The war in Iraq has become also a war of images. This week, we were troubled by pictures of tortured Iraqi prisoners. Last week, it was photographs of American soldiers who have given their lives there.
On Friday a week ago on NIGHTLINE, Ted Koppel read the names of the dead and showed their photographs. But their faces and names were blacked out on ABC stations owned by Sinclair Broadcasting. Sinclair accused Koppel of "…doing nothing more than making a political statement."
[I]t's their right. Freedom of the press, it has been famously said, is guaranteed only to those who own one.
That's just the point. These media giants can be within their rights even while doing wrong. It's the system, dear Brutus, the system...a cartel, in effect, of big companies and big government scratching each other's back.
Nowadays, these mega-media conglomerates relieve government of the need for censorship by doing it themselves. So we're reminded once again that journalism's best moments have come not when journalists make common cause with the state but stand fearlessly independent of it. A free press remains everything to a free society.
Best New Blog finalist - 2003 Koufax Awards
A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.
Lo alecha ha-m'lacha ligmor, v'lo atah ben chorin l'hibateyl mimenah.