Key Note Address at Al-Jazeera’s Third Annual Media Forum : Seymour Hersh April 2, 2007Posted by Muhammad in ajforum07.
Please note that the below is a summary of the points which Seymour Hersh made during his key note address. I have elaborated in certain points and they are not his exact words.
- The Iraqi air bombing raid mentioned by Wadah is a very important point, the United States Military did not provide any statistics regarding tonnage or how many bombs were dropped ,etc. We don’t even know the rules of engagement. If a trooper who was getting rifle fire from a building was able to call in an airstrike to bomb the entire building without checking or warning anyone inside, we just don’t know. This secrecy and holding back of important information, however, is not only an American problem.
- George Bush and Dick Cheney have been making diplomatic mistakes all over the world. In one sentence, my belief is that after 9/11 Al-Qaeda had taken over the White House, not literally but that’s what happened.
- We do not expect the same behaviour from our government the way we expect our families to behave. We must hold our leadership to the highest possible standards of behaviour. Journalism needs to act like the “parent” because the governments are not. Our job is to hold government accountable. In the Iraq War, American media did not do this too well and basically became the mouthpiece of the government.
- Journalism is a profession in which the journalists should believe “we think we can make a difference”, especially the good ones; And Al-Jazeera is doing a very good job of this, no matter what America and American Journalism thinks.
- The one thing that’s bad about journalism is the competition we have and the “bitchiness”. When working for the New York Times, the first thing we do is remove mention of any other news organisations, so that we don’t credit the competition.
We are in a struggle for Truth vs. Propaganda, I am anti-government because I believe our governments’ have failed us.