03/02/02 - 19:34:29
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...giving book references without saying anything substantive...|
Pedelty's _War Stories_ is about the press corps that went to "cover" the war against El Salvador in the 1980s. The "mainstream" press had an unwritten rule that circulated amongst the editors, that all stories that could be interpreted as criticizing the US were to be "spiked." The "A-team" of reporters, the folks working for the big mainstream presses, had to follow that rule. They mostly covered State Department press releases. The "B-team" could cover real events, instead of having to clear everything beforehand with the State Department, but they had to work for tiny presses such as The Nation or The Progressive. The "B-team" was and is small, and poor. There was this tough ex-Marine named Raymond Bonner who actually went to cover what was happening, and blundered into this place called El Mozote that the Pentagon wanted kept secret -- at any rate, Bonner was promptly made persona non grata in the mainstream media for leaking this story...
It's the same everywhere -- if you want to be on the "A-team," you have to get clearance from the Establishment. In the far future, the word "liar" will pass out of usage, and we will use the word "journalist" to mean the same thing.
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