Tuesday, March 01, 2005

French jounalist turns up on tape.

Florence Aubenas, a reporter for the French paper La Libération, has appeared on a videotape after disappearing January 5. Ms. Aubernas (or “Florence,” as the French papers refer to her,) looks pretty bad, but after two months in captivity, what do you expect?

Naturally, this would be a bigger story in France than in the U.S., much like the Daniel Perle story was bigger in the U.S. than anywhere else. But this got me thinking: you don’t hear much about kidnapped journalists in Iraq anymore. Not kidnapped American journalists, anyway. (Sure, Perle was kidnapped in Pakistan well before the Iraq adventure, but I brought him up to illustrate a different point.) Why is it the French and the Italians who are trying to get the real story in Iraq, while Americans are hanging out in their “green zones” and hobnobbing with the U.S. troops? The U.S. media aren’t interested in the story, aren’t interested in seeing how the occupation has affected daily life in Iraq, aren’t interested in the attitudes toward our occupying forces.

The media have too much of a stake in this, I guess. If we had more independent media in this country, we might just find a critical voice out there, willing to report the facts and criticize the administration. What could be more American than that?

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