Fascinating. Chomsky’s forever wringing his hands about the perils of media monopolies — and there are perils, albeit fewer for him than for us — but something tells me he won’t be too perturbed to learn how much influence the AP’s accrued to itself here.
Meanwhile, in AmSpec, a former reporter for Reuters makes a related point. Media companies supply narrow perspectives to the Middle East, he says, because narrow perspectives are what’s demanded:
Whatever its editors’ political inclinations are, there is also a practical reason why Reuters is biased against Israel. As a global news provider, Reuters has to operate in more places than just about any other news organization, with 189 bureaus serving 128 countries. Because Israel is a free society, Reuters is able to run articles critical of the government without endangering the lives of its journalists or losing its ability to work in the country. Were Reuters to start striking a critical tone against the likes of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Arab governments, its reporters’ lives would be at risk as would its ability to operate in those parts of the world. Pretty soon, it would cease to be a “global” news provider and it would struggle for a raison d’etre.
In a visit to the New York office shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, [Reuters EIC Geert] Linnebank used essentially the same argument to explain the Reuters policy of barring the word “terrorist” from its lexicon. He said that Reuters had a long-standing policy of not using the word and that, over the years, it had been pressured by many governments to use the word to describe their adversaries (such as Turkey with regard to the Kurds). If Reuters reversed-course just because the United States was attacked, Linnebank explained, it could imperil Reuters journalists overseas.
Which might explain all those photos we’re seeing of a beaten, tired, discouraged IDF.