American Media’s Biased Overton Window

Robert ParryIf two major newspapers in, say, Russia published major articles openly advocating the unprovoked bombing of a country, say, Israel, the US government and news media would be aflame with denunciations about “aggression,” “criminality,” “madness,” and “behavior not fitting the Twenty-first Century.”

But when the newspapers are American — The New York Times and The Washington Post — and the target country is Iran, no one in the US government and media bats an eye. These inflammatory articles — these incitements to murder and violation of international law — are considered just normal discussion in the Land of Exceptionalism.

On Thursday, The New York Times printed an op-ed that urged the bombing of Iran as an alternative to reaching a diplomatic agreement that would sharply curtail Iran’s nuclear program and ensure that it was used only for peaceful purposes. The Post published a similar “we-must-bomb-Iran” op-ed two weeks ago…

Both articles called on the United States to mount a sustained bombing campaign against Iran to destroy its nuclear facilities and to promote “regime change” in Tehran. Ironically, these “scholars” rationalized their calls for unprovoked aggression against Iran under the theory that Iran is an aggressive state, although Iran has not invaded another country for centuries…

I realize The New York Times and Washington Post are protected by the First Amendment and can theoretically publish whatever they want. But the truth is that the newspapers are extremely restrictive in what they print. Their op-ed pages are not just free-for-alls for all sorts of opinions.

For instance, neither newspaper would publish a story that urged the United States to launch a bombing campaign to destroy Israel’s actual nuclear arsenal as a step toward creating a nuclear-free Middle East. That would be considered outside responsible thought and reasonable debate.

However, when it comes to advocating a bombing campaign against Iran’s peaceful nuclear program, the two newspapers are quite happy to publish such advocacy. The Times doesn’t even blush when one of its most celebrated columnists mulls over the idea of sending weapons to the terrorists in ISIS — all presumably because Israel has identified “the Shiite crescent” as its current chief enemy and the Islamic State is on the other side.

—Robert Parry
NYT Publishes Call to Bomb Iran


H/T: Jim Naureckas

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