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Time Magazine’s Military Scandal Coverage: Then and Now

John on April 4, 2011 at 1:10 pm

In April 2007 the first photos from Abu Ghraib prison were released showing US soldiers behaving shamefully, abusing captives for what seemed to be their amusement. The story really began when 60 Minutes II showed the photos and Seymour Hersh wrote about them for the New Yorker. The photos of Abu Ghraib drove the story for weeks into months. Time magazine did a special report on Abu Ghraib three weeks later. Here is the cover:

The issue contained six separate stories on the scandal including a massive cover story that goes on for nine pages on the web. The special issue also contained a piece by Joe Klein which attempted to tie the scandal directly to President Bush:

Abu Ghraib made a mockery of American idealism. It made all the baser motives–oil, dad, Israel–more believable. And it represents all the moral complexities this President has chosen to ignore–all the perverse consequences of an occupation.

Two weeks ago, Der Spiegel published photos from another US military scandal, this one coming out of Afghanistan. Since late last year we’ve known that a handful of soldiers were on trial for killing Afghan civilians, but no one had seen the “trophy photos” until last month. Seymour Hersh wrote about the photos and most media outlets carried the news about them. Still, compared to Abu Ghraib the response from the media has been muted. Here’s last weeks’ Time cover and this weeks’:

Maybe Time will do a special issue on the Afghanistan “kill team.” Maybe Joe Klein will write another piece blaming the breakdown in discipline on the President. I guess we’ll know in about six more days. At the moment, the MSM seems to be having a hard time working up an appetite for this scandal.

Addendum: Time’s new issue is out. No “Kill Team” Special Issue seems to be forthcoming.

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Category: MSM & Bias |

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