The Wreckage of the Consensus Revisited: New York Times Company Admits to Spreading Lies to Undermine America’s War Effort

by | May 18, 2004 | POLITICS

As you may have heard, the Boston Globe published, as real, fake pictures purporting to show American soldiers in Iraq gang-raping Iraqi women. The pictures were actually from a porn website and were staged (not to make any political point, needless to add). The pictures were handed to the Globe by a Boston city councilman, […]

As you may have heard, the Boston Globe published, as real, fake pictures purporting to show American soldiers in Iraq gang-raping Iraqi women. The pictures were actually from a porn website and were staged (not to make any political point, needless to add). The pictures were handed to the Globe by a Boston city councilman, of the Green Party, and a rabble-rouser from the Nation of Islam (the American “Black Muslim” group).

The Globe published this lame retraction:

“Editor’s note: A photograph on page B2 yesterday did not meet Globe standards for publication. The photo portrayed Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner and activist Sadiki Kambon displaying graphic photographs that they claimed showed US soldiers raping Iraqi women. Although the photograph was reduced in size between editions to obscure visibility of the images on display, at no time did the photographs meet Globe standards. Images contained in the photograph were overly graphic, and the purported abuse portrayed had not been authenticated. The Globe apologizes for publishing the photo.”

In other words, the main apology is for the sexually explicit nature of what they published. Secondarily, they apologize for the faked photos not having “been authenticated.” What a mastery of understatement.

The Boston Globe is published by the New York Times Company. What consequences will befall the editors of the Globe? Probably a reprimand. And a wink.

Meanwhile, London’s Daily Mirror has been similarly found guilty of publishing faked photos–in their case, photos of British troops abusing Iraqi prisoners. But the British still retain some sense of honor, so the editor of the paper, Piers Morgan, has been fired.

Thirty-seven years ago, Ayn Rand spoke on “The Wreckage of the Consensus” at the Ford Hall Forum. The talk included this passage:

“A country at war often resorts to smearing its enemy by spreading atrocity stories–a practice which a free, civilized country need not and should not resort to. A civilized country, with a free press, can let the facts speak for themselves. But what is the moral-intellectual state of a country that spreads smears and atrocity stories about itself …?”

Cartoons by Cox and Forkum.

Dr. Binswanger, a longtime associate of Ayn Rand, is an professor of philosophy at the Objectivist Academic Center of the Ayn Rand Institute. He is the author of How We Know: Epistemology on an Objectivist Foundation and is the creator of The Ayn Rand Lexicon: Objectivism from A to Z. Dr. Binswanger blogs at HBLetter.com (HBL)--an email list for Objectivists for discussing philosophic and cultural issues. A free trial is available at: HBLetter.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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