Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The First and Last Casualties

Coverage of wars and poverty, of competing ideas and political conflict is all over the map.  Attention Deficit Disorder and entropy on one hand, pre-existing ideological prejudices and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder on the other.  Avoidance on the one hand, oversaturation on the other.

Some of the most memorable wartime investigative journalism can be epitomized by the work of Seymour Hersch, who has, during his career, written a number of penetrating stories for United Press International (UPI), the Associated Press (AP), The New York Times, The New Yorker, and more. Prime examples: exposing the My Lai Massacre (1968). Investigating the context of what led to the shooting down of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 (1983). Digging into the false pretenses and cynical manipulation of public perceptions by the Bush-Cheney Administation that led to the Iraq War (2003-2011). Delving into the ghoulish facts of the Abu Ghraib POW scandal. And so forth. This is not to say that Hersch is always completely accurate in his reporting, but rather that he's done more good investigative work relating to war and abuse of power than most. Under the banner of the First Amendment, we need more people doing this kind of work.

Today's Rune: Flow.

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