Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Amazing harassment

Óskar pointed out to me a news show from Democracy Now which is aired once a day from an abandoned fire building in New York. It is a one hour show with short news in the beginning and then it seems to have an in depth interview for about 2/3 of the program. I have only heard two shows so far so I cant say what the norm is for them.

The show today had an interview with Josh Rushing who got famous from the movie Control Room when he was the press office for the US Central Command. If you have seen this movie then you might remember him as being the only american officer who had any doubt what so ever about the policy of the US and how they were treating al Jazeera. In this interview he describes how he quit his job for the Marine Corps and took on a job with the English speaking al Jazeera. Good for him, hope he helps in making both worlds understand each other.

What amazed me most about this interview was his description of one of his first assignments for al Jazeera. He wanted to do a piece on a small town in US and give a portrait of the life there. Now when he got there the local news got interested and had obviously only heard that there was a reporter from al Jazeera coming because the reporter from the local newspaper thought he would be arabic and wearing his cape and turban or whatever! When they met the local reporter got pretty interested in Rushing's story and did a good interview with him. Rushing did his piece on the town, went back to Washington and end of story.

Not quite, later Rushing got a phone call from this reporter saying that after their meeting a federal agent (forgot if it was FBI or NSA) had contacted her and made several questions about the meeting with Rushing and some subtle threats also if I remember correctly. Later Rushing also found out that almost no one in the town wanted to speak to him again because of this agent who had obviously spoken to everyone Rushing had spoken to during his reporting on the town. This was probably for the same reason that the local news reporter was afraid to call her mother any more because she thought by doing that she would be adding her mother to some black list with the federal government! COMON! Afraid to call your mother because she might be black listed because you spoke to an american citizen who happens to be working for the English version of al Jazeera!

Wooohaaa ... I just cant stop being amazed by all these stories that are coming from the US at the moment. I mean, they have always been a protective society since the commie scare and high surveillance has been common even though people didn't know about it but nowadays it is just becoming really crazy. Poor bastards that live over there. My sympathies :-)

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