Democracy Now has the video Scahill & Greenwald: What If All Victims of War Received the Media Attention of Manchester Victims?
GLENN GREENWALD: Yeah, we all do media criticism of various types, and I know, over the years, I’ve voiced all kinds of critiques of U.S. media coverage. But if I had the power to just, overnight, remedy one of them, this discrepancy is the one that I would choose, because think about how powerful it is, just the effect that it has on us as human beings. Even just randomly when it pops into our Twitter timeline or onto our Facebook page, you see the name and the story and the grieving relatives of someone who was killed at this concert in Manchester. No matter how rational you are, you feel anger, you feel empathy, you feel so emotionally moved by the horror of the violence that was perpetrated.
So, imagine if there was any kind of balance whatsoever, where we knew the names of any of the victims of the indiscriminate violence of our own government, let alone the comprehensive coverage of the victims that is devoted when we are the victims of violence, how much that would affect the perception that we have of the violence that our own government perpetrates. We keep it so abstract. We usually just hear 14 people died. The Pentagon claims that it’s militants and terrorists. It’s left at that. At best, we hear they finally acknowledge four civilians are killed, but it’s kept very ethereal, very distant and abstract. We never learn their names, as you said. We never hear from their families. We never hear their life aspirations extinguished. And if there was just some attention paid to telling the stories of the victims of our own government’s violence, I think there would be a radical shift in how we perceive of ourselves, the role we play in the world and who bears blame in this conflict.
This is a point that I think needed to be made, but I felt intimidated in even raising it. I was sure it would be misunderstood by the majority of the people in the west. I think that Democracy Now, and Greenwald, and Scahill have made the point in the most reasonable way possible, but I know that most westerners will still not find it acceptable. The reaction that I expect will be a demonstration of the depths we have allowed ourselves to be dragged down to. Of course, real media professionals have been working for decades on dragging us down, so I guess there is some reason forgive the people taken in by this effort to promote war.