Watch Mehdi Hasan nail exactly how the mainstream media is failing us

Mehdi Hasan
Ed Sykes

Journalist Mehdi Hasan has nailed exactly how the media is currently letting us down, and how it needs to improve.

Discussing the recent media whitewashing of former US president George H W Bush’s record, Hasan insisted:

Journalism is supposed to be the first draft of history. But we need to give it to you full – warts and all… Yes, we should respect the dead… but also, we should respect facts, history, what actually happened… Otherwise, the country’s screwed.

And as he said of Bush:

A lot of Iraqis died on his watch, a lot of Panamanians died on his watch, a lot of Black people saw the racist ad campaign of Willie Horton that he ran in 1988, a lot of people died in the AIDS crisis that he didn’t really pay much attention to, in the war on drugs that he ramped up. And I think it’s worth recounting all of their lives.

The mainstream media’s shameless fawning over a “war criminal”

As The Canary previously reported, many people have called Bush a “war criminal”. And indeed, he was responsible for:

  • Orchestrating dirty wars and coups, mostly in Latin America.
  • Very unsecretive wars in Iraq and Panama, which killed many thousands of civilians (The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights recently told the US to give Panama reparations over Bush’s illegal 1989 invasion).
  • damaging free trade deal that fostered sweatshop labour and hit indigenous Mexicans particularly hard.
  • A devastating ‘war on drugs‘ which destroyed lives but “did nothing to reduce drug abuse”, an incredibly racist political campaign, and a woeful performance during the AIDS crisis (as Hasan mentioned above).
  • Nominating (and defending) a hard-right alleged sex offender for the Supreme Court.
  • Saying “I will never apologize for the United States — I don’t care what the facts are” when the US downed an Iranian commercial flight in 1988, killing 290 civilians (including 66 children) in the process.
  • Setting up a Guantánamo Bay camp for “Haitian refugees escaping the violence surrounding the 1991 coup” so there was somewhere “to hold people without allowing them on US soil under protection of US law”.

You wouldn’t see much of that in the mainstream media, though. As OffGuardian insisted, “The Guardian’s Bush obituary plumbs new depths of sycophantic hypocrisy”. And as award-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald said of CNN:

The article Greenwald refers to claimed Bush was “the kind of wholesome, uncontroversial figure most people would say they want in a national leader”, and suggested that media whitewashing was actually “a fine thing”.

Comedian Jimmy Dore, meanwhile, slammed MSNBC coverage:

We deserve better

Other people were also “fed up” of the media’s failure to “respect facts, history, what actually happened” (as Hasan said):

People’s anger is totally justified. Because journalism should be about telling us the whole truth – not about sucking up to the powerful. But today, that kind of journalism is in short supply – especially in the mainstream media.

We must demand better. And we must support journalists who aren’t afraid to do their job.

Featured image via screenshot

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  • Show Comments
    1. Glenn Greenwald & Mehdi Hassan are right to be disgusted with the media coverage and airbrushing of George H.W. Bush’s bloody legacy as a deep state actor, Vice President and later sitting President of the US but the Intercept and Al Jazeera which Hassan works for, he and those outlets have been cheerleading for war in Syria, whitewashing ‘moderate’ rebels’, and acting as Neo-McCarthyites for anyone daring to question the real aims of that imperial war as ‘Assadists’ and Hassan acted like any other hack journalist when he berated Dr. Jill Stein for having the audacity to run for office. The Intercept and Al Jazeera sponsored by Qatar are really no better then much of the media they claim to be decrying when it comes to Syria, throwing Wikileaks/Assange under the bus, being sponsored by corporate crooks, and other issues they’ve ignored or jump the shark on like Western backed coup in Ukraine, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and other imperial games happening in the world.

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