Against the Current, No. 74, May/June 1998
New Gulf War? Just Say No!
— The Editors
Keeping the Rich Invisible: How Census Bureau Hides the Super-rich
— Michael Parenti
English, Vanguard of the Fast-Food University
— Cary Nelson
Despite Defeat, CAT Workers "Vote Solidarity"
— Kim Moody
Transit Workers Try a "New Direction"
— Marian Swerdlow
Australia: War on the Docks
— The Editors
Confronting America's Military Today: A Lethal Behemoth
— Tod Ensign
The Rebel Girl: Girl Power—The Best, the Worst
— Catherine Sameh
Random Shots: Skating on Thin Ice
— R.F. Kampfer
- The Crisis in Chiapas
The Context for Autonomy
— Dan La Botz
Autonomy vs. the Mexican Party-State
— Hector Diaz-Polanco
A Youth Media Project for Chiapas
— Phyllis Ponvert
- War and Sanctions in the Gulf
— Edward Said
Contradictions of Empire
— David Finkel
When the U.S. Rescued Saddam
— Stanley Heller
The Media, The War, The Bottom Line
— Michael Betzold
- Palestine/Israel: 1948-1998
What About Palestine? A Statement on "Israel At Fifty"
— The Michigan Committee on Jerusalem
Reflections of A Daughter of the "'48 Generation"
— Tikva Honig-Parnass
On Literature and Resistance
— Betsy Esch and Nancy Coffin Interview Barbara Harlow
Who Said Detroit Died?
— Eddie Hejka
History Does Matter
— Heather Ann Thompson
- Letters to Against the Current
Letters to the Editor: Postmodernism and History; Prison Labor
— Tyrone Williams and Alex Lichtenstein
- In Memoriam
Natie Gould, As I Knew Him
— Morris Slavin
IN 1991 I was a reporter at the Detroit Free Press. I watched, appalled, as the city room became a war room and the newspaper a propaganda sheet The headlines, the stories, the pictures all cheered on the generals. Television was presenting the war as great entertainment, a glorified video game, and the Free Press wanted to grab a share of this boom market.
Knowing that Detroit had the largest Iraqi-American population in the nation, I suggested to editors that it might be important to find out how they saw the war. I interviewed some local Chaldeans and wrote a story. It was cut-to make room for more articles and graphics about the wonders of our “smart bombs” -and buried on page 11 or so.
Some see this as an example of how the corporate media run in lockstep with the U.S. government. There’s some truth in that.
But I see it mostly as a prime example of what matters most to the bosses at the dailies. War sells papers. War grabs viewers. War is show business, as Robert De Niro’s character points out in the movie “Wag the Dog.” This is the bottom line.
“I think the people are trying to do their best to understand the situation,” says Tom Jabiru, a Chaldean from West Bloomfield Township, who has lived here thirty years and is outspoken about the recent crisis.
“I would put the blame on the media. I don’t know why we don’t get the facts. I don’t know why this present generation of journalists doesn’t subject the statements of the administration on Iraq to the same rigor they do other statements.”
Having been for thirty-one months a member of a group that has been stigmatized, ignored and misrepresented by Free Press bosses, I share with Iraqi Americans an appreciation of how the media exclude inconvenient views.
Jabiru sees it this way: “I draw a great distinction between what America stands for… and the actions toward Iraq on the part of this administration and the prior administration as well as the action of journalists.
“They have to be held accountable for those actions. They have to answer to future generations, to historians, to their fellow human beings and ultimately to God.”
The point is well taken.
ATC 74, May-June 1998