cj#447> The Question of Media Focus


Richard Moore

Dear CJ,

Below is a report on the Western-supported military suppression now
underway in Bahrain.

My reason for posting this is not primarily to publicize the Bahrain
Freedom Movement -- although that would seem to be a worthy cause -- but
rather to raise the issue of what does and doesn't show up as news in the

Have you seen Bahrain mentioned in your mass-media?  If so, how was it
spun?  The point is that there are dozens of Bahrain's going on around the
world all the time.  When you read a book like Woodward's "Veil", based on
interviews with William Casey and other insiders, you find the scale of
Western war-mongering (even by the U.S. alone) staggers belief.
Human-rights abuses comparable to those in Bosnia can be found in many

Meanwhile the media picks out a tiny sequence of stories (Bosnia, Chechnya,
OJ Simpson, Hillary's past, Yeltzins health, Irish peace processs, etc.)
and these are what get exclusive public attention, and form public
attitudes, day after day.

My point is that it is insufficient to characterize the media as carrying
out "biased" and "selective" reporting.  They are engaged in a much more
creative endeavor than mere "reporting".  I submit that what they are about
is fabricating a world view -- creating and managing "story lines" so as to
present a virtual world that bears little resemblance to the actual world.

        Consider, for example, how some of the events in Bosnia have been
"reported".  Whenever there was a Serbian atrocity, the victims were
interviewed personally, and their plights were illustrated profusely and
sympathetically.  Meanwhile atrocities by the other side were simply
unreported.  When the largest single instance of ethnic cleansing was being
carried out -- the annexation of Krajina by Croatia -- the cameras were
focused elsewhere: "suddenly" evidence of mass graves had been found by the
CIA in the Serbian sector.  And the US envoy came up with some
gobbledy-gook definition that said the Croation action couldn't be called
"ethnic cleansing".  Thus the fabricated story line was maintained that
only the Serbs were bad guys.

        Or consider how the progress of "reform" in the former Soviet block
is "reported".  There's no discussion of what "reform" means, and no
acknowledgement of its obvious and devastating failure.  Instead the
cameras focus on Russia's complex political process, and the axiomatic
disirability of "reform" is editorialized daily, with no attempt whatever
at substantiation.  The fabricated story line comes across that "reform" is
good, but that the Ruskies can't get it right, even though no evidence for
that assessment has been shown.


Date: Sun, 28 Jan 1996
From: A E Mail Journal <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Bahrain: 2000 arrested

                  Bahrain: 2000 arrested
                Bahrain Freedom Movement

The politically-bankrupt government of Bahrain has unleashed its hatred against
the peaceful Bahraini people. The foreign-led and staffed security forces
carried out one of the most vicious campaigns of oppression in the history
of the uprising, now in its second year. More than 2000 people have been
arrested in dawn raids and during clashes in the past few days.  Any person
who delivered a speech or a sermon during the past months have been
detained and taken to
unknown location. Many prisons are now full of innocent people picked-up
randomly from the streets. Some of the latter comprise all male members of
several families.

Moreover, the security forces announced  the arrest of eight leading opposition
figures headed by Sheikh Abdul Amir Al-Jamri. These were the people who
established calm and stability last August when the security forces failed to
stop street protests. These were the people who delivered weekly sermons and
circulated them calling on their followers to pursue all peaceful means for the
restoration of parliament and constitution.

Today, Ian Henderson, the British Officer in-charge of the security forces,
ordered another attack on Al-Ghadeer mosque in Sitra, where a high ranking
cleric Sheikh Abdul Hussain Al-Setri was leading prayers. Riot police attacked
the people praying behind Sheikh Al-Setri, removed all posters inside the
mosque and confiscated most of its contents. They also ordered Sheikh Al-Setri
to attend for interrogation the next day (Wednesday 24 January).

The confiscation of mosques' contents has been conducted all over the country.
When today at 10.30 am the house arrest imposed on the family and neighbours
of Sheikh Al-Jamri was lifted, the security forces had already confiscated all
microphones, equipment and books from Zain al-Abedin mosque located in front
of Sheikh Al-Jamri house in Bani Jamra, north-west of Bahrain.

Last night, loud explosions were heard in Sanad, Zenj, Nabih Salejh and other
areas. A demonstration in Nabih Saleh was put down by security forces
deploying the harshest measures.

The ruling Al-Khalifa family has been looking for an excuse for all these
oppressive measures. They re-played their broken record and blamed Iran for
inciting the popular uprising. The Bahraini opposition denounced this desperate
attempt and re-affirmed its peaceful, independent and popular approach for
achieving human and civil right through the restoration of the parliament
dissolved by the ruling family in 1975.

Bahrain Freedom Movement
23 January 1996
Fax: (44) 171 278 9089

A E Mail Journal.............Editor Mr S Suwellam.London.U.K
Middle  East  and International  Affairs  uncensored Journal
E-Mail address:•••@••.••• :0181 7158641
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 Posted by Richard K. Moore (•••@••.•••) Wexford, Ireland
 •••@••.•••  | Cyberlib=http://www.internet-eireann.ie/cyberlib
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