So I’ve been checking CNN.com a lot lately, and twice in the past two days I’ve seen pictures of Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance displayed in positions of prominence. The first time was as the main picture for one of their leading articles. When I saw this it seemed like they were presenting them as “freedom fighters”, which is, of course, something that seems to have gotten us into trouble in the past. Then most recently, right on the front page (its currently gone and I can’t remember what story it was for), was a picture with the caption “Member of Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance in a Prayer Session”.
Is this a blatant attempt on behalf of the media (CNN specifically) to convince everybody that the Northern Alliance are the good guys? I don’t really want to discuss whether they are the good guys or not… There’s obviously two sides to the issue, but either way it seems stupid of a media source to propagandize in this manor.
This is my impression as well. But it is true that at the moment we are “allied” of sorts with the NA. The old “enemy of an enemy” thing. So I think they are kind of slipping into an unearned role as Good Guys (much like the KLA during the Yugoslav bombing campaign).
The media’s access to Afghanistan is very limited in the Taliban areas. Since there is still a huge demand for images and reporting fron Afghanistan, most of what we see will come from NA territory. And of course, the NA will “escort” and “guide” any foreign journalists - therefore we will see a lot of positive images.
Unlike the non-treasonous “Six Questions” of CNN, I fail to see the journalistic integrity of casting the Northern Alliance in any sort of positive light for the sake of a scoop. In fact, it’s downright repugnant. Think mass rapes and similar misogynistic practices. A quick visit to the RAWA website is all that is needed to confirm this. These journalists are surely capable of finding the URL as easily as any of us.
I don’t think saudade’s suggestion is that CNN is deliberately trading off positive coverage for access. Rather, that the NA, by cooperating with CNN, have an opportunity to shape the coverage that they receive. The Taliban do not.
During CNN’s continuous coverage, do you remember ONE incident where anyone in that organization was even the LEAST BIT critical, scared, or doubtful? No, Iraq was the bad guy, our bombs are incredibly accurate, we’re absolutely kicking butt, right is on our side, etc.
When there’s a war on and we’re in it, there’s no way in hell a mainstream news organization is going to give anything but overwhelmingly positive support. Whatever the truth may be.
I’m sorry, but that is one of the funniest things I have read in ages. They may be neutral between the Taliban and Northern Alliance, but they still lean pretty heavily on the “kill the evil Arab scum” side of things.
CNN is probably the most biased 24hr News television service I have ever laid my eyes on.