Journalism

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
journalism, wikileaks



Why Are US Publications Downplaying The Significance Of Some Of Wikileaks' Leaks?

from the they-know-which-side-their-bread-is-buttered-on dept

We still can't quite figure out why the story of US contractors in Afghanistan pimping little boys to law enforcement officials doesn't seem to get nearly the sort of attention in the press that Wikileaks itself gets, even though Wikileaks is what revealed the actions by Dyncorp. In fact, some are noticing that the US press seems to be downplaying many of the revelations in the diplomatic cables that have been released so far. Karl Bode points us to an interesting report that highlights how a bunch of big name publications have tried to play down the leaks, listing out stories in Time, the NY Times, Newsweek, the Washington Post and elsewhere that all say the leaks have really only shown that US diplomats are effective at their jobs.

But then it lists out a whole bunch of things that have been found in the leaks so far (and, remember, less than 1% of the cables have actually been released), that all seem like pretty big stories, that haven't received much attention at all. Many of them do get one or two stories, and that's it. This includes multiple stories of US officials basically working to obstruct foreign governments from responding to various misdeeds by representatives of the US. There are also numerous examples of US officials disobeying agreements with other countries and believing bad intelligence. But, for whatever reason, that's just not as interesting as the story of the organization that helped reveal that information?

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  1. identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, 21 Dec 2010 @ 8:10am

    It is Happening in Europe.

    Here is Nat Hentoff's account of the publication of the Pentagon Papers. When the New York Times got cold feet, some reporters leaked the material, or enough of it, to the Village Voice, and that forced the New York Times into action. The Village Voice was smaller and scrappier than the Times, and could take greater risks.

    Nat Hentoff, Village Voice, "The Enemy Within," , Jan 16 2007

    http://www.villagevoice.com/2007-01-16/news/the-enemy-within/

    Now, of course, matters are somewhat different. Apart from WikiLeaks itself, and its mirror sites, the main publication outlets are European newspapers, most notably the London Guardian. Or possibly it is just that the London Guardian is in English. That's not surprising-- the main weight of the WikiLeaks revelations seems to be the extent to which the United States Government is trying to treat Europe as a colony, exploiting Europe's disunity. This kind of conflict, of course, goes back to J. Servan-Schreiber's _Le Defi Americaine_ (1967), published during the previous American colonial war-- Vietnam.

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