News Media Too Busy Covering Spectacle to Do Its Job

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CommonDreams.org

News Media Too Busy Covering Spectacle to Do Its Job

Dear Media:

Since you have been busy this week with non-stop coverage of the royal wedding and the spectacle that is Donald Trump, I thought I would take it upon myself to fill you in on the less newsworthy items that you missed.  Clearly, the royal wedding of a country that is not your own, in addition to the frantic rantings of an ego obsessed real state tycoon, take priority over middle east turmoil, vicious attacks on labor, and deadly tornadoes ripping through the country. 

I assume you haven’t heard–since there has been little to no coverage–that Wikileaks has released the Guantanamo Files, which include classified files on more than 700 past and present Guantanamo detainees.  These documents shed new light on the six-year long persecution of a journalist because he worked for Al-jazeera, the unreliable evidence used to justify due-process free detentions, and the capture of children and men as old as 89.  Of course, I wouldn’t expect such large and important outlets to be bothered with such silly, insignificant revelations.

Moving on, in both Bahrain and Syria the situation continues to deteriorate.  Both countries have adopted policies of retribution against pro-democracy dissidents.  Bahrain’s monarchy has detained doctors who treated injured demonstrators and patients who had taken part in the protests were dragged from hospital beds.  Most recently, Bahraini authorities sentenced 4 protesters to death following their trial that was held in secret.  Syria’s Bashar al-Assad has stepped up his deadly crackdown on protesters as well, by unleashing the army along with snipers and tanks to open fire at demonstrators. 

Meanwhile, at home, the war on working class people has escalated and Democrats have joined in.  In Tennessee, House Republicans have cleared the way for total repeal of collective bargaining rights for teachers.  Following the lead of Wisconsin’s GOP, the Democratically held Massachusetts House passed a bill–late at night to avoid a mass of protesting workers–that strips municipal employees of the right to collectively bargain health benefits.

In tragic news, more than 150 tornadoes that have torn through seven states, killing at least 300 people and wiping out whole towns, making this the deadliest tornado outbreak in decades. 

While these stories are significant, it’s obvious they don’t merit the same level of attention that the marriage of British royalty does.  After all, how often do we get to watch a monarchy, that symbolizes centuries of imperialistic oppression, throw a wedding?  And with only 8,000 members of the media in attendance, it would be a travesty if a minor enticing detail were missed.

Rania Khalek

Rania Khalek is an independent journalist reporting on the underclass and marginalized. Her work has appeared at Common Dreams, Salon, The Nation, In These Times, Citizen Radio and more. To see more of Rania’s work visit her blog Dispatches from the Underclass and follow her on twitter @RaniaKhalek.


 

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