The U.S. mainstream press and television networks are committing media malpractice and contributing to the rising risk of an American war with Iran.
* The cable TV networks are almost completely ignoring the Trump administration’s threatening moves, which could end in either a violent accident or a deliberate attack by Israel, America, or both. Instead, CNN and MSNBC continue covering Russiagate, ad nauseum.
* U.S. print media is also mostly ignoring the story, except to take dictation from Pentagon sources without doing independent reporting.
* The pundits, with one exception, are also still silent.
* The minimal coverage continues to leave out Israel, even though anyone who has followed the region knows that Benjamin Netanyahu has instigated the U.S. to attack Iran for the past decade, and he even addressed the U.S. Congress in 2015 to try and sabotage the now-dead Iran nuclear deal.
* Not everyone is as incompetent as the U.S. mainstream. The Economist, the British conservative publication, put the threat of war in Iran on its cover this week, and warns editorially that “America’s accusations that Iran has been planning to attack American forces or its allies in the Middle East are suspiciously unspecific.”
Today’s New York Times news report is a disgrace to the journalism profession. The bias shines right through in the headline: “Pentagon Builds Deterrent Force Against Possible Attack from Iran.” It would be considerably more accurate to say, “U.S. Escalates Its Already Massive Military Presence Surrounding Iran, Intending to Provoke an Iranian Attack.” The Times report is sourced to anonymous “American and allied spy services.” (Why the paper doesn’t say “Israeli” instead of “allied” is an interesting question.) The article continues with vague anonymous innuendo suggesting Iran is “encouraging attacks by Iranian-backed terrorist groups on American forces and bases in the Middle East.” “A Pentagon official” also said the U.S. has detected that Iran is carrying out “anomalous naval activity” in the area.
One phrase in the Times article inadvertently gives away the whole fraud: “. . . the United States developed new information last weekend. . . ”
No Iranian officials are interviewed. The Times did not consult any of the established experts on Iran: no Trita Parsi, no Flynt or Hillary Mann Leverett, no Barbara Slavin. Trump’s bellicose national security adviser John Bolton, who still thinks the 2003 Iraq invasion was a good idea, could have written the Times article himself. (The Economist — not the American media — pointed out that in 2015 Bolton published an Op-Ed piece in the Times entitled, “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.”)
And where are the U.S. opinion writers? So far, silence — with the single exception of David Ignatius in the Washington Post, and his column gave too much credence to “U.S. officials” and failed to mention the Israel angle. Why are Thomas Friedman, Jeffrey Goldberg and the other discredited cheerleaders for the 2003 invasion of Iraq not saying anything?
What’s more, as The Economist points out, even if the U.S. is just saber-rattling and has no plan to attack, the risk of a dangerous accident is on the rise. So far, no one in the U.S. media has reminded Americans about the tragedy on July 3, 1988, when the USS Vincennes, a warship in the Persian Gulf, by mistake shot down an Iranian civilian airliner, (which was in Iranian airspace) killing all 290 people on board, including 66 children. The consequences of another such accident could be catastrophic.