Thursday, March 20, 2003

Stuck on one channel. News Dissector Danny Schechter compares television coverage of the first hours of the war to what it must be like in North Korea:

I have never seen North Korean TV but I have been told that all it offers is one unending commercial for the government featuring three channels locked in to the same programming. We had a dose of that last night as every channel locked on to the same stationery pictures of Baghdad and followed the same format, if not script.

He also cites a report by Jeff Chester, of the Center for Digital Democracy, on the pernicious effects of the major networks reporting on the war at the same time that they are begging for deregulatory favors from the FCC, headed by Secretary of State Colin Powell's son. Says Chester:

While the absence of critical analysis, including dissenting voices, on TV news programs, for example, can be attributed to the narrow, commercial mind-set of the U.S. media, viewers and readers should also be aware that these news organizations also have a serious conflict of interest what it comes to reporting on the policies of the Bush Administration.

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