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Saturday, March 31, 2007


What passes for news

Here's the lead paragraph on an AP story today:
An Iranian opposition group claimed Saturday that Iran's capture of 15 British sailors and marines was planned in advance and carried out in retaliation for the U.N. sanctions imposed against the country.
Even before reading another word, one has to ask oneself - how on earth would an Iranian opposition group be privy to secret decisions made inside the Iranian government (much less within the Revolutionary Guard, who may or may not have carried out the capture without direct orders from the government)? Well, that obvious objection to this "news" doesn't seem to have bothered AP, who is happy to offer it up to their readers.

Four paragraphs later, we come to this:

The National Council of Resistance of Iran — the political wing of the Iranian MEK opposition group which is listed as a terrorist group by Britain, the U.S. and the European Union — said the British crew's capture was planned in advance, but offered no evidence to support the claims.
Wow. A terrorist group makes a claim, offers "no evidence," and still the AP is willing to showcase their claim in the lead paragraph of today's "news."

Hey, I just saw some pigs flying down my street. Will someone please call AP and let them know, so they can run the story? No, I don't have any actual evidence for my claim.

Oh wait, that won't work. You see, the trick is you have to make an unsupported claim which casts a negative light on an "enemy," a "bad guy," an "evil doer." Then your claim will happily be broadcast by the corporate media, and not just by FOX News.

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