Monday, March 07, 2005

Dominick weighs in with is opinion of the Times coverage of the IRA

We're going to start with Domnick's opinion of a story on the front page of the New York Times entitled "A Killing in Belfast Is Turning Backers Against a Defiant I.R.A." by Lizette Alvarez.

Dominick: So the paper wants to talk about the killing of Robert McCartney today and Lizette Alvarez is their choice to do it? Well let's start with either Lizette or the McCartney sisters are having trouble getting their stories straight. To European press they say "at least 20" and Alvarez is reporting "at least 15" people were involved with the murder of McCartney.
Alvarez tells readers that at the last minute, by her chronology, Gerry Adams (president of Sinn Fein) just gets involved in calling for answers. Has publicly urged people to come forward for some time and somehow Alvarez doesn't inform readers of that. Is this a case of What the McCartney Sisters Forgot to Tell or what Alverez didn't want to tell. I'm get really tired of reading stories in the Times that have no relationship to what I hear from family in Ireland. I'm getting real tired of reading in the Times that everything that happens is some sort of a vote on the IRA. I'm also growing tired of this changing story which I don't see how it helps Robert McCartney's memory or his family. We're told there was a bar fight sometimes and now the Times covers it and says it was an attack. The stories change and shift. And now the McCartney sisters will be coming to America as guests of Bush? The whole thing seems to have taken on its own life and shifts and changes depending upon who's reporting it. But we get Lizette's take on it and the IRA from the start when she uses terms like "excutioners." It's really interesting the way the Times chooses to run with a story. And how a horrible death is one more chance for them to smear Sinn Fein (and how they don't tell you about this administration's long attack on Sinn Fein). Men involved in the murder may or may not have been members of the IRA but according to the paper they are THE IRA and SINN FEIN as well.
There's a lumping together that I didn't and don't see in the paper's reporting on Abu Ghraib or on the murder of Nicola Calipari. If the Times possesses some key information on the murder of Robert McCartney, they need to come forward with it. If they don't have any, they need to stop smearing. I'm told by family that the way the outside media is using this killing for their own political means is creating a backlash. The IRA was considered out of date and something your father or your grandfather belonged in a few years ago but the continued attacks from outside media are making people rethink that. You're talking about a closed community, historically one cast as outsiders and denied a say. So when outside media strokes a story with innuendo and half-truths, it serves to make some people close ranks and take the attitude of "they may be bastards but they're our bastards." When an Alvarez comes along, people aren't going to open up to her without their own agendas. The McCartney sisters want answers about their brothers violent death. They'll talk to any outside media. Others will just close ranks. There's always been internal criticism of the IRA. If outside media was smart, they'd report what is known and not try to smear because it only results in a further closing of ranks. It's hard for me to read this and not think the Times is using this story to work their own agenda. If that's correct, what they're not grasping is it's stories like this that closes ranks and garners the IRA sympathy and a renewed sense of struggle.

We'll note that a story on checkpoints killing by John F. Burns repeats the notion (not necessarily fact) that the shooting at the car carrying Giuliana Sgrena happened at a "military checkpoint." That's in dispute everywhere but at the Times. The front page story isn't about that shooting. You have to turn to A11 for Ian Fisher's story on that. The big news is that apparently the "political analysts" the paper noted on Saturday got it wrong. We are so not surprised. I'm not linking to anything in the paper. If you want something highlighted, e-mail