Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Never forget- Daniel Pearl

An incredible powerful piece of journalism is in today's Wall Street Journal, written by Daniel Pearl's father.

Daniel Pearl was murdered 6 years ago, today. He was not murdered because he did anything wrong, but simply because he was an American.

In this article, Professor Judea Pearl, refuses to let the media off the hook. His son was a journalist for the Wall Street Journal.

Here are some excerpts-

The shocking element in Danny's murder was that he was killed, not for what he wrote or planned to write, but for what he represented -- America, modernity, openness, pluralism, curiosity, dialogue, fairness, objectivity, freedom of inquiry, truth and respect for all people. In short, each and every one of us was targeted in Karachi in January of 2002.

This new twist of killing journalists for what they represent has changed the course of journalism as well as the rest of society.

It was through Danny's face that people came to grasp the depth of cruelty and inhumanity into which this planet of ours has been allowed to sink in the past two decades. His murder proved that 9/11 was not an isolated event, and helped resurrect the age-old ideas of right and wrong, good and evil. Moral relativism died with Daniel Pearl in January 2002.

In this next article, Professor Pearl examines the media's responsibility in the murder of his son-

They are no longer perceived as neutral, information-gathering agents, but rather as representing political or ideological entities. The press and media has indeed become more polarized and agenda-driven. Journalists today are pressured to serve the ideologies of those who pay their salaries or those who supply them with sources of information. CNN's admission, in 2003, that it concealed information about the Iraqi regime in order to keep its office in Baghdad is a perfect example of this pressure. In the recent Gaza chaos, Western news agencies have willingly reported Hamas propaganda stunts as truth.

One of the things that saddens me most is that the press and media have had an active, perhaps even major role in fermenting hate and inhumanity. It was not religious fanaticism alone.
The whole Daniel Pearl murder is heart wrenching to hear about. Little is said in the media after it was discovered that chances were pretty good that Pearl was murdered as a tape of media staged scenes were playing in the background.

The answer was unveiled in 2004, when a friend told me that photos of Muhammad Al Dura were used as background in the video tape of Danny's murder.

Al Dura, readers may recall, is the 12-year-old Palestinian boy who allegedly died from Israeli bullets in Gaza in September of 2001. As we now know, the whole scene is very likely to have been a fraud, choreographed by stringers and cameramen of France 2, the official news channel of France. France 2 aired the tape repeatedly and distributed it all over the world to anyone who needed an excuse to ratchet up anger or violence, among them Danny's killers.

An yet, even though we are well aware of the fact that some in the media are faking stories, creating their own stories or lying about the truth, we still find ourselves believing every single story on TV or in the newspaper.

Folks, we have got to get smarter. We have got to get wiser. We have got to learn from the deaths of men just like Daniel Pearl.

Whether or not the media like the truth, we must make sure they tell the truth anyway.

Feel free to read the rest of the article written by Professor Pearl.

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