The War You Don’t See

A new John Pilger documentary is always a media event. For over four decades he has set the bar for incisive and intrepid investigative journalism. In The War You Don’t See, his latest, Pilger indicts the mainstream media for its responsibility in enabling wars by sanitizing its image and glorifying its aims.

4 thoughts on “The War You Don’t See”

  1. Readers will be very interested to see one of the most interesting parts of John Pilger’s latest documentary where he interviews Farn Unsworth, Head of News Gathering at the BBC. In her defence of why the BBC didn’t get it right how the case for waging a war on Iraq was being communicated, Unsworth pleaded that due to a lack of access it was not possible to verify all facts for getting an accurate picture. When Pilger asked why qualified technical specialists such as weapons expert Scott Ritter were rarely invited for comments, she argued that others were put on and hence we were listening to the voices of the others. A quick scrutiny will explain that she actually meant inviting John Bolton repeatedly as key weapons expert, lead diplomat and top foreign policy specialist on Iraq.

    Trust is boasted to be the foundation of the BBC as it pledges to be independent, impartial and honest. However, the above examples draw attention to lapses where BBC has not risen up to secure straight, clear-cut answers for informing and educating the British public on how its government’s allies spend public money in Iraq. Its news producers should remain wary if part of their reporters risk becoming ‘mere passive processors of unchecked, second-hand material, much of it contrived by PR to serve some political or commercial interest. Not journalists, but churnalists’ complains award-winning reporter Nick Davies noting a general trend in the media where an ‘industry whose primary task is to filter out falsehood has become so vulnerable to manipulation that it is now involved in the mass production of falsehood, distortion and propaganda.’

    Does BBC and other mainstream British media show the full picture when it comes to the war in Iraq, its real costs and far reaching consequences? At best it is selective and partial and at worst suffers from periodic bouts of amnesia and myopia. It seems as if BBC attempts to tiptoe its way around some issues, reporting it casually but without going into the depths of issues or discussing its possible implications.

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