John Leo

As distrust of the press grows, news articles are relentlessly scrutinized for bias, but almost no one is focusing on stories that are simply ignored. For instance, a May 18 report in the Afghan newspaper Kabul Weekly said the riots that killed 17 people were not about disrespect for the Koran in American detainment camps--they were a show of force by the Taliban and another fundamentalist group, Hezb-e Eslami. "These demonstrations were organized by the Taliban and their supporters, and only some naive people joined the protesters," the newspaper said. The BBC picked up the story on May 22, but so far as I can see, it was completely ignored in American news media. If you edited, let us say, a large newspaper in Washington or New York, or a prominent newsmagazine accused of causing these famous riots, wouldn't you want to check this one out?

Another example: On a May 13 panel at the National Conference for Media Reform in St. Louis, Linda Foley, the national president of the Newspaper Guild, said that the U.S. military deliberately targets journalists, "not just U.S. journalists either, by the way. They target and kill journalists from other countries, particularly Arab countries, at news services like al Jazeera, for example. They actually target them and blow up their studios with impunity." We have heard this before. Eason Jordan, then a CNN executive, said something similar on a panel at Davos, the annual economic conference in Switzerland, setting off an enormous furor. Foley's comment was almost universally ignored by the news media. Thomas Lipscomb of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote a column about it. More than two weeks later, Jack Kelly, national security writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Blade of Toledo, Ohio, said the Sun-Times (Lipscomb's column) was the only newspaper in the country to report what Foley said.


John Leo

John Leo is editor of MindingTheCampus.com and a former contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report.

Be the first to read John Leo's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.