[SPORK?] The Rise of the Reporters

JS Kelly jskelly@jskelly.com
Tue, 25 Mar 2003 10:04:29 -0800 (PST)

On Tue, 25 Mar 2003, Eugen Leitl wrote:
> On Tue, 25 Mar 2003, Jeff Bone wrote:
> > Real-time, largely non-partisan (face it, most at least try for some 
> > level of objectivity, though they succeed to degrees according to 
> > different agendas;  but in general their value is diminished to the 
> > extent that they editorialize and spin the bitstream) private sector 
> > intelligence agencies.

maybe some of the embedded ones are trying to be objective, but the inane
"analysis" which immediately follows by the stooges in the studio wreck
any chance of that showing through. 

> Embedded reporting is one the most biased, morally corrupt form of 
> journalism. I expect the only unbiased reporting with the advent of 
> mobiles which can shoot and transmit wireless video.
> While you can jam realtime transmissions, you certainly can't erase
> already made records sans resorting to blanket EMPing, which is not
> thorough, can be hardened against and has grave problems (taking out the
> entire infrastructure in the area, and causing casualties and destruction
> by the HE-payload driving the pulse).

but you can erase the source of the transmissions.  this story was widely
quoted at indie sites & weblogs, but i don't think i've seen any 'major'
media pick up on it: 


 . . . . .  . . . . .  . . . . .  . . . . .  . . . . .  . . . . . 

Pentagaon Threatens to Kill Independent Reporters in Iraq

10th March, 2003 
by Fintan Dunne, Editor 

The Pentagon has threatened to fire on the satellite uplink positions of
independent journalists in Iraq, according to veteran BBC war
correspondent, Kate Adie. In an interview with Irish radio, Ms. Adie said
that questioned about the consequences of such potentially fatal actions,
a senior Pentagon officer had said: "Who cares.. ..They've been warned." 

According to Ms. Adie, who twelve years ago covered the last Gulf War, the
Pentagon attitude is: "entirely hostile to the the free spread of

"I am enormously pessimistic of the chance of decent on-the-spot
reporting, as the war occurs," she told Irish national broadcaster, Tom
McGurk on the RTE1 Radio "Sunday Show." 

Ms. Adie made the startling revelations during a discussion of media
freedom issues in the likely upcoming war in Iraq. She also warned that
the Pentagon is vetting journalists according to their stance on the war,
and intends to take control of US journalists' satellite equipment --in
order to control access to the airwaves. 

Another guest on the show, war author Phillip Knightley, reported that the
Pentagon has also threatened they: "may find it necessary to bomb areas in
which war correspondents are attempting to report from the Iraqi side." 

  Transcript follows below. 

Tom McGurk: "Now, Kate Adie, you join us from the BBC in London.  Thank
you very much for going to all this trouble on a Sunday morning to come
and join us. I suppose you are watching with a mixture of emotions this
war beginning to happen, because you are not going to be covering it." 

Kate Adie:  "Oh I will be. And what actually appalls me is the difference
between twelve years ago and now. I've seen a complete erosion of any kind
of acknowledgment that reporters should be able to report as they

"The Americans... and I've been talking to the Pentagon... take the
attitude which is entirely hostile to the free spread of information." 

"I was told by a senior officer in the Pentagon, that if uplinks --that is
the television signals out of...  Bhagdad, for example-- were detected by
any planes ...electronic media... mediums of the military above Bhagdad...
they'd be fired down on. Even if they were journalists ..' Who cares! '
said.. [inaudible] .."

Tom McGurk: "...Kate ...sorry Kate ..just to underline that. Sorry to
interrupt you. Just to explain for our listeners.  Uplinks is where you
have your own satellite telephone method of distributing information." 

Kate Adie:  "The telephones and the television signals." 

Tom McGurk:  "And they would be fired on? "

Kate Adie:  "Yes. They would be 'targeted down,' said the officer."

Tom McGurk: "Extraordinary ! " 

Kate Adie: "Shameless." 
"He said.. ' Well... they know this ...they've been warned.' " 
"This is threatening freedom of information, before you even get to a
"The second thing is there was a massive news blackout imposed." 
"In the last Gulf war, where I was one of the pool correspondents with the
British Army. We effectively had very, very light touch when it came to
any kind of censorship." 
"We were told that anything which was going to endanger troops lives which
we understood we shouldn't broadcast.  But other than that, we were
relatively free."

"Unlike our American colleagues, who immediately left their pool, after
about 48 hours, having just had enough of it." 
"And this time the Americans are: a) Asking journalists who go with them,
whether they are... have feelings against the war. And therefore if you
have views that are skeptical, then you are not to be acceptable."
"Secondly, they are intending to take control of the Americans technical
equipment ...those uplinks and satellite phones I was talking about. And
control access to the airwaves."
"And then on top of everything else, there is now a blackout (which was
imposed, during the last war, at the beginning of the war), ...ordered by
one Mr. Dick Cheney, who is in charge of this."
"I am enormously pessimistic of the chance of decent on-the-spot
reporting, as the war occurs. You will get it later."
 . . . . .  . . . . .  . . . . .  . . . . .  . . . . .  . . . . . 

you would think that at least one reporter from a major media outlet would
at least ASK somebody about it. clearly it would be denied -- but they
aren't even asking any questions any more. and you know why, i am sure --
it is the liberal bias in the media, of course.

hmn. some journalists have already died in the conflict. were any of those
deaths due to accidental friendly fire?