Google News pointed me to the story of Akamai dropping al-Jazeera from its network. This comes after expulsion of its reporters from the NYSE floor, web defacements, DNS hijackings, and potential DoS attacks, almost certainly launched by supporters of a country that ostensibly endorses a free press. (Newsweek, "Censorship, American style") Another link (God bless Google News) reports: The Cambridge, Mass., company stopped short of saying the move was political. Akamai has been cultivating deals with the federal government. For example, it currently powers the U.S. Army's recruitment site. And lest anyone say that al-Jazeera, for its coverage of news for non-US viewers is nothing more than a propaganda tool of Hussein's regime, Google has found you an MSNBC article written during the Afghanistan war, In defense of al-Jazeera.
Today, al-Jazeera is staffed by many of the same [BBC] journalists I saw weeping in London that day, including Azar. It is the lone Arabic broadcast outlet to put truth and objectivity above even its survival. For its pains during the five years of its existence, it has been attacked by virtually every government in the Middle East.
That brings us to the final lesson here: what passes for news in America. For the past 10 years, roughly since the idiotic O.J. Simpson trial, the language of marketing has entered American newsrooms like a badly targeted cruise missile. Talk of plot lines and demographics, sexiness and "water-cooler" appeal have polluted a mission that is protected by its own constitutional amendment. Celebrity journalists interview celebrity dimwits about their sex lives, while American foreign policy is left running on auto-pilot.
The hard truth is that the U.S. media left America as unprepared for these terrorist attacks as any Air Force general or CIA bureaucrat. As we dropped bombs on Iraq for 10 years running -- justified or not -- the U.S. media failed to report on it. Then suddenly, on Sept. 11, we think "We're at war" when in fact there hasn't been a day since the Gulf War ended when an American aircraft hasn't locked onto a target with a missile or bomb. We were at war, it's just that the media didn't think it was interesting enough to tell you about it. That's our lesson to learn.
I'm not really following the war anymore, just the media's coverage of it. I'm disappointed. What interests me is the mainstream news coverage of bloggers' coverage of the war. We're taking over, baby.