Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Thought Experiments

The Nation
Tue Sep 26, 8:00 AM ET

The Nation -- For a little thought experiment, go to the website of Newsweek's International Edition: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3037881/site/newsweek/. There, running down the left side of the page, are three covers, all the same, for the European, Asian, and Latin American editions of the October 2 issue.

Each has a dramatic shot of a Taliban fighter shouldering an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade). The cover headline is: "Losing Afghanistan,' pointing to a devastating piece on our Afghan War by Ron Moreau, Sami Yousafzai, and Michael Hirsh, "The Rise of Jihadistan." which sports this subhead: "Five years after the Afghan invasion, the Taliban are fighting back hard, carving out a sanctuary where they--and Al Qaeda's leaders--can operate freely." The piece begins: "You don't have to drive very far from Kabul these days to find the Taliban." (In fact, the magazine's reporters found a gathering of 100 of them in a village just a two-hour drive south of the Afghan capital.)

Now, go back to the international edition and take another look. Scroll down the page to the cover which doesn't match the others. That's the one for Newsweek's US edition. No Taliban fighter. No RPG. Instead, a photo of an ash-blond woman with three young children dressed in white, one in her arms, and the headline: "My Life in Pictures." The woman turns out to be Annie Liebovitz, photographer of the stars, and the story by Cathleen McGuigan, "Through Her Lens," has this Taliban-free first line: "Annie Leibovitz is tired and nursing a cold, and she' s just flown back to New York on the red-eye from Los Angeles, where she spent two days shooting Angelina Jolie for Vogue."

"The Rise of Jihadism" is still inside, of course; now, a secondary story. After all, Angelina Jolie is ours, while a distant botch of a war in Afghanistan..? As the magazine's editors clearly concluded, while the rest of the world considers the return of the Taliban, let us eat cake.

~from The Nation

2 comentarios:

Christiane Amanpour said...

The same happens with CNN USA and the International Edition. It is amazing how the points of view shifts.

Christiane Amanpour said...

Jon Stewart brought it up today!!! It was a riot!

MANIFESTO

Don't think for me. Don't assume what I want to hear or read. Give me facts. Give me reasons. But not yours. Bring me debate. Enlighten me. Today, accountability is masked behind anonymity; bylines are hidden by zeros and ones. Everyone publishes; everyone is "in the know." Ethics are non-existent. Speculation is king. The truth is masked and a hostage. Empowered by our minds, WE ARE THE FREAKSPEAKERS!

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