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Posted Monday, March 8, 2004

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Pat of New York has spotted an odd thing about missing English subtitles to French news bulletins from Iraq, Monday, March 8, 2004



Is Washington rationing what dumb US viewers get to see?

IN the same vein as the restrictions placed upon journalists in Iraq outlined by Al-Jazeera, the official news blackout on US media apparently goes so far as to mask out the English sub-titles on inconvenient French-language television news bulletins broadcast in New York.

Here, the hour-long French news program Le Journal is broadcast with sub-titles. The best New York nightly news broadcasts do not measure up even halfway to these French bulletins. But recently I have noticed that their reports on the US occupation of Iraq have somehow lost their English sub-titling. Over the subtitles is a different color mask with a different style of text announcing "We are unable to bring you this broadcast with sub-titles, we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause".

The rest of the French bulletin carries sub-titling, as it always has. Is it not the law that such programs have to offered with sub-titling for the hearing impaired?

Aside from carrying actual battle footage not shown on US channels, the French TV news services are to my knowledge the only ones who have made public the fact that Iraqi guerillas routinely videotape the roadside convoy bombings, and circulating the tapes with religious and political propaganda.

Le Journal has shown at least two such videos, where it was apparent that a convoy of trucks and other vehicles was partially destroyed by a massive explosion coming from right next to the road.

It has also shown video footage filmed directly after an attack depicting destroyed Humvees and such.

Significant: Proper English sub-titling ends just before the broadcast of this segment begins.

I cannot fasten the blame for the interference with sub-titles to the US military or the government with metaphysical certitude, but it would not surprise me if the Federal boys have indeed ordered domestic broadcasters to knock out the sub-titles for anything that might illustrate this military fiasco.

They learned that lesson the hard way in Vietnam: You cannot show casualties and real footage on TV -- because it's not good for public morale.

[full name known to us]


US Occupation imposes new Limits on Journalists in Iraq (from the Arabic press)

© Focal Point 2004 David Irving