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Monday, September 28, 2009

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Chomsky once wrote about how comparing US news coverage of the deaths in Cambodia (due to the Khmer Rouge) and the deaths in Indonesia (due to a US-backed military regime) provided an almost perfect controlled experiment in the hypocrisy of the US media. Well, I think Cambodia vs. Indonesia is going to have to take second place to Iran vs. Honduras.

The US media breathlessly followed every development in the Iranian movement to contest the results of their election, and yet, just a few weeks later, popular protests in Honduras were all but ignored. The Iranian protesters were Heroes of Democracy, the Honduran protesters were invisible.

Now, with Zelaya's return to the country, there's been a bump up in news coverage, and this is what we get: In Honduras, Talking, Takeout, but No Accord, which takes a mostly light-hearted look at the fact that Zelaya and the other people trapped in the Brazilian embassy may be running out of food, and ends with this knee-slapper: "Whether Mr. Zelaya’s return to Honduras has brought the crisis any closer to resolution remains to be seen. How long he can hold out in the embassy may turn on his fondness for burgers and cold chicken." Har de har har!

I'm sure if Iranian dissidents needed to take refuge in the Swiss embassy in Tehran, surrounded by Iranian tanks, the New York Times would take an equally jocular tone.

It's also fun to watch how often the current Iranian government is referred to as the "Iranian regime", vs. the coup government in Honduras, which is typically called the "de facto government" or "interim government".

("Regime" is actually an almost infallible codeword for a U.S. enemy; it may as well just be written as "designated enemy government", since that's what it means.)

"an almost perfect controlled experiment in the hypocrisy of the US media. Well, I think Cambodia vs. Indonesia is going to have to take second place to Iran vs. Honduras."

Shouldn't Iran vs. Afghanistan rate up there, too?

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