Media Blog

Evil American Empire, the Sequel

Back in 2004, a quick look at the human rights abuses coverage on NBC News underlined the bizarre gap between the heavy rotation of Abu Ghraib photos and outrage against America, compared to discoveries about the mass murders of Saddam Hussein. Over about a two-week period, there were 58 morning and evening stories. Then we compared it to the number of stories on Saddam-era mass graves found in Iraq in 2003 and 2004. The number of evening and morning news stories on those grim discoveries? Five. Even though the May 6, 2003 Nightly News reported a very pointed story, suggesting as many as 300,000 may be buried in groups around the country.

On Friday morning’s Today, the Abu Ghraib sequel sounds like it’s on the way:

NATALIE MORALES: We begin with new photos soon to be released by the Pentagon. Some say they provide proof that prisoner abuse went far beyond Abu Ghraib. NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski is at the Pentagon. Mik, what can you tell us?

JIM MIKLASZEWSKI: Natalie, U.S. officials tell NBC News the Pentagon will release as many as 2000 more photos of prisoners being held or interrogated at several military prisons in Iraq or Afghanistan. And for the first time, may include photos of possible prisoner abuse at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. One U.S. official said that while the photos are not as bad as those prisoner abuse photos that came out of Abu Ghraib prison, they’re quote, “not good.” But critics are already claiming that these photos will prove that, that prisoner abuse was not the result of a few bad apples in the military, as the Bush administration had claimed, but was actually widespread and sanctioned by top Bush administration officials. Now when the photos are released in about a month it is sure to increase pressure on President Obama to call for criminal prosecutions or, or the appointment of a special prosecutor. At the very least Congress is expected to drag some former top Bush officials up to Capitol Hill for what would prove to be pretty high profile hearings, Natalie.

Tim GrahamTim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center, where he began in 1989, and has served there with the exception of 2001 and 2002, when served ...


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