bay "the gulag of our times." The charges - based again on unsubstantiated charges of al-Qaeda detainees - would be comical in their overreach were they not so vile.

Meanwhile, Jordan's King Abdullah and ex-Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi report Saddam Hussein had ties with Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's No. 2, and Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the al-Qaeda chieftain in Iraq, years before the war. Unlike Amnesty, King Abdullah and Mr. Allawi have real evidence. But no U.S. paper has reported it. Newsweek rushed to print Michael Isikoff's poorly sourced charge of Qur'an abuse, but spiked his well-sourced report on the affair between President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

Charges that President Bush neglected his Air National Guard duties were given massive publicity, despite being based on the word of a deranged man with a grudge, who was not in a position to have firsthand knowledge. Yet charges by officers who served with him that John Kerry lied about his Vietnam service were given short shrift. Abuse at Abu Ghraib prison was given massive attention; Saddam's mass graves got precious little. The news media's double standard is clear: No evidence is required to publicize charges against Republicans or U.S. soldiers. No amount of evidence is sufficient to publicize charges against Democrats, or America's enemies.

Since Bush's election, it has been the liberal news organizations taht have embarassed themselves with questionable stories--BBC, CBS, CNN/Eason Jordon, and Newsweak. This does not count the daily liberal spin that has not yet whacked them in the face.


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