News Media's Islamic Blind Spot

In the round-the-clock U.S. media coverage of the September 11 attacks, one might assume that all angles of the story are being reported. That, however, is not so according to Salon writer Eric Boehlert, who interviewed a number of Islamic and Middle East experts about the media. The good news is that initial coverage after the attacks is generally more informed about the Middle East and Islam than Gulf War coverage of 10 years ago. The bad news, writes Boehlert, "is that the mainstream American press has largely been ignoring what many experts see as the root cause fueling Islamic terrorism: America's own foreign policy. Even as media executives are publicly defending on-camera displays of flags and patriotic slogans, insisting that these fits of patriotic fervor don't affect actual news coverage, skeptics are charging that the press has so far been studious in avoiding serious examination of past American policy failures, and in questioning Bush's rhetoric."