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Peter Hart – NYT: It’s Still Not Torture If Bush Did It

November 4, 2010 Leave a comment

From FAIR:

NYT: It’s Still Not Torture If Bush Did It

Posted by Peter Hart on 11/03/10 at 9:31 am

Back in June, a study by Harvard students (echoing earlier work in Extra!–5-6/08) found that media outlets like the New York Times consistently called things like waterboarding torture when they reported on them–that is, until the Bush administration’s torture came to light. The study sparked a lot of discussion, with the Times responding that it didn’t […] Read more»

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FAIR – NYT Questions Efforts to Rehabilitate Suharto–a Dictator It Boosted for Decades

October 29, 2010 Leave a comment

From FAIR:

NYT Questions Efforts to Rehabilitate Suharto–a Dictator It Boosted for Decades

10/25/2010 by Peter Hart

I was struck by this New York Times headline on Saturday (10/23/10): “Effort to Rehabilitate Suharto’s Reputation Grows in Indonesia.” (The headline seems to have been changed somewhere along the way.)

The piece led with this:

JAKARTA, Indonesia — To millions, Suharto, the military strongman who ruled Indonesia for 32 years, was a tyrant, a thief and a murderer.

But more than 12 years after his fall from power in a popular uprising, and two years after his death at age 86, an effort is under way to redefine his legacy: as a national hero.

Coming from the New York Times, this is rich. In the waning days of his rule, the paper (3/8/98) reassured readers that “Suharto is no Saddam.” As FAIR’s Jim Naureckas (In These Times, 4/19/98) asked at the time:

How so? The Indonesian dictator’s rule is no less autocratic than Saddam Hussein’s. Like Hussein, Suharto has attempted to annex a smaller neighbor–in fact, his ongoing occupation of East Timor has been far bloodier than Hussein’s assault on Kuwait. While Hussein’s rule has been brutally repressive, Suharto is directly responsible for one of the greatest acts of mass murder in post-World War II history: the genocide that accompanied his rise to power in 1965….

Suharto immediately organized a systematic slaughter of the ethnic Chinese minority, which was believed to be the main base of support for the Communist Party. Conservative estimates of the death toll are in the hundreds of thousands; a 1977 Amnesty International report cited a tally of “many more than one million.”

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