The Creed of Objectivity Killed the News By Chris Hedges

2 February, 2010 — Truth Dig

Reporters who witness the worst of human suffering and return to newsrooms angry see their compassion washed out or severely muted by the layers of editors who stand between the reporter and the reader. The creed of objectivity and balance, formulated at the beginning of the 19th century by newspaper owners to generate greater profits from advertisers, disarms and cripples the press.

And the creed of objectivity becomes a convenient and profitable vehicle to avoid confronting unpleasant truths or angering a power structure on which news organizations depend for access and profits. This creed transforms reporters into neutral observers or voyeurs. It banishes empathy, passion and a quest for justice. Reporters are permitted to watch but not to feel or to speak in their own voices. They function as ‘professionals’ and see themselves as dispassionate and disinterested social scientists. This vaunted lack of bias, enforced by bloodless hierarchies of bureaucrats, is the disease of American journalism.

The very notion that on any given story all you have to do is report what both sides say and you’ve done a fine job of objective journalism debilitates the press,’ the late columnist Molly Ivins once wrote. ‘There is no such thing as objectivity, and the truth, that slippery little bugger, has the oddest habit of being way to hell off on one side or the other: it seldom nestles neatly halfway between any two opposing points of view. The smug complacency of much of the press—I have heard many an editor say, ‘Well, we’re being attacked by both sides so we must be right’—stems from the curious notion that if you get a quote from both sides, preferably in an official position, you’ve done the job. In the first place, most stories aren’t two-sided, they’re 17-sided at least. In the second place, it’s of no help to either the readers or the truth to quote one side saying, ‘Cat,’ and the other side saying ‘Dog,’ while the truth is there’s an elephant crashing around out there in the bushes.’

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Challenge the War Criminals By Morris William

1 February, 2010 — Labour against warLeftdemos of Britain

With its reformist strategy for a socialism within capitalism, the British Labour Party has always been a party fit for imperialism.

After its chauvinist backing of the inter-imperialist war of 1914-18, it has supported colonial wars when in opposition and launched them when in government.

With the further imperialist militarisation of the neo-liberal, global market, the Labour Government joined with the dominant imperialism of the United States in the ‘change of regime’ wars of occupation against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

To bring about electoral unity in action, it is essential that the principle war criminals, firstly, in the Labour Party and, secondly, in the opposition parties, be identified and their seats be contested by Labour Against War (LAW) candidates in any future election.

A minimal election manifesto should challenge the Labour war criminals by including calls for:

  • Commencing the withdrawal of British air, sea, land military and special forces from Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • The paying of reparations to the people of Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • The paying of compensation to the next of kin of the members of the British armed forces killed in the above ‘change of regime’ wars of occupation.
  • The withdrawal of all charges against members of the armed forces who refused to fight in these wars and the annulment of all sanctions already taken against them.
  • Ending the anti-labour and anti-terrorist laws which threaten us with a police state and fascism.
  • Support for all reforms that favour the social class of workers against the neo-liberal, freemarket agenda of the main parties.

If you generally support this approach to electoral unity in action against globalisation and war at the present time, please indicate if you would support the convening of a conference to discuss these and other proposals.

This statement is open for further discussion.

Clare Short says cabinet misled on Iraq war legality

2 February, 2010 — BBC News

Short: “I think he misled the cabinet. He certainly misled me, but people let it through.”

more about “Clare Short says cabinet misled on Ir…“, posted with vodpod
Tony Blair’s cabinet was “misled” into thinking the war with Iraq was legal, ex-International Development Secretary Clare Short has told the UK’s inquiry. She said Attorney General Lord Goldsmith had been “leaned on” to change his advice before the invasion.
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Haitians will defend their sovereignty Pt.2

2 February, 2010 — The Real News Network

Ronald Charles: After Haitian revolution, colonial oppression turned into oppression by its ruling elite

more about “Haitians will defend their sovereignt…“, posted with vodpod

Ronald Charles is a Ph.D. student in Biblical Studies at the Department of Relgion, University of Toronto. He is a poet and a violinist. And he was lecturer at Christianville University College in Haiti, where he translated parts of the Bible into Haitian Creole.

Remembering Howard Zinn (1922 – 2010) By Stephen Lendman

1 February, 2010 —

howard-zinn.jpgDistinguished scholar, author, political scientist, people`s historian, activist, and son of blue-collar immigrant parents, Zinn was born on August 24, 1922 in Brooklyn, New York and died in Santa Monica, CA of a reported heart attack while swimming on January 27. He’s survived by two children, Myla Kabat-Zinn and Jeff Zinn, and five grandchildren.

He was 87, and a valued guest several times on The Lendman News Hour and Progressive Radio News Hour. He’ll be sorely missed.

Writing in CounterPunch on January 28, journalist, author and activist Harvey Wasserman called him ‘above all a gentleman of unflagging grace, humility and compassion.’

Interviewed on Democracy Now, his former student, author Alice Walker, said ‘he had such a wonderful impact on my life and on the lives of the students of Spelman and of millions of people….he loved his students.’

On the same program, Noam Chomsky spoke about Zinn during the Vietnam war period saying:

His book, The Logic of Withdrawal ‘really broke through. He was the first person to say – loudly, publicly, very persuasively – that this simply has to stop; we should get out, period, no conditions; we have no right to be there; it’s an act of aggression; pull out.’

He ‘not only wrote about (it) eloquently, but he participated in’ anti-war efforts to end the war, for civil and worker rights, and ‘any significant action for peace and justice. Howard was there. People saw him as a leader, but he was really a participant. His remarkable character made him a leader….’

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Don’t Call It a “Defense” Budget By Norman Solomon

2 February, 2010 —

This isn’t “defense.”

The new budget from the White House will push U.S. military spending well above $2 billion a day.

Foreclosing the future of our country should not be confused with defending it.

“Unless miraculous growth, or miraculous political compromises, creates some unforeseen change over the next decade, there is virtually no room for new domestic initiatives for Mr. Obama or his successors,” the New York Times reports this morning (February 2).

It isn’t defense to preclude new domestic initiatives for a country that desperately needs them: for healthcare, jobs, green technologies, carbon reduction, housing, education, nutrition, mass transit…

“When a nation becomes obsessed with the guns of war, social programs must inevitably suffer,” Martin Luther King Jr. pointed out. “We can talk about guns and butter all we want to, but when the guns are there with all of its emphasis you don’t even get good oleo. These are facts of life.”

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Haiti Newslinks 1-2 February, 2010

2 February, 2010

Haiti Questions Americans Over “Kidnapping”
New York Times
By REUTERS PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Haitian authorities questioned a group of 10 American missionaries on Monday who are accused of illegally trying to …

An all-star ‘We Are the World’ remake for Haiti relief
Los Angeles Times
12 temblor in Haiti: Instead of more relief for Africa, the organizers switched gears and turned their cause to the Caribbean. The scene on Monday, …,0,2284716.storylink

Haiti Crisis Prompts Fresh Talk of Pooling US Relief Money
New York Times
GL Kohuth/Michigan State University, via AP A vigil at Michigan State University in support of Haiti earthquake victims on Jan. 20 in East Lansing, Mich. …

Haiti’s Children and the Adoption Question
New York Times (blog)
By THE EDITORS Mario Tama/Getty Images The Foyer de la Patience des Infantes orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Haitian officials have detained 10 …

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HLLN Haiti News: Haiti Orphan Appeal: “I’m not an orphan” says 8-year old kidnapped victim

2 February, 2010 —

Recommended HLLN Link: The Collar of Impunity: Sexual abuse of Haiti children by Priests, Charity Workers by Ezili Dantò

Day One in Haiti : Douglas Perlitz sexually abusing Haiti children By: Paul Kendrick

Day Two in Haiti (Pre-Earthquake)

Day Three in Haiti

– Haiti kidnapped victim’s Appeal: “One (8-year-old) girl was crying, and saying, ‘I am not an orphan. I still have my parents.’ She thought she was going on a summer camp or a boarding school or something like that.”

After the admission of the 33 kidnapped children (to SOS), three persons came to the village claiming been the fathers and old brother of five children, they said the woman who took the children to DR said she organised summer camps for the children, and that now, because of the Haitian situation, she offered them to take care of their children in DR but they had not intended it to be permanent.( See- Americans arrested: children brought to SOS, traumaticised state of trafficked children.

In this post

– American charged with abusing more Haitian boys

– Haiti Orphan Appeal: “I’m not an orphan” says 8-year old kidnapped victim

See also: Claims of a million earthquake orphans are clearly false and those making them are being irresponsible –

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