If the media of a democratic country is sick, then it could not be said such country is healthy. The media crisis of the most powerful country in the world have been evident since 1995 when for 18 months the America media focused on the murder of a famous soccer player’s wife. After that, it focused on the Monica Lewinsky and President Bill Clinton scandal. Since these media think they must guarantee a 25% profit, minimum, their energy is used to entertain the audience. After the September 11 attacks, their work has changed a little bit: not to collapse. The old watch dog tradition and informing the people is obsolete.
Let’s take the case of the Koran offense in Guantánamo which caused the dead of 15 persons in Afghanistan. This story reminded me of the Janet Cooke scandal, the Pulitzer Prize winner who wrote a report about an 8 years old drug addict who lived in a black neighborhood. Since the story was completely fabricated, her Pulitzer Prize was revoked and she was expelled from the Washington Post. Her story was very similar to the ghetto’s reality and it did not upset anybody. However, it became a symbol of “bad” journalistic practices.
Why am I recalling this story? Just because the journalists’ mistakes was internationally discussed whereas the responsibles for the true crimes have remained unpunished. Newsweek was criticized for triggering an anti-American environment. Who are the judges? Some politicians who unscrupulously lied to launch such beneficial war in Iraq that has already taken thousands of lives?
The latest American media scandal has to do with two Rupert Murdoch’s tabloids where pictures of Saddam Hussein wearing underwear were published. Why should we be worried about the tyrant’s feelings? That is not the most important thing. The London’s Sun and the New York Post are not newspapers but recreational publications that sometimes are used as propaganda tools. Ethic means nothing to them.
In a democracy, the main function of the media is to reveal the government’s abuses of power. Due to the impact of the September 11, 2001 events, blind patriotism and the conservatives’ influence, and to what is more important, the will to satisfy the shareholders’ expectations, the American media is no longer the Fourth power.

Izvestia (Russia)
Daily with a circulation of 430 000 copies founded in 1917, like the Pravda.

« АМЕРИКАНСКИМ СМИ ТРЕБУЕТСЯ ЛЕЧЕНИЕ », by Claude-Jean Bertrand, Izvestia, June 1, 2005.