The main obstacle is the indulgence with which journalists and their editorial departments accept a line imposed by their owners’ financial interests that have consequently corrupted their profession. Many lie to themselves when they think they have a certain professionalism or that their “objectivity” is sacred. The most notorious example is the complicity and the silence of the so called “American mainstream press” which directly supported the invasion of Iraq and the murder of tens of thousands of innocent people; this is an incredible act of piracy because of its dimension and the worst are not the pen-pushers or propagandists of Fox network- at least they say openly what their objectives are- but the members of the liberal press who are so proud of the great precepts of the Columbia School of Journalism and who practice censure. We just have to see how the New York Times or the Washington Post do their best to omit the slaughter of civilians in Iraq. The pseudo-balanced approach of the media is what makes me, especially, rebel against this. I usually make jokes saying that if Bush says the Earth is flat the newspapers’ headlines the next day would be: “The form of the Earth: opinions differ.”
But, when we take into account what we already know about the Cheney Administration and how the semi-official media, that is (Fox News, the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, Judith Miller, Bob Woodward, etc.) work here, in our country, we’re not surprised to see that they use these same techniques to manipulate the “information battlefield” in Iraq. After all, there’s no reason for the Iraqi people to have more democracy than us. Ironically, some of the pen pushers hired by the Pentagon seem to have more journalistic ethics than their American colleagues. Thus, some of their articles were published in Iraqi newspapers under the title of “public reportage” or “infomedia”. This is the best the New York Times could do with regard to its integrity when it published Judith Miller’s propaganda articles about Sadaam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.

AdBusters (Canada)

Obstacles to solid, challenging, investigative reporting today”, by John Pilger, AdBusters, December, 2005.