This from Journalists or Courtesans?

If there is an honest, unfettered, or unsullied investigative reporter or commentator working for the major—even minor—US commercial press, would he or she please stand up?

This past several weeks have demonstrated that the so-called “free press” may well be free of overt US government dictate, but it nevertheless hues faithfully to the US government line on foreign policy matters. The words that flow from the official US spokespersons are dutifully recorded and slavishly reported as news copy by every domestic reporter or pundit holding a press badge and assigned to cover a branch of government.

Consider the outrageous rebuff of Seymour Hersh who has won well over a dozen of the most prestigious US journalism awards, including the Pulitzer and five Polk prizes. Responsible for the My Lai and Abu Ghraib atrocity revelations, Hersh has been effectively blacklisted from publishing in the US since 2013. His accounts of the Syrian war and the US assassination of Osama bin Laden were published overseas in the London Review of Books, since his former primary publisher, The New Yorker, and other US outlets refused to accept them. Amazingly, no groups of journalists, journalist organizations, or “freedom of the press” advocates have risen in protest against this muzzling of one of their most esteemed colleagues. Collective letters protesting alleged media repression in socialist countries or countries critical of US policy appear regularly in the New York Review of Books and as paid ads in the New York Times; yet these same indignant journalists, pundits, and academics have remained overwhelmingly silent when it comes to Seymour Hersh.

Even more outrageous is the lack of any serious effort by the mainstream press to confirm or refute Hersh’s claims. His counter narrative to the Obama Administration’s well publicized and embarrassingly self-serving account of bin Laden’s death would be easily assessed by following the threads developed by Hersh. Instead, the press interviewed a handful of government officials and camp followers and left the official story intact.




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