october 2005

click here for permalink October 19, 2005

Hurricane Wilma was upgraded today and is now being called "the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic." Forecasters are predicting that the penultimate name in tropical storms, already a killer in Haiti and Jamaica, will turn sharply by the weekend, aiming straight for the Florida coast.

Now that it seems Wilma's evil eye is locked on the Sunshine State, Florida residents are taking to the highways again (it's been a record year for storm warnings) and Governor Jeb Bush is reportedly asking "Why us?"

Rhetorically, I'm sure. But it does bring up an interesting question.

Who  does  he  think  he's  kidding?

Photo courtesy of the NOAA, which is home to this amazing collection of close-ups taken by "hurricane hunters" on my birthday, the day before Katrina unleashed hell on Louisiana.

Now, before you go getting all upset about the plight of those evacuation-weary Floridians, let's take a look at the headlines CNN is shuffling to the bottom of the deck in favor of their 24-hour Hurricane Trackers, Warnings and Anatomies Of...

The front page of Truthout.org offers up: "The Trial of Saddam Hussein," "Video Shows US Troops Burning Taliban Bodies," "Pakistan Quake: 500,000 in Danger of Dying from Hypothermia" and "Are We Going to War with Iran?"

Hmm... Now back to Wolf Blitzer in the "Situation Room." (I wish I had a strident, staccato theme sound effect to insert here.)

Newsflash: CNN Reports the Truth*

Back in April 2003, when the foregone conclusion of which dictator would have the honor of occupying Iraq was not quite so foregone, three journalists were killed in one day of shocking, awful attacks by US troops. Although U.S. Central Command denied allegations that they were deliberately targeting "unimbedded" journalists, questions and firm beliefs to the contrary remain.

Today, CNN reported:

"MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- A Spanish judge issued an international arrest warrant Wednesday for three U.S. soldiers, charging them with murder in the death of Spanish TV cameraman Jose Couso in Baghdad, Iraq.

Fifteen paragraphs of bullshit (or details, depending on your attention span) later, the crucial back story emerges (excerpt below) and the article closes on an almost un-CNN-like note:

"Couso was one of three journalists killed in two different buildings that day in Baghdad. Also killed at the Palestine Hotel was Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk, 35, a Ukrainian national... Al-Jazeera television reporter Tariq Ayoub was killed at [Al-Jazeera's] facilities... near Iraq's Ministry of Information.

"U.S. Central Command said at the time that U.S. forces came under "significant enemy fire" from both buildings and responded "consistent with the inherent right of self-defense." Al-Jazeera said its facilities were deliberately targeted. Journalists from three Western television networks told CNN they were in the Palestine Hotel when the tank fired and saw no outgoing fire from it."

*(but buries it 15 paragraphs down where most readers will never see it)