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Re: Robert Fisk and media self-censorship

> It seems that a lot of academics read these discussions so I would
> like to put a question to them. How, in a democracy, were the
> Western media able to ensure that, between August 1990 and 
> 1998, the issue of sanctions  was basically "censored" so that the
> public had no knowledge of it? As Chomsky might say, it was an 
> of deception which would "be difficult to replicate in a
> totalitarian state." 

Having lived for two years under a military dictatorship the biggest 
difference I noticed was that people did not trust the media at all 
and had acquired a knack for reading between the lines.

Here in the UK it is possible to pick up things about sanctions from 
the written media. The problem is that most people rely on TV 
News. The BBC in particular has a very poor record of reporting on 
Iraq and sanctions. The biggest fault is keeping quiet eg no 
reporting when Halliday and von Sponeck resigned or UNICEF 
presented their report or the UNSG reports on the failings of 
sanctions. Then there is the bias on sources - Government press 
releases quoted as if fact, all Iraqi quotes treated as dubious. Then 
there are outright lies and misrepresentations eg on the night of the 
bombing (Feb 17th 2001) the BBC 10pm News referred to the "... 
two UN declared no fly zones".
Mark Parkinson

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