The Saddam video

I didn't get a chance over the holiday to express my thoughts on Saddam's execution. Let me put it this way. The world is one tyrannical, murderous, evil dictator less. It is a better world.

But, please explain something to me. Why is everyone making such a big deal about the filming of Saddam’s execution? The guy was a dictator who slaughtered his own people with outlawed Weapons of Mass Destruction. He had rape rooms and torture rooms for people who spoke out against his regime. He murdered countless innocents and threw their bodies in mass graves. He was evil. Why mourn his passing or condemn a video documenting it?

The news today is that the Iraqi official that shot the footage on his cell phone has been arrested! American news outlets are saying that the footage is causing world-wide outrage.

By the way, these same news outlets are also whitewashing Saddam the tyrant as “Mr. Hussein.”

But, back to my point. Why is that footage causing outrage? A lot of the concern is centered on the outrage in the Middle East, and the division it may cause between Sunnis and Shi’ites. I suppose that is a valid concern. But, that is not the outrage I am referring to. Some media outlets are furious that Internet sites would offer such brutal footage to the American public.

The New York Times put it this way:

"Confronted with a second, unofficial and more graphic video account of the moments leading up to the execution of Saddam Hussein, and the hanging itself, executives at television news organizations made a series of what one executive, President Steve Capus of NBC News, called “delicate editorial decisions” about what they would put on the air on Saturday night and Sunday to augment the first pictures of the execution.

The new video, almost certainly shot by a cellphone camera by one of the guards or witnesses at the execution, includes exchanges between Mr. Hussein and either the witnesses or guards leading up to the moment when the trapdoor opens and he falls. No national American television organization has thus far allowed the moment of the drop to be shown.

But the same niceties were not observed on numerous Web sites, which have posted the complete video, including the moment that Mr. Hussein, noose around his neck, falls, and a close-up of his face afterward."

That’s funny. I don’t remember the same type of sentiment expressed over CNN’s terrorist propaganda footage. In fact, I remember the New York Times endorsing the posting of YouTube videos showing the deaths of American Soldiers. From the New York Times on October 6, 2006: "Now on YouTube: Iraq Videos Of U.S. Troops Under Attack,"

“At a time when the Bush administration has restricted photographs of the coffins of military personnel returning to the United States and the Pentagon keeps close tabs on videotapes of combat operations taken by the news media, the videos give average Americans a level of access to combat scenes rarely available before, if ever.

So, footage of a vicious dictator being served true justice at the gallows is wrong. But, offering terrorist propaganda On-Demand is just fine.

Bias? What media bias?


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