Sunday, December 16, 2007

An Hypocrisy Missed: Did YOU Celebrate "Human Rights Day?"

Norman Solomon remarks on why it may be inconvenient for the most notorious human-rights abuser-nation in the world at the moment to acknowledge a day celebrating its own vicious foibles:
The chances are slim that you saw much news coverage of Human Rights Day when it blew past the media radar — as usual — on Dec. 10. Human rights may be touted as a treasured principle in the United States, but the assessed value in medialand is apt to fluctuate widely on the basis of double standards and narrow definitions.

Every political system, no matter how repressive or democratic, is able to amp up public outrage over real or imagined violations of human rights. News media can easily fixate on stories of faraway injustice and cruelty. But the lofty stances end up as posturing to the extent that a single standard is not applied.

When U.S.-allied governments torture political prisoners, the likelihood of U.S. media scrutiny is much lower than the probability of media righteousness against governments reviled by official Washington.

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