Jewish World Review April 21, 2003 / 19 Nisan, 5763

Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly
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The "Collaborators' News Network"


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | DOHA, Qatar If White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer were to hand a CNN correspondent a news release, and tell him to read it verbatim, and to disguise its source, the odds are that the CNN correspondent wouldn't do it, but would be indignant, and that that indignation would spread rapidly throughout the news media. The heavy-handed attempt to "manage the news" would be denounced from every media pulpit in the land.

But this is precisely what CNN has been doing for years in Baghdad.

"I was on the roof of the Ministry of Information . . . . A producer came up and handed me a sheet of paper with handwritten notes. 'Tom Johnson [then CNN president] wants you to read this on camera,' " former CNN correspondent Peter Collins recalled. "I glanced at the paper. . . . It was an item-by-item summary of points made by Information Minister Latif Jassim with Mr. Johnson and Mr. Jordan."

"Mr. Jordan" is Eason Jordan, chief news executive of CNN, who confessed recently in the New York Times that CNN's Baghdad bureau suppressed information about Saddam Hussein's crimes.

Collins, who worked for CNN in early 1993, recalled in a recent Washington Times piece how then Baghdad bureau chief Brent Sadler had dressed him down for reporting, accurately, that the Ministry of Information's claims that U.S. aircraft enforcing the "No Fly" zone in northern Iraq had attacked Iraqi farmers were lies. On inspecting the site, Collins learned that the target of the bombing had been two SA-6 antiaircraft missile batteries.

"Petah, you know we're trying to get an interview with Saddam," Collins said Sadler told him. "Your piece last night was not helpful." Collins decided to leave CNN after his three-month contract ended.

Among the news Eason Jordan acknowledged suppressing in his New York Times op-ed was the declaration to him by Saddam's son Qusay that he intended to murder his brothers in law (who had defected to Jordan, but were lured back), and that government thugs had threatened to torture and kill Iraqi employees of CNN.

Meanwhile, CNN's current Baghdad bureau chief, Jane Arraf, was reporting Saddam's 100 percent victory in a presidential election was "a message of defiance to U.S. President George Bush." Had Ms. Arraf mentioned that Iraqis who criticized Saddam had their tongues cut out, viewers could have put that "message of defiance" into perspective.

Jordan did not say whether he knew about the prison for children maintained by Saddam Hussein, but Margaret Wente, a columnist for the Toronto Globe & Mail, is convinced that he and other journalists in Baghdad did: "All of them, every one, heard the childrens' screams. But they kept it to themselves," Wente wrote.

Jordan maintains that he had to keep silent, because otherwise CNN could not have brought the world news from Baghdad. But CNN wasn't reporting news. It was telling lies.

CNN "allowed a tyrant to enforce a tyrant's rules on a supposedly powerful American news organization whose currency is truth," the Arizona Republic said in an editorial.

The Republic aside, the disclosures about CNN haven't produced nearly the outrage among other journalists that could have been expected if the network had carried water for the White House or the Pentagon. But, hey, Saddam may be a vicious mass murderer who tortures children. But Bush is a . . . Republican.

Even without pressure from "minders" from Saddam's Ministry of Information, CNN and other news organizations continue to distort the news coming from Iraq.

The war in Iraq was conducted with remarkably little "collateral damage." But you don't hear a word of that on CNN.

'The most surreal experience of the war has been to watch the good-natured Baghdadi crowds streaming out of government office buildings carrying air conditioners and furniture, waving at passing GIs - and then to read the feverish commentary about the latest American 'crime': 'failing' to stop 'swarms' of 'frenzied looters,'" the New York Post's Jonathan Foreman wrote from Baghdad.

CNN reported preposterously high estimates of civilian casualties provided them by the Information Ministry, without telling their viewers their information came from the same guys who told them the Americans had been slaughtered.

CNN used to be called by some the "Clinton News Network." It might more accurately be described as the "Collaborators' News Network."

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

04/14/03:Axis of Weasels is coming to its senses?
04/11/03: Peace will be a mess
04/08/03: It's a mad, mad (Arab) world
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04/02/03: The difference between hopes and expectations
03/31/03: Iraq is a steppingstone, not a final stop
03/24/03: European media and former 'human shields' are beginning to get it
03/20/03: Was getting the UN involved worth it?
03/18/03: South Koreans no longer behaving as if they were the French of Northeast Asia --- why?
03/11/03: Ultimatum's moment of truth
03/11/03: Thank you, Turkey, we needed that
03/07/03: The fight against Saddam isn't a distraction from the war on terror --- it's is the main event
03/04/03: Bioterror nightmare approaching --- how it could likely happen
02/27/03: Iranian student: Can America hurry up with Iraq already, so they can get on with attacking us?
02/25/03: Yahoos on both the Left and the Right are trying to prevent government from maximizing technology in protecting us
02/20/03: Anti-war group gets it right about great humanitarian tragedy in last Gulf War
02/18/03: Iraqis: Why are these people marching for tyranny?
02/07/03: French kiss(ed)-off
02/05/03: Does the FBI have the ability to protect us from terrorists already here?
02/03/03: The "Axis of Weasels"
01/29/03: A bit of the jitters
01/27/03: The world's mediocre intelligence agency
01/21/03: By reaffirming GOP opposition to racism, president demonstrates willingness to confront liars
01/16/03: Why the United States should withdraw all of its military forces from South Korea as rapidly as we reasonably can
01/14/03: Federal incompetence driven by political correctness, not trampling of civil liberties, is what we should fear
01/09/03: Bag this boondoggle: The V-22 Osprey would hurt our national defense
01/07/03: Another Korean war?
01/02/03: Ostriches
12/26/02: Learning from Canada's economic suicide
12/24/02: A moral dilemma: Support a vicious fascist dictator or the poor and downtrodden?
12/20/02: Time to tell the truth: The great movement of blacks to the Democratic Party took place for economic reasons, not because of civil rights
12/18/02: Nothing better illustrates Trent Lott's unfitness for the post of Senate Majority Leader than his desperate efforts to cling to it
12/16/02: Debunker mentality: It's hard work not seeing ties between Iraq and al-Qaida
12/12/02: GOP ideologues turning on Lott --- better sacrifice the leader than the party
12/06/02: Curing our democracy of afflictions
12/02/02: Conscription, like the horse cavalry, is an artifact of a bygone time
11/27/02: What Saddam faces
11/25/02: Why war with Iraq can be averted
11/19/02: A draft would harm the military
11/12/02: The 2002 elections and Nixon
11/07/02: Democratic overreaction to our recent "cosmically important" election
10/30/02: Show North Korea we're serious: Polish off Saddam
10/22/02: The squealing in the Pentagon is a proof of Rummy's effectiveness
10/16/02: The tactical challenge we face
10/10/02: Silence more despicable than seditious noise
10/08/02: Bu$h and the bu$ine$$ of war
10/01/02: Gore's calculated risk may well get him the Dems' nomination
09/25/02: Schroeder may find the fruits of victory sour
09/25/02: Making Saddam change his spots
09/19/02: Bush's resolve already has paid dividends
09/17/02: Courageous Iranians
09/13/02: If you never served in the military, you have no right to an opinion
09/10/02: Why the 'air marshals' will fail
09/05/02: Resurrecting the "Happy Darky"
08/31/02: Are Bush's inactions against Iraq calculated?
08/23/02: Dems can't take the minority vote for granted any longer
08/20/02: No proof of Saddam's wrongdoing? Yeah, right
08/15/02: Mineta's war on what?
08/13/02: When Gore said he wanted to be his 'own man,' what was he thinking!?
08/08/02: Picking a tree for Cheney's hanging
08/06/02: Fears about the Department of Homeland Security are misplaced
08/01/02: The greatest strategic deception since Eisenhower convinced Hitler the Allies were going to land at the Pas de Calais?
07/30/02: State Dept.'s anti-American actions
07/26/02: Journalists are making sure Americans can't differentiate between the stock market and the economy
07/23/02: Iran's is on the verge of a social and political explosion. So why is media ignoring it?
07/17/02: FBI isn't supposed to stand for Foolish, Blind and Incompetent
07/12/02: The ICC tramples on rights Americans take for granted
07/09/02: Was LA International Airport shooting, in fact, good news?
07/02/02: What the "intelligence community" can learn from Alexander the Great
06/28/02: Muslim link in Oklahoma City bombing revisited
06/25/02: A good environmental scare needs two ingredients - an impending catastrophe, and someone to blame for it
06/21/02: Stirring the security pot
06/18/02: Why the military is so messed up
06/14/02: Vast majority $68.7 billion proposed for weapons will be spent on systems of little use in the war on terror
06/12/02: Bush saw them and raised them, and he's holding the aces
06/10/02: Some heads need to roll
06/04/02: A new draft for the 'war on terror'?
05/31/02: So the FBI has finally caught up to our priorities?
05/29/02: Taking on common sense
05/23/02: Political terrorists
05/21/02: There is a great deal to fret about, but I've never been more optimistic
05/15/02: If there is a way for America to lose the war, Gen. Tommy Franks can find it
05/13/02: Impartial justice against Americans by the UN?
05/07/02: Want to win the 'war on terror'? Reinstate the draft
05/03/02: An expanded NATO is needed as a counterweight to the UN and the EU
04/29/02: Islamic 'smarts'
04/26/02: Did Bush play his Aces with Abdullah wisely?
04/23/02: Why peace in the Mideast is closer than ever
04/19/02: What the Arabs of Gaza and the West Bank gained from the "peace accords"
04/17/02: Logical Muslim allies
04/10/02: How to guarantee an infinite Mideast war
04/08/02: Saddam's American friends
04/05/02: Arab winners and sinners
04/01/02: Why is the commander of U.S. Central Command not coming clean to the American people?
03/31/02: Dubya under attack by conservatives
03/26/02: Saddam watch coming to an end?
03/21/02: Get the Jews!
03/19/02: It's time pols and gov bureaucrats be held to the same standard of accountability we insist for corporate execs
03/15/02: Khaki Throat
03/12/02: Making foreign cheaters pay
03/08/02: Timidity and indecision by senior American commanders
03/04/02: Why 9-11? Ex-CIA officials come clean
02/25/02: Don't rule out a quick victory --- even if prez says otherwise
02/21/02: Saving our military from itself
02/19/02: Front Page fiction
02/15/02: Our European allies are like the fat kid who wants to play quarterback
02/13/02: Is the Army in danger of becoming "irrelevant"?
02/11/02: So, I "propagate hatred"
02/06/02: Bush whacking the media
02/04/02: Why serious folks disregard the European Union --- and why Bush must, too
01/30/02: Give economy pneumonia in order to protect it from a cold
01/28/02: Media is its own worst enemy
01/25/02: Journalists making road to peace a bumpy ride, or: A case study in stupidity
01/23/02: Toward a stronger defense at a lower cost
01/21/02: How Bush could be Generations X and Y's Kennedy ... and guarantee a GOP victory in the midterm elections

© 2002, Jack Kelly