delay made me doubt that the Guardian would ever publish it,
so, on November 28, I also sent it to the UK Independent.
They never published the letter, nor did they even reply to
my emails asking then if they would or not.
of the millions of words written to justify the war in Iraq
on humanitarian grounds. Imagine them piled up alongside the
242 word letter about the ComRes poll – which reveals what
people actually learned (basically nothing) about the
consequences of the war. Very much to his credit, twelve
days after the letter appeared, Seumas Milne wrote an
excellent article about recent wars that cited the
ComRes poll. Milne wrote
Given the dire lack of
coverage and debate about what actually took place, maybe
it’s not surprising that most
British people think fewer than 10,000 died in a war now
estimated to have killed 500,000.
this Spinwatch article, I discussed similar polls done
in the USA that documented an almost identical level of
January 2, I was delighted to hear John Pilger prominently
mention the ComRes poll is a radio commentary piece for the
W Bush was mocked for his “Mission Accomplished” stunt in
which he tried to declare the war over as it began, but we
can’t mock the corporate media for what it accomplished.
Disappearing hundreds of thousands of deaths that resulted
from a very recent and extensively covered war is quite a
feat. We should fear what the “free press” could easily
accomplish in the future.
Rights Watch (HRW) remains unmoved by any of this. In its
World Report, all HRW had to say about the US media was
that it was “vibrant”.
word on my hectoring, self-righteous, fundamentalist and
corporate journalists whom I’ve corresponded with recently
have applied all the pejoratives above to the tone of my
correspondence with them and to my blog posts in general.
clarify a few things, as I attempted to do with them.
there is always a tradeoff between honesty and civility. If
you honesty describe the horrific outcomes that the
corporate media produces, then offending some journalists,
including the ones you least care to offend, is inevitable.
Nevertheless, I think describing the outcomes honestly
should be the priority even if it puts off some decent
Second, I do not believe that most corporate journalists are
below average in their intelligence or in their capacity to
empathize with others. Top-down organizations hire and
promote people who make certain assumptions about the world.
Even the assumption an internal dissident might make (“I can
contribute something positive by working within these
constraints, and resigning will do no good at all”) is still
a very necessary assumption. There are rotten people in all
walks of life, but I don’t think such people are necessarily
a majority within rotten institutions. Chomsky said to the
British journalist Andrew Marr during a
“I don’t say you’re
self-censoring – I’m sure you believe everything you’re
saying; but what I’m saying is, if you believed something
different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.”
superb piece, Jonathan Cook explains in detail the
hurdles he had to jump as a dissident journalist within the
UK Guardian and later as a freelancer. His account does not
depict his editors, much less the rest of his former
colleagues, as stupid or malicious.
Joe Emersberger was born in 1966 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada
where he currently lives and works. He is an engineer and a
member of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union.
was originally published at