Archive | November, 2003

In Bed With Power: Mainstream Reporters Embedded With Miami Police

A sure indicator that the US police state sees itself as waging war on its own citizens — the Miami Police have taken a page from Bush’s war propaganda book and invited reporters to be embedded with the cops while they force back, pepper spray and beat anti-FTAA protestors.

According to Miami’s WPLG-TV and the AP, the participants in the embedding plan include, “The Associated Press, NBC, Reuters, The Miami Herald, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, CNN, Fox and several TV stations. Up to 24 reporters and photographers are participating each day.”

It’s a definite change of tactic for police dealing with such protests, where in the past mainstream reporters covering the protests have found themselves caught in the cross-fire, peppersprayed, beaten and arrested.

Clearly, Miami Police Chief Timoney understands that mainstream reporters are more likely to be sympathetic to his cause if they see themselves as brothers-in-arms with the cops rather than on the receiving end of their tear gas. Just remember how gushing was some of the reporting from the embeds with US troops in Iraq this past spring.

Of course, in reality it’s another sad day for the press and democracy, as ACLU attorney John DeLeon tells the AP:

“It is a frightening prospect that for the first time in this community that the media is being a partner with police,” … DeLeon said that when journalists are seen with police during any action against protesters, “the media is seen as nothing more than an agent of the government.”

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