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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Why Bush Needs to Spin the War - By David Corn, AlterNet

Posted on November 9, 2001, Printed on May 31, 2006
"Don't worry. You'll be safe. We know how to take care of terrorists here."
So said the chuckling immigration officer at Port of Spain the other day. I had been dispatched to Trinidad by the U.S. State Department to conduct a two-day seminar on investigative reporting for local journalists (your tax dollars at work!), and the first Trini I encountered could not resist needling the Americans.
The next day, amid talk of the Freedom of Information Act, finding sources, and Internet-assisted-reporting, one of the fifteen island journalists asked me and my colleague, Bonnie Goldstein, a former investigative producer for ABC News, what we thought of the U.S. media's coverage of the September 11 attacks. Before we could respond, several participants volunteered their opinions.
"The first day was fine, then it was too much, too much."
"It was, 'oh, poor, poor us.'"
"Like the United States was the only country ever to be hit by terrorism."
"Self-pity, plenty of self-pity."
A consensus formed: a self-indulgent America was excessively obsessed with its own suffering.
And this was coming from our friends -- reporters who live in a city overflowing with KFC restaurants and who had, on their own accord, come to the information office of the U.S. embassy desperately seeking pointers from American journalists. They were not insensitive to the horror of September 11, but neither were they overly sympathetic to America's pain and fear or deferential to U.S. concerns.


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