Jewish World Review April 25, 2003 / 23 Nisan, 5763

Drs. Michael A. Glueck & Robert J. Cihak

The Medicine Men
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

CNN the "Conscience-Not Network" | We try hard to not write about themes already commented on by many others. But CNN's kowtowing to the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein over the last dozen years was so deplorable, despicable and disgusting that we find it necessary to chime in.

Alleviation of suffering - isn't that what medical care and what much of life is also about? Should that be the sole role of medicine or do other institutions, such as the media, have some responsibility? Or should having the only non-Iraqi news bureau in Baghdad and exclusive interviews with Iraqi officials be a higher priority, as they apparently were for the Cable News Network - CNN?

Mr. Eason Jordan, the chief news executive of CNN, recently made this startling revelation. He also related some first-hand knowledge about Saddam Hussein's victims never before revealed by CNN.

In an article "The News We Kept to Ourselves" published in the New York Times on April 11, Mr. Jordan "confessed" that he and CNN had kept startling news of the regime's crimes against Iraq's own people despite its obvious news value and obvious importance to world opinion. And this didn't just start yesterday; it started a dozen years ago. We find Mr. Jordan's confession more face-losing than face-saving.

We are not writing about the justifiability of the recent Iraq war but whether CNN shares any culpability for unnecessary human suffering. We wonder, as does Jon Ham of "The Herald-Sun" of Durham, NC, "How many Iraqis were tortured, maimed, raped, beheaded and put in acid baths during the time CNN was soft-selling Saddam's regime to the world?"

On April 15, even the "Washington Post" editorialized "This tale would be disturbing enough on its own, but it is especially worrying because of CNN's special position in the Middle East. It is widely perceived around the world as a voice of the United States. If CNN did not fully disclose what it knew about the Baathist regime, and if CNN deliberately kept its coverage bland and inoffensive, that would help explain why the regime was not perceived to be as ruthless as it in fact was, in the Arab world and elsewhere."

Patrick Henry, on March 23, 1775, debating the relationship of the American colonies to the British crown more than a year before the Declaration of Independence, said ". . . Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings."

Did Mr. Jordan consider himself guilty of ANYTHING, seeing as he did indeed keep back the truth, through "fear of giving offense"?

Despite 13 trips to the area to lobby the Iraq regime for favors, CNN didn't tell these truths until now, to protect CNN-connected persons. Rather than pull the plug on CNN's dealings with the evil regime by closing the CNN Baghdad bureau, Jordan says he chose "to lobby the government to keep CNN's Baghdad bureau open."

CNN and other so-called "news" organizations have ignored the screams of children in favor of their own personal, ideological and business agendas or interests. Margaret Wente of Canada's Globe and Mail painfully touches the heart of the problem in her April 15 article "Saddam's silent collaborators" []. She describes her surprise on learning about the liberation of more than 160 youngsters from a children's prison in northeastern Baghdad. Back in 1988, former weapons inspector Scott Ritter described these underage prisoners as "toddlers to 12-year-olds," according to Wente.

What if CNN had exposed these horrors to the world when Mr. Ritter described them 5 years ago? Is it possible that international pressure might have caused Saddam to relent? We will never know. But we do know Mr. Jordan did not mention ANY concern for Iraqis except those connected with CNN.

Despite publishing Mr. Jordan's apologia, the New York Times, the Gray Lady of journalism, has not published an editorial comment of its own to date. Is the Gray Lady herself also not expressing her own opinions "through fear of giving offense"?

Although reporters often do need to protect sources and to build relationships with new sources, we find CNN's decision in this case to be way over the line for an organization ostensibly offering the public some approximation of the truth about what's important around the world. This approaches another Holocaust in the sense that countless people suffered persecution, torture and death because of the silence of CNN's network lambs.

Yet this is the same media that normally does not hesitate to put American lives at stake to get ratings by revealing military and other secrets. Why did they choose silence this worst of all times? Why did the lambs "clam up" when it was truly time to talk? If we ever accidentally channel-surf to CNN again, we intend to surf on by.

Will Mr. Jordan be hearing these screams in his dreams for the rest of his life? He should -- unless he's anesthetized his own conscience. Perhaps we're harsh in calling Jordan's purposeful miscalculations holocaustal. Let's ask the children -- those who survived -- what they think.

Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D., is a multiple award winning writer who comments on medical- legal issues. Robert J. Cihak, M.D., is past president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Both JWR contributors are Harvard trained diagnostic radiologists. Comment by clicking here.


04/21/03: Medical Miranda?
04/11/03: Are childhood vaccines shots in the dark?
04/09/03: The PETA Principle -- The lambshank Redemption
03/28/03: American conscience?
03/21/03: West Wimps or Wings: Treatment for Hollywood Hypocrisy
03/13/03: Worldwide schmaltz shortage looms --- all because of a featherless chicken
03/06/03: Legal metastases are killing us
02/28/03: Outside the Jury Box: Seeking Justice rather than a Lottery in Medical Liability
02/21/03: Workforce temperature rising; employer TLC in demand
02/14/03: Malpractice Insurance: They Reap What They Sue
02/12/03: Hawk, Dove or Groundhog: Diagnosis Critical List; Prognosis Uncertain
02/07/03: How about tax cuts for the "rich" and "poor"?
01/31/03: AIDS Bug Chasers
01/24/03: Libertarian moment or movement?
01/17/03: It's not just 'sue the docs' anymore
01/03/03: A pox on the critics; diagnosis sour grapes
01/03/03: If protesting is good for your health; then at least let's root for the home team
12/20/02: Obesidemic (obesity epidemic) or not?
12/20/02: Time for voluntary informed smallpox vaccinations
12/13/02: The real reason the state opposes homeschooling?
12/06/02: Conscience of a former conservative: Portrait of a political metamorphosis
11/27/02: Thanksgiving dinner hazard?
11/22/02: Time to think outside the box and inside the nucleus
11/15/02: The military should be protected from abusive environmental laws in times of war
11/11/02: Does Kyoto Treaty pose more harm than global warming?
10/31/02: Deep thoughts on Baseball, the World Series and Life: How about them Anaheim Angels?
10/23/02: "Pediatric rule" guinea pigs
10/23/02: Once the World Series ends, we need to create a Donnie Moore Day of Remembrance: Sports and mental health
10/18/02: Congress to senior patients: Do as we say not as we do for ourselves
10/11/02: Using pollution "scare labeling" to political advantage
10/04/02: The Great Asbestos Heist: Did Litigation and Junk Medical Science Helped Bring Down the World Trade Center?
09/27/02: The imminent rise of civic feminism: A far healthier national alternative in war and peace
09/20/02: A Ray A Day" to replace the daily apple?
09/13/02: Beware of celebrities hawking drugs
09/06/02: Avoid 9/11 overdose: Give blood to begin "September of Service," SOS
08/28/02: From Doubleday to strikeday: Baseball's collective anxiety attack
08/23/02: Should she or shouldn't she?: An alternative view on treating menopause with HRT
08/16/02: Cooking up defenses against germ warfare
08/02/02: Medicine, crime and canines
07/26/02: Lies, pathologic lies and the Palestinians
07/19/02: Medicare Drug Follies as in "now you see it, now you don't"
07/12/02: Anti-Profiling: A New Medically False Belief System
07/08/02: Don't procrastinate, vaccinate!
06/28/02: The scientific advances on the safe and effective deployment of DDT are being ignored, or denied. Why?
06/21/02: Sex and the system: In seeking healthcare men are different from women
06/14/02: The FDA, drug companies and life-saving drugs: Who's the fox and who's the hen now?
06/07/02: Medical Privacy Lost: A hippo on the healthcare back!
05/24/02: To clean up America's game: A (soggy) ground rule
05/10/02: Free speech is good medicine
05/03/02: Medicine's Vietnam
04/26/02: Attack on alternative medicine could lead to alternative lawsuits
04/12/02: Insure the 'crazies'?
04/09/02: No Time for Litmus Tests: In War We Need a Surgeon General and NIH, CDC, and FDA Directors
04/02/02: The scoop on soot: A dirty rotten shame?
03/22/02: Too many beautiful minds to waste: The first annual Caduceus Movie
03/15/02: Terror and transformation: Defense essential for health & state of mind
03/08/02: Diagnosis: Delusional
03/06/02: The great matzah famine
03/01/02: Is new Hippocratic Oath hypocritical?
02/15/02: Why the recent moaning about cloning?
02/08/02: Searching for Dr. Strangelove
01/15/02: Score one for the value of human life
01/04/02: Medical-legal-financial wake-up call
12/28/01: Who's afraid of a 'dirty bomb'?
12/21/01: End of medicine?
12/14/01: More heroes: Docs deserve a little credit after 9/11
11/16/01: Do we need 'Super Smallpox Saturdays'?
11/09/01: Why the post-9-11 health care debate will never be the same
11/01/01: Common sense good for our mental health
10/26/01: Your right to medical privacy --- even in terror time
10/12/01: Failed immigration policy ultimately bad for nation's mental health: Enemy within leads to epidemic of jumpy nerves
09/28/01: Can legal leopards change their spots: A treat instead of a trick
09/21/01: Civil defense again a civic duty
08/30/01: Shut down this government CAFE
08/23/01: School Bells or Jail Cells?
08/15/01: Time to take coaches to the woodshed
08/10/01: Blood, Guts & Glory: The Stem of the Stem Cell controversy

© 2002