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Feb 26

Written by: Diana West
Tuesday, February 26, 2008 8:22 AM 

I've been reading Peter Brock's Media Cleansing--a white-hot excoriation of media malfeasance, laziness, gullibility, and mendaciousness in reporting the civil wars in what we came to know of in the 1990s as "the former Yugoslavia." The elemental, systematic misreporting of these wars that he uncovers at least rivals the misreporting of the Tet Offensive, and seems to have a more indelible quality, still defying revision all these years later.

While wondering what he might have to say about Kosovo--couldn't find anything--I came across this 2006 piece by Julia Gorin  weaving together  (shockingly) related topics including Musharraf, Daniel Pearl, Bill Clinton, MI-6, Serbia, Israel, OBL, being on the wrong side of the war on terror (Balkan front), and Peter Brock's book. She ends by quoting Gregory Copely on the Brock book, who wrote:

That there were genuine initial misunderstandings on the part of the world's media with regard to the Balkan situation is clear. But the fact that the media -- on whose judgments governments made policies -- allowed itself [sic] to be duped by propagandists, and that editors then refused to recant when their errors became obvious: there lies the essence of Brock's indictment….If Watergate was the modern starting point for agenda-based reporting, then the Balkan wars showed that, unchecked, the media could, without accountability, bring about the downfall of nations.

The resultant emergence of terrorist coordinating centers in the Balkans, intimately involved in the 9/11, Madrid, and London attacks, can be laid directly at the door of the editors who allowed bias to rule their coverage of the Balkan wars. We have yet to see the full consequences of the media's shameful unprofessionalism in the Balkan wars of the 1990s. Peter Brock's book should be the basis for both Congressional and independent media enquiries.

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