Friday, May 28, 2004

The Forgotten Nick Berg, and the Guys Who Forgot Him

On May 11, American contractor Nick Berg was beheaded. This story got much less coverage than in deserved. While the Abu Ghraib story continues to run and lunatics like Al Gore keep screaming for Rumsfeld’s resignation, Nick Berg has already faded into the archives of the national media.

There is no comparison between the humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, and the decapitation of an American citizen. In order to understand this, you need to know exactly what happened to Mr. Berg:

After a clip showed Nick Berg identifying himself and his family, the movie cuts to a shot of Berg in an orange jumpsuit, bound and on his knees in front of five men. After reading a statement in Arabic blaming what is about to happen on America, the terrorist in the middle gives another man his speech and pulls out a long knife. The five men suddenly tackle Berg and the knife is plunged into his neck. This is where the screaming starts. As the man on the knife saws back and forth, and Berg screams, the Arabs chant “Allahu Akbar” or “God is great.” After the fifth cut into Berg’s neck, the screaming stops – it has taken about half a minute for Berg to die. After two more slashes with the knife, and an audible snap, Berg’s head is pulled off of his neck and held up in front of the camera like a trophy – his eyes are still open and look straight into the lens.This is not the first beheading of an American that has happened in recent times. On February 21 of 2002, a videotape entitled The Slaughter of the Spy-Journalist, the Jew Daniel Pearl was released showing the beheading of the American journalist. We later learned, by the way, that the guy who was filming the murder messed up, and didn’t get it on the first take. To solve the problem, the terrorists decided to reenect his murder – they put his head back on, and then pretended to cut it off again.

What I would like to know is, why is the national media horrified over pictures from Abu Ghraib – an incident that was already being investigated by the military since January – but when we have an American who has his head chopped off on TV, nobody seems to care for more than a few days? Why, first of all, should the media be anxious to disgrace our soldiers, our country, and our effort to turn a dictatorship into a democracy? Next, why is it that the media does not want the chance to show us how bad our enemies are, and remind America who and why we are fighting? The biggest question, stated plainly, is: Why does the media hate America?

The answer: The press is overwhelmingly liberal. That’s right. I know that many of my friends like to persist in the naïve notion that there is some semblance of balance in the press. A recent poll, however, shows just how out-of-mainstream the press really is. In a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, only 7% of the National Media say that they are Conservative. Even though a majority (54%) of national journalists identified themselves as moderate, they proved to be just as liberal as the self-confessed leftists when asked about ideological values. For example, when asked if belief in God is necessary to be moral, 58% of the public answered yes, while just 6% of the media agreed. In a further striking contrast between the general public and the media, 42% of the public thinks that homosexuality should be discouraged, while only 5% of the media shares this view.

Not only is the media exceedingly liberal, but they actually do not recognize the fact. Only 38% of national journalists could think of any news organizations that are especially liberal (the leader was The New York Times, named by 20% of journalists). When these journalists were asked, on the other hand, if they could think of any news organizations that are especially conservative, 82% answered yes (nearly 70% named Fox News right off the bat).

The National Media clearly has a problem. They do not understand that American lives are more important than Iraqi lives, and certainly more important than terrorists’ lives. They are not proud to be Americans and they are not proud of America. Instead they believe, rather pompously, that you as an American citizen are not trustworthy enough and not smart enough to know what is right and what is wrong. They believe that only they can set you right.

So, I am sick and tired of seeing those photographs of abuse at Abu Ghraib. I am sick and tired of having the media bubbling so happily because they think that they have shown that America is bad, and has lost the “moral highground”. It is time to remember Nick Berg, and all the other Americans who have been murdered. They are what is important.

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